sooner rather than later

When I wrote “soon to be airline pilot”, I really had no idea when or where that would actually happen. It was a distant almost non existent possibility that I would one day become an airline pilot. In a string of events that are as unlikely as they were incredibly lucky, I have landed myself in a training class.

I completed and submitted an application on a whim. I made a bet with myself, or more so a deal. I had plans laid to quit my job and go back to school. I was already accepted and had financial aid lined up to attend Boise State college back home in Idaho. I was a little apprehensive about giving up my dream job that I had worked so hard for, but I was getting burned out and frustrated. I had been running in circles flight instructing. I don’t want to say that I’ve experienced all there is to ever see in the flight instruction world, but I was ready for a change. I had been instructing for 3 years, and had worked nearly every aspect allowable at the company. I had the privilege of teaching many different students, from different countries, in different airplanes with different procedures. I pretty much did it all.

I am very grateful for the experience I gained as a flight instructor, and especially the growth I made on a personal level. I did a lot of growing up there, and I left a completely different person in some ways. I did some pretty crazy, pretty stupid things, but I’ve learned a lot about myself.

After filling out and submitting the application, I pretty much never expected to even hear back from the company. The industry was pretty much at a stand still, and I was sure that it would be months, if not years, before anybody started hiring again.

Well I was wrong.

The day after I submitted my application the company announced thy would be hiring. A lot. I couldn’t believe it. Not only were they hiring, but they want to hire for the rest of the year. For a moment, I got excited. Then I remembered how excited I got when I got hired by multiple airlines and cargo operators in 2008. I tried to stay grounded this time. I was excited still, but I didn’t let it consume me. I tried to stay positive, yet reserved.

I waited a few weeks, and the time ate away at my confidence. I felt qualified and ready for this job, but I started doubting myself. I doubted the quality of my resume in the desperate economy. My positive outlook and upbeat attitude starting to fade and erode. I started thinking more and more about college, and how it wouldn’t be bad for me to go back to school. As much as you try to not think about the possibilities, you can’t help but daydream how your life will change with such decisions and opportunities.

That is at least, until I got the phone call.

Do you remember Christmas morning as a kid? That adrenaline rush that started in your chest, and flowed to your fingers and toes? The pure feeling of joy and fulfillment? It was like that. Multiplied by a bajillion.

I couldn’t feel anything.

Well, here I am. Doing it. Living it. I’m finally here.

Next week we start aircraft specific systems class, where I will learn the ins-and-outs of every nut, bolt and rivet. So far we’ve learned all about company procedures and policies, all the boring stuff. Or as I refer to, the many different ways to lose my job. Lots of phrased that include “must do XXXX” and “shall never do XXXX”. Those precious gems of information will hopefully keep me employed long into the future.

The first flight I ever logged was on July 5th, 2003.
I soloed an aircraft for the first time on August 12th, 2003.
I first flew as the instructor pilot on May 3rd, 2007.
I flew one thousand, eight hundred and fifty one hours as instructor.
I first flew a regional jet on _________________.

So begins the next chapter.