Since I can’t seem to keep up with blogging for anything these days, allow me to update you on the highlights. This will seem to go further back in time than necessary but I promise my reasoning is somewhat linear and coherent. Mostly.
Part I: LET’S TOTALLY PROCREATE
It’s no secret to anyone who’s talked to me for five minutes in the last two years that I’ve had serious Baby Fever. All I could think about was having a baby and being a mom, but with Zack in school and our life being in a constant state of transition and near-poverty, having a baby seemed a tad irresponsible.
In August we were sort of jolted by events that I am not at liberty to share here to start seriously considering the possibility of getting me knocked up. And we decided to go for it. I chucked my pill pack and we spent September doing it like bunnies (sorry Mom!) and I peed on some ridiculous number of sticks for no reason because I was not pregnant.
Part II: GAAAAH PHBBBBBTNEVERMIND!!!1!
It turns out I am kind of a lunatic. Also indecisive.
While we were trying to conceive our precious snowflake offspring I lived as if I was already pregnant: no booze, vitamins every day, no booze, no artificial sweeteners, balanced and healthy meals, moderate exercise and OH HAI, DID I MENTION NO BOOZE?
I realized during this time that I am not ready to give up my whole life to a child, no matter how awesome it would be to have one. If I turned up pregnant tomorrow I would be over the freaking moon, but if I am making a conscious choice, I want to take some time, while neither of us are in school and we have a little extra money to play with, to have fun. I want to be able to go out with our friends and not have to worry about being home in time to relieve the sitter. I want to travel and buy a house and not feel like we are rushing into something and giving up time that we can never get back.
Kids are awesome and I definitely want a couple in the not-too-distant future. Zack is on board with this plan. It just took the real life possibility of being pregnant for me to be able to ‘fess up to myself that I am not quite as ready as I thought.
Part III: SCHOOL’S OUT FOREVER!
Somewhere around mid-Octoberish, I decided that as much as I love kids, I don’t want to work with them full-time anymore. And I certainly don’t want to work with them while I have my own small children at home. Mommy will need a fucking mental break, kids. Now where’s my martini?
I realized that the longer I stayed at my job teaching preschool, the more likely it was that I’d only be qualified to teach preschool. I looked into grad school for teaching older kids, but I am extremely protective of my time off and I know that as a teacher of any age group, your free time is often sacrificed to grading and lesson planning. That’s on top of whatever extracurricular activities you head up. Thus teaching in general didn’t make the cut for my long-term career goals, much as I could have enjoyed many aspects of it (and continue to admire those who choose it as a career).
While all this was happening Zack’s aunt, who’s a flight attendant for a small regional carrier and knew I was looking to make a change, encouraged me to attend an open house in November, which I somewhat reluctantly did. By the end of the open house I had an offer to attend the three-and-a-half week training in Memphis to become a flight attendant, a job that had never been on my radar as even a potential possibility.
The next day I gave notice at the preschool, despite feeling like I was probably definitely going to hate this.
PART IV: TURBULENCE
Training was sort of the emotional equivalent of chewing on rusty nails.
Nothing pisses me off like people dicking around and being unorganized when they expect the utmost level of punctuality and organization from me. Add to the mix a couple of classmates who had no idea how to be students or take tests and I was pretty much one giant ragey beast for the first week. I also spent a ton of time crying on the phone to Zack and devoted an impressive amount of mental energy to wishing I was home. Secretly, I didn’t think I was going to make it.
Sometime around the halfway mark three things happened: I gave myself a mental bitch slap and decided I was going to give the job a chance, I became closer with a woman from my class who’d wanted to be a flight attendant her whole life, and I made friends with the pilot class who was in training down the hall. Getting my own attitude in check happened mostly as a result of meeting people who have a serious love of the airline industry and a passion for their jobs.
I finished training, had a blaaaaast learning to salsa dance in downtown Memphis, and made it home just in time for Christmas.
Part V: NO ONE IS MORE SURPRISED THAN I AM, BELIEVE YOU ME.
Before becoming one (and even during training, a bit) I had perhaps not-so-secretly considered flight attendants to be nothing more than waitresses in the air. I was faintly disdainful and a little nervous about telling people what I was off in Memphis training for. I was even more nervous about what people might think when they found out that *I* was a flight attendant.
The thing most people don’t realize is that while flight attendants are there to make your trip more comfortable, mostly we are there to save your ass in the event of an emergency. By and large my training focused on being prepared to command an evacuation of the aircraft and what to do in the event that someone has a medical emergency in flight, not to mention all the FAA regulations we are required to know and follow for safety purposes. Did I mention that on the particular planes that I fly, I am the only flight attendant? I left training with a new respect for flight attendants and a new pride in what I’d spent an enormous amount of time and energy accomplishing
So far I’m loving the job. Mostly I sit on call at the airport and read, watch movies, sleep, or wander. I chat with pilots and other flight attendants and everyone is welcoming and friendly. When we fly it’s almost always with a different crew so everyone seems to have this wonderful ability to get comfortable with new people quickly. I haven’t had anything too dramatic happen with passengers but I’m sure my time will come.
I’m being stretched and challenged in ways that are really good for me, I think. I’m learning to be more flexible and how to be okay being away from home and away from Zack sometimes. I’m becoming more emotionally independent and that’s something I was looking forward to working on. Can we also discuss the FREE TRAVEL BENEFITS that Zack and I now get?! Because those are a-fucking-mazing.
Zack is in his third week at the law firm now, speaking of new jobs. We can hardly believe it; he’s been looking toward this since the beginning of our relationship, almost five years now! So far he has a lot of work and it’s interesting and he likes it. His hours aren’t as treacherous as we feared but that could change depending on his caseload.
On the job front, we are 2 for 2 at the moment and we feel very, very blessed.
PART VI: OH MY HELL, WE ARE INVESTING IN REAL ESTATE, TOO
Oh my God, you guys. There is a level of crazy up in here that is likely toxic. On top of both of us starting new careers, we decided to go ahead and buy a house. On the Mississippi River. Like, a mile down the road from Zack’s parents. Because we are crazy.
We signed up to receive emails about listings in a particular area on the river and have been watching that market for about two years now. In early September this little gem appeared on the list, but waaaay out of any price range that would be doable for us, probably ever. And then we proceeded to watch that price free fall over the next three months until it was listed at a price that we could realistically consider. We attended an open house and fell hard. It is THE DREAM FOREVER HOUSE. It has everything we both want in a home, right down to my silly wish of having exposed brick in the kitchen. THIS HOUSE HAS AN ENTIRE BRICK WALL IN THE KITCHEN. It needs some updating but we could honestly live in this house for the rest of our lives.
We close February 4th.
As you can see, the stress levels are pretty much through the roof around here lately. It’s good stress but still. STRESS!!!!! We are so busy with our jobs and trying to find time to pack and worrying about mortgages and schedules and OH, RIGHT, PROBABLY WANTED DINNER TONIGHT, HUH? We are holding on for dear life and telling ourselves that it’ll all be worth it in the end.
And it will be.