The Conflict of Starting Over, Again

So the last few months have brought about many changes and like most change it doesn’t seem to come at a “good” time. On the heels of my 40th Birthday, I find myself unemployed and wondering where the next path will lead me. Anyone who knows me probably has as much insight about the next direction in my life as I do, simply put, I am anything but predictable.

In 1994, when I was enrolled to become a school teacher I thought I had it pretty much figured out. Then a friend of mine happened to push a little button and start a spark that would explode into the adventure of a lifetime. It was suggested that I apply for a job as a Flight Attendant with a charter company I had never heard of, but apparently they had never hit my radar since I had never really been anywhere. To make a long story short, I applied, he never showed up for the interview and I got hired. Thus began my life as an airline gypsy. Well, for the next 7 years anyway.

In 2002, I made the decision to leave the airline biz and go back to school. I wanted to feel like I was contributing something to society and at the time I didn’t see how I could do that and fly all over the world. I didn’t look closely enough I guess. As it turned out, I ended up taking some courses in conflict resolution and again, a spark lit something inside me and a new passion emerged.

When I graduated from Arizona State University in 2005, my life was upside down. My personal life was in shambles and I had no prospects for work. I packed up my 10 year life in Arizona and moved north to Utah to be around my family and start to rebuild my life. As the months droned on I was faced with the opportunity to travel to Africa with a group from ASU. So after months of self-reflection and aimless wandering I set off for Cape Town, rejuvenated in my passion for traveling to far off places, with the opportunity to delve deeper into the field of conflict resolution, peace-building and the amazing power of forgiveness.

I often refer to my time in Cape Town as “My Africa.” It was place of deep understanding and personal growth. I had never felt so “at home,” anywhere in the world before. I could have stayed forever. I didn’t stay forever, and when I came back to Utah, I was again pushed in the direction to find something meaningful to direct my energy and time. In January 2007, I began a graduate program at Woodbury College in Vermont and in June of 2008, I finished my Masters Degree in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies.

In 2010, itching to have my wings back I stumbled upon another charter airline (one I had never heard of) and applied, was hired, and went to training at the end of February 2011. What a ride that was. I saw many of the same places I had seen with my other airline, and many more I hadn’t. It was a strange place to work, unlike anything I had experienced before. Then, in keeping with their motto of flexibility and unpredictability, I was furloughed in February of this year, and for those of you outside of the “business,” it means I sit and wait until they have enough flying to keep paying us.

So here I sit with a world of opportunities before me, and yet I can’t see one.

“If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind wanders.” -unknown-