Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Adventure

It's certainly been a while since I've been here. I've given all the excuses, busy with work, school, etc., but now the words are pooling in my head and they need a way out.

Things have changed a lot in the past year. Some things for the better, some still to be determined. There have been challenges and triumphs of course, but also a fair amount of soul-searching.

I'm graduating this [rapidly approaching] May. Now what?

A relationship I thought was going to last a lifetime fizzled out (mutually, and we're still friends). All the things I thought I knew and I thought I wanted are now in question.

So I start this school year alone in many ways. I'm in an apartment by myself, which is, of course, a double-edged sword. I love the privacy and space, but I do miss the social aspect. I'm forcing myself to embrace the solitude to really think about who I am, who I want to be, what I want to do, and where I want to go.

"If I were smart" is a phrase I've been thinking and saying a lot lately. If I were smart, I'd be an air traffic controller. If I were smart, I'd go to work for an ad agency. If I were smart . . .

And I guess here's a realization--it's not that I'm not smart enough to do the above. It's that, in some way, I'm not ready to do that. I've been spoiled by the experience of aviation and I'm not ready to sit down and have it take a back seat.

By all measures, that's not a well-advised stand to take. The wise thing to do would be to take a good-paying "normal" job, save up for my airplane, a house, a car, etc., and put money away for retirement. However, this is part of what has led me to where I am. I'm not ready to give up having my little yellow airplane to have a house. There's nothing wrong with those goals--I'm just not prepared for them yet.

So I sit back and take solace in the advice of a corporate pilot I know. "Experience these things while you're young," he said to me. "Because otherwise life happens, and you sit back and wonder where the time went. I always figured I'd finish college, and I still want to go to Alaska and be a bush pilot. There's always time to find jobs like this."

And then I ponder a little more and recall this quote by Mark Twain: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

I have the world's best friends and myriad opportunities to chase around in airplanes. So let's go, let's wander outside the comfort zone--no, let's barrel right through it and see where we end up. There's plenty of time to work but not an abundance of time to explore and experience. Here's to the adventure :)