Eat, Fly, Love: A Flight Attendant’s Confession

My story starts like any other sappy chick flick: my beautiful man left me at the metaphysical altar for a foreign market investment lawyer. Thanks to poor cultural integration and an overly priced education system, I did the only logical thing a newly single wanderlust strapped for cash could do: I became a flight attendant.

The famous Paulo Coehlo once wrote “When you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

Some university students become baristas; others become flight attendants. I am the latter: International Affairs’ student by day and Flight Attendant by night, putting myself through school one plane ride at a time. It’s an unconventional super power, but I assure you, if that huge metal tube lights up in flames, I can evacuate you swiftly and safely, within 90 seconds, burgundy lipstick intact, without a hair singed out-of-place (effortless hair flip).

What drives someone to become a flight attendant in their undergraduate career? My story starts out like any other sappy chick flick. It’s the same story that inspired women like Elizabeth Gilbert to write Eat, Pray, Love, or that Frances lady to irrationally buy an ancient house in Italy and live Under the Tuscan Sun. It’s that timeless story of an unfaithful man and a terribly broken heart.

I met a man who awoken my love from its slumber, but had no intentions of returning his. That within itself is not only heartbreaking, but cruel. After moving to Southern France to be an au pair and forget my woes, I came back for him – only to be left again at the metaphysical altar for some foreign market investment lawyer. Due to a shattered heart, poor cultural integration into the American society as a refugee turned citizen, and an extremely overly priced academic system, I did the only logical thing a newly single wanderlust strapped for cash could do: I became a flight attendant.  

As much as I thought that passing out peanuts and pretzels was simple enough to be done by sloths in their sleep, I confess that flight attending is so much more. Being shipped off to flight school (or what I like to call Barbie Boot camp) was one of the most trying, yet elaborate self-expanding experiences. I was gifted Wings. How was I to know the power and symbolism this ceremonial pinning would have in my life?

Alas, here I am in Delta’s First Class, nice and bronzed, as I ship myself home from the Hawaiian island of Oahu to the Minneapolis tundra, just in time to take a Social Statistics midterm. In less than a year, I have spent New Year’s Eve drinking well-aged red wine under the sparkling Eiffel tower, cliff dove into the Mediterranean Sea with gorgeous Romanian Mermen, stuffed my face with fresh handmade pasta in Italy with my Swiss girlfriends, sipped tea in England with my British partner in crime, and flew to Mexico to indulge a Taco Al Pastor street truck craving. I get to train weekly at my dance studio in New York City, and fly out to Los Angeles for $2.99 sushi roll study dates. The cherry on top of it all is that I still manage to do what I actually love, pushing my intellectual boundaries as a student at the University of Minnesota.

This did not come without sacrifice. My heart is still very much healing. That man eventually came back (they always do),  but I came to my senses when I started to drown swimming with weights, and left him this time around. And not to mention, my mama did not risk her life escaping a war torn country for me to allow myself be torn apart by some man who doesn’t deserve me (get it girl power, thanks mama 😉 ). However, two years of hurt isn’t easily effaced by months of magical travel. I forgive him, and am learning to forgive myself. But I have learned that even shattered pieces can be recreated into a new mosaic wholeness. Leaving a man I thought I couldn’t live without was the catalyst to helping me pursue my higher self. In order to achieve the life we desire, we must be audacious enough to look fear in the face and stride past it, like “Bye Felicia!” Talk to hand!

I may not be in an ashram in India or renovating a house in Tuscany but just like the sappy chick flicks we love, my brokenness led me to the most phenomenal job and most serendipitous series of events. Above all, my brokenness has lead me to … me. Healing has come in drinking coffee on the Parisian streets; gratefulness has sauntered in while hiking 1,048 steps to do yoga with the most breathtaking view of Honolulu. Peace came floating in with the wind while driving solo, sobbing to Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love, in the Mexican desert (lol no shame). So cheers to global mobility and hitching rides on planes the way we hitch rides on buses. And cheers to reading international theories by day, and flying planes by night. Cheers to parents risking their lives so that their children can become Flight Attendants and the first in the family to go to college. I’ll end this entry with this, I still gape with astonishment that someone like me could experience such privileges. Our lives, my beloved readers, is only as abundant as we allow ourselves to make it. We must trust in the synchronicity of the journey. When we allow ourselves to be fearless in the pursuant of our passion and dreams the universe is conspiring in helping us achieve it.

-Love, Light, Namaste

 

 

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