Monday, August 25, 2008

The End of an Era

I watch The Hills

There. I said it. I know. I realize that there are a few of you that are not going to be my friend anymore and I just want to say that it has been great knowing you. I am so sorry to have disappointed you. 

For those of you who haven't given up on me yet, here's the rest of the story....

Matt usually gives me a look of pity and then leaves the room whenever it comes on. Despite this shameful admission, I just need to say that I am invested in the lives of these people. I think it is because these young kids (1o years younger than me) have all this money and style and are so put together. And they really seem to know what they want and who they are. They have their own clothing/jewelry/handbag lines for heaven's sake.

I think back to when I was 21 and I know that I didn't have that kind of self-awareness. Not only did I not truly know who I was yet, but I didn't even know what I wanted. Or how to get there. 

When I was a senior in college a relationship that I was deeply invested in (for reasons I can't even remember now) ended. At the time I just wasn't sure what to do. He had been a constant in my life for 4 years and I wasn't sure who I was without him. I wasn't sure what I was going to do after I graduated because being a teacher suddenly sounded like prison to me. I didn't want to go to the same place every day and see the same people. Suddenly I felt like I couldn't breathe and I needed to do something completely different to try and shake the pain, regret, and memories from this relationship and figure out what I wanted out of life. 

So at the suggestion of my father, who traveled a lot for work at the time, I became a flight attendant. Man, did my life change. It didn't look anything like the life I would have had with the guy I couldn't imagine living without. Suddenly I was living in New York City. I was a regular at the Louvre in Paris, at the beach in LA, in the shops of England, on the streets of Manhattan, and in the mountains of Colorado. I met people that changed me and shaped me. I saw more places and learned more about people and culture than I ever would have imagined. (and no question that I saw more than a lifetime worth of rats in NY. holy cow)

I still mourned the death of the relationship that I had with the only man I had ever loved, but I was starting to learn who I was and what I was about. It was clear that the person I was becoming would have suffocated in that relationship over time. I am too headstrong. I am too much of a leader. I enjoy being an equal partner in every sense of the word. And it turns out that I lean to the left a little in the political arena. (that would have NEVER worked for the college guy) 

After I became confident in who I was, I was fortunate enough to meet another man that I fell in love with. By that time I had figured a few things out. I knew what I wanted and I knew what I could accept and what I couldn't accept from a potential partner. I think that would make things tough for any guy, but Matt wasn't afraid of any of that. He only knew the independent me. He only knew the person who is adventurous and well traveled. He only knew the gal who made decisions on her own and didn't let her fear of losing him change her mind on things she believed in. I'm glad he was up for the challenge. I met him at the perfect time and things just fell into place with us.

I may not have my own clothing line and I am certainly not living the high life in Beverly Hills, but I am so glad about the way things have turned out for me. 

I guess I bring this up because at the end of this month I will officially no longer be employed with Delta. I have been on a furlough status for the last 5 years and it runs out on September 1st. The days of free travel are over. But I am so glad for the time I had traveling around the country and the world. I'm thankful for my French and Russian visas. I love that my passport is so full of stamps from places far away. Those years as a flight attendant helped me discover who I am and what I want out of life. 

Now I am so happy that I have been able to use my degree in the work that I currently do. I'm so glad for the time I have with my family and friends because I am home every night. It may not be Beverly Hills and I may not have my own clothing line, but it is perfect for me.

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