When I was a little girl and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always the same, a Stewardess (Flight Attendant). But back then they had a height/weight restriction and you couldn’t be married. I’m sure in my 20’s when the restrictions weren’t so harsh that I could of pursued this career. However, life took me on another path and I would never think of this career dream again until I was in my late 40’s.
In the beginning of 2014 I was working at Enterprise-Rent-A-Car as a Re-marketing Driver. One day they had an opening for a Receptionist position. I applied for that position and was going through training when out of the blue one of the upper bosses had said to me, “You’re such a good looking woman who is smart, why are you here?” After that day I really started to ponder on what he said. Why was I here at this job? I’m still technically young, don’t I want more out of life? It was then that I chose to make a pivotal shift in my life, so I went on a quest. In the beginning of 2015 I started applying for a career as a Flight Attendant. The career that I had always dreamed about when I was a little girl.
I think I filled out applications for every major airline and even the regional ones. It wasn’t even a month into applying for that position when I received an invitation for the open house in Atlanta, GA. for Delta Airlines. I was so excited to receive the invite but knew that I had no clue about this aviation world. So not to be a negative Nancy but I kept my expectations low of getting hired with Delta. I figured if I get it, I get it. My plan was just to attend this opportunity and observe how everyone looks, acts and take as many notes as I could. On that day of the interview I did find out that I wasn’t accepted to their training and I was okay with that. I was just grateful for the invite, had a great experience and it taught me so much.
I ended up going back home to continue my search but kept diligent with applying for that position. It was maybe a month later that I had Mesa Airlines call me for a video conference interview. I was so nervous and tried to make sure that there wasn’t going to be any interruptions during that call. But what I’ve learned in my life is to always expect the unexpected. So it didn’t come as a surprise when half-way through my interview my doorbell rang. I felt so awkward about the interruption and profusely apologized to the lady interviewing me. I told her let me see who it is and get rid of them. It was some guy selling something but I was abrupt with him and told him to come back later. I surely thought that this was going to damper my chances of having a successful interview. To my surprise it didn’t or I must of really sold myself, because before I got off that call I was invited to Mesa, AZ. for their three week training class. While I was there for training I felt like I was at a fraternity house rather than a airline training class. So after a week, I made the decision to leave Mesa Airlines and go back home. It was probably for the best and I believe they are the lowest paying airline so I felt like it was no big deal.
Within a short period of time the next airline that would invite me to their training was Silver Airways, which is a regional airline. I went through the process of the interview and got invited to their Flight Attendant training class. The training was for almost three weeks down in Ft Lauderdale, FL. I did graduate from the class but I still had to earn my wings. In order to finish this training I had to do a two day trip with another Flight Attendant supervising me. There are more details to this story but it will all be in my book. Let’s just say for now, that because of safety and integrity issues I had decided to leave Silver Airways while I was on my two day trip.
So here I was once again going back home, although this time I was heartbroken. This was my dream career as a little girl that I never imagined I would be perusing in my 40’s. But now here I was given the opportunity to go to two Flight Attendant training classes and for my own good reasons, decided to leave both. At this point I started to wonder if the Universe just didn’t have this career planned for me in my life. Eventually I picked my self up and did a couple more interviews for other airlines. To name a few there was Spirit, Jet Blue, United, American Airlines and Allegiant, but in the end I didn’t get accepted to their training classes. I would like to mention that when I did my interview with American Airlines, I would of been accepted to their training but they denied me because of my wrist tattoo (a lot of airlines won’t accept you into their training if you have visible tattoos). However, they said if I get the tattoo removed then I could come back and go to their training class. I chose to be me at all cost and kept the wrist tattoo.
By Fall of 2016, it had been already two years of chasing this dream, constantly revamping my resume, myself and spending tons of money on flights, hotels and suits. I had now come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t fill out any more applications. However, there was still one application that I sent out over a year ago that I hadn’t heard back from… that company was Southwest Airlines. As my frustrations of failure to achieve this career were coming to an end of this journey, I gave myself a reality check. I had decide to tell my husband that I’m throwing up the white flag and was done chasing this dream. It came to the point where I just needed to find a job. I had continued to tell him that I am going to through it up to the Universe and see what happens. Well, a few days later I went out into my backyard, paused for a moment, did some self-reflection and then said out loud, “If it’s meant to be, I’m fine with that. If it’s not meant to be, I’m fine with that too. I put it out to you Universe to decide.” After that day I didn’t think twice about pursing that career again.
From there on I tried to except reality and chose to keep moving forward. I even came to realization that even though you dream of becoming something when you’re younger, that sometimes it’s not necessarily meant that you will become that or can do it when you’re older. Not too long after all of that I did get a job as a Home Health Aide for Alzheimer clients. It was great job, I loved my clients, the stories that they would tell me (they were aging from 80-90 years old) and feeling like I can be helpful to someone in need. In reality, I actually think they helped me more than I helped them. I really loved the fact of being in the medical field that I started to plan a goal by going back to school and becoming a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant). I ended up going to my local college, talking with a counselor, took their entry exam, selected my classes and even got my parking pass for the campus. It was only weeks before I would start my classes when I got the most important call ever while I was at a clients home.
Here’s where the Universe can be so kind… It was Southwest Airlines People’s Department calling me to schedule a two on one interview in Batimore, MD. for their Flight Attendant Training class! I was taken off guard by the call because I had totally forgot about the application but I was also thrilled to get the call! To shorten this story, I went to Baltimore to do my interview and got accepted to their five week training class in Jan. 2017, held at their headquarters in Dallas, TX. You can’t even imagine the excitement I was feeling after two years of pursing this career. All I could think about was how great it was that I will get to start my new year off with another chance (third to be exact) to obtain this career. As I said before, in my book there will be more details of my life blogs but for now, if you have been following me on Facebook or Instagram… you know that I did end up passing that class and it’s coming up on four years that I’ve been a Flight Attendant with Southwest Airlines!!! So the moral of this blog is “Your never too old to fulfill your dreams!”
I would like to add to this story before I end this blog… I am so grateful to my ex-husband Eric, for holding down the household, being patient and helping me financially to achieve this dream career of mine. So on that note, THANK YOU ERIC!!!
“You’re never to old to follow your dreams. It’s never too late to embark on a new adventure. Life is so short. Don’t die wondering, what if?… ~ Unknown Author