Year Four. Month Six. #PNW.

Here's to the broken-hearted.

Here's to those of you who got the "TBNT" e-mail.

(You know the one I'm talking about.)

Here's to that seventh interview.

Here's to the cattle call where you didn't even make it past the first round.

Here's to the fifth-week-of-training dropouts.

Here's to those of you who know exactly which test question you marked incorrectly.

(And you'll never forget it.)

Here's to that one failed drill.

Even the best and brightest get test anxiety. :/

Here's to all the "wrong" answers that sent you packing, sent you home, sent you away from your dream.

Here's to throwing up your hands and yelling to the high heavens: "What the hell do I do now?"

I hear you.

And this isn't going to be the pep talk you that were expecting.

The airline industry is full of doors closing right in your face. Not getting an interview. Not getting a CJO. Not making it through training. Not getting the base you want, or even a base that you can feasibly commute to or even afford. Not making enough money to stay off of food stamps. NEVER getting enough sleep. Not making it through probation. Not making up enough hours after all those sick calls to get your quarterly minimums. Not making your commuter flight. Not making it to work on time. Not making your flight home. Not holding back tears when it all gets to be just ... too. much.

So many planes, too few gates, not enough time.

The other night: I'm called out to work a flight from Portland to Los Angeles. The inbound aircraft is late, the flight is packed, we begin boarding late, we are out of everyone's favorite cheese plate, we get to LAX just as everyone else does so we sit on the tarmac for almost an hour. We can't find our hotel shuttle. We call and call and call. There's no answer. It's past midnight. My face and heart and brain are melting from all the pollution and noise and heat. We finally get on the shuttle and after five stops, it gets us to our hotel with less than eight hours until we need to wake up again. The next morning is going to be a Cabo turn and we are straight up injecting the caffeine into our veins just to psych ourselves up for a long day. On the way back we hit turbulent air and even more turbulent passengers. A family refuses to sit down and buckle up and I am at my wits end trying to convince a mother to get her child into a seat. We land, spend another hour on the tarmac and then I run, run, run through customs (the line is so long), the strange underground tunnels at LAX and back through security ("you're our random pick for extra screening today!"), back to Terminal 6 and up to my gate for my flight back home ...

TFW: You have to look down at those shiny heels just to hide the tears.

And it's closed. I've missed it by a minute.
I'm sweating and breathing heavy and my vision is blurry and I just lose it. I cry in front of the boarding agent and in front of passengers and I'm just so embarrassed.

Another door closed.

As I sit in the boarding area and attempt to collect myself, I look up at the television screens throughout the airport. Red alerts are blaring across all channels, the hurricane in Texas is hitting harder than anyone thought possible. People are standing on the roofs of cars, screaming for help. The roads are blocked.

And all the Houston area airports are closed.

And it hits me. There will be another flight for me. This is only a 'little problem.'

Rain, rain, please go away. </3

Back at home in Washington the next day:
We have sold our lovely home on our little island in anticipation of buying our dream mini farm. Step after step has gone as smoothly as possible: pre-approvals, agents, inspections, counter offers, acceptance, mutual and then the appraisal.

But today we've hit a roadblock. While our current house has sold just fine, our dream home has slipped through the cracks in our fingers. As I type this I am looking at the stacks of boxes that we will be putting into storage in a few days, because now we have nowhere to live.

It's heartbreaking for us.

But this heartbreak is temporary.

Reserve is temporary. This week is temporary.

Rotator cuff injury = Temporary annoyance. I knew I'd get my wing back.

The long drives to the airport, the missed commutes, the lack of sleep and busy summer flying won't last forever.

My house is neatly packed into boxes, awaiting my next home.

But many folks in Houston didn't have a chance to pack up their memories into tidy little boxes.

Texas, your heartbreak is real and tangible. Your loss is insurmountable and I ache for those of you who have lost your homes, memories, and even loved ones.

For all of us not in Texas, not affected by Harvey, let's remember a few things:

There will be another interview.

There will be another chance to go to training.

There will be another shot at your dream airline.

It took three interviews over five years but I landed my dream job! Don't give up hope, friends!

There will be another test, and although you'll have to work your 'AFT' off to get back to training, you'll do it.

There will be a better schedule in your future.

There will be another dream house.

There will be better things in your future.

No matter what door has been closed for you this week, remember the things that you do have.

And please, donate to those folks who don't have it so good.

After the rain. Stay #TexasStrong, friends. #IAH #HOU #IWS #EFD <3 <3 <3

Sending love and support from Washington to Texas.

Let's open doors for Houston.


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