For the last few weeks I have had freedom – freedom from assignments, textbooks and endless hours studying in order to gain a post-graduate teaching qualification.
And during those wonderful weeks of freedom I have had time to reflect upon a life once lived. And a good life it was. Flying around the world, partying in Paris, having slings in Singapore and lunching in LA.
But as the saying goes; all good things must come to an end. And so with wings clipped and and a life now lived with feet firmly planted on the ground, I thought a flying photo essay (the type of essay I prefer) was in order.
How often do we take the time to strip away what can be defined as difficult times, only to reveal a different truth to the one we thought we knew?
Yes, that sentence is quite complex. But think about it. We can often think we’ve been dealt a tough hand, a bad deal, a horrible time.
Define it how you will, but it comes down to thinking life has not always been kind.
This may well be true in part.
But look deeply. Look hard. What do you really find?
Personally. At this moment, as I sit here listening to music and lolling through old images on the 23rd of May, 2014. I come to a realisation about life.
I’ve had an amazing life.
I’m truly one of the lucky ones.
I’ve travelled. I’ve lost. I’ve cried. I’ve laughed.
I’ve LOVED. And I’ve been LOVED.
What more could I want?
Here’s a few of my favourite images, taken by me and for me that depict a great life.
Life truly is amazing!
Here is how the dictionary defines Karma: the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence: viewed as deciding their fate in future existences…
With that being said, it’s important to remember how our behaviour could come back and bite hard in our ‘future existence’.
For one gentleman who had hoped to spend some time in NYC recently, karma certainly bared its teeth and took a big chunk out of his plans and probably his pride.
A friend who was operating on his flight said the gentleman (loosely termed: cough, splutter) in question boarded and proceeded to complain. The food wasn’t hot enough the drinks weren’t cold enough, the service wasn’t good enough the cabin temperature wasn’t right, ah the list went on and on.
Apparently no amount of kindness, service or helpful advice seemed to appease this bothersome man.
So in the end the crew let him rant to his heart’s content, as after all, on arrival in New York they would politely say goodbye, retreat to their 5-star hotel in downtown NYC, and never set eyes on him again.
But they were wrong. They did see him again and this time they were quite pleased to see him doing what he obviously thought he did best: complain!
And his complaint?
Just two little words the steel-faced customs agent had swiftly slapped onto the gentleman’s passport. And those words?
p.s. Thanks (RB) a very special and very lovely friend who told me this tale. 🙂
When settling into your seat to watch the flight attendant deliver the safety demonstration, have you ever thought about what life is like for that flight attendant?
Maybe you haven’t. Or then again, maybe you have. And if so you may have thought how they must truly travel in one of life’s fast lanes. Paris one week, Rome the next. Lazing on a Thai beach before curling up in fresh, crisp sheets on a king size bed in a 5 star hotel. Sounds like a dream right?
From someone who travelled in that lane for close to 25 years, it was life in the fast lane, or as we sometimes said, ‘we live the life of a millionaire, without spending any money – pretty much flying in a nutshell. Well the good bits anyway.
I enjoyed lagers in London, parties in Paris and slings in Singapore. And aside from enjoying the wonderful perks of a high flying job, being a flight attendant was also exciting, rewarding and at times, very humbling.
Sipping caprioskas whilst watching a Roman sunset is exciting. Watching snowflakes float amidst the skyscrapers of New York, before claiming the soil of Ground Zero as their final resting place, as did some 2000 souls on 9/11, is humbling. And seeing a child totally enthralled by the fact that you, the flight attendant have captured clouds in a teapot, is rewarding. (Dry ice + water = instant clouds).
But being a flight attendant can also be very comical.
For instance, try telling an Indian man that the sanitary napkin you gave to the woman sitting next to him was something he really didn’t need? My words were to no avail as his reply, with a swift roll of his head went a little like this. ‘No, I’ll be thinking you’ll be not understanding me madam, I’ll be saying that I’ll be wanting what she is having’ as his head again rolled from side to side. I repeated my words, but they were in vain for he seemed relentless in his pursuit, so in the end I gave up and gave him his much needed package, and as I passed it over I wondered just what he would do with the contents. On my next walk through the cabin, my question was answered. There he was, sitting ever so proudly, with a very large, very white sanitary napkin firmly placed across his eyes! He had peeled off the adhesive label and quite obviously decided that this strange white object was the latest design in airline eye masks. At that moment, between holding back fits of laughter, I was so thankful that he didn’t discover the little white numbers that were housed in the same package and decide to use them as ‘earplugs’.
Flying truly was a beautiful blend of the good, the bad and the downright ridiculous. And for those of you who have aspirations to try life in that fast lane, I strongly encourage it.
I lived in that lane for many years, and loved it. Then I began to question which lane was really the more important one to travel in, fast or family?
So now instead of sipping cappuccinos in Rome, seeing rhinos in the wilds of Africa and waking to the sounds of street hawkers in Singapore, I now wake to the sounds of my beautiful children starting the day and my beloved dogs panting excitedly and the prospect of going for their daily walk.
Yes, I was hostie and I lived in the fast lane and loved it.
I’ve not had much time to devote to WordPress of late for I’ve begun a new chapter or maybe I could say, snapshot of my life. After many, many years serving the masses in a silver tube, I’ve hung up my wings and entered the world of ESL teaching. And with that has come study, and lots of it. This teaching gig is tough, in some ways tougher than doing my journalism degree. Or maybe I’m just out of sync with study – need to retrain the brain.
But I did take some time yesterday to look at some snapshots, some snapshots of my life. I smiled, I laughed and I cried as I reminisced over special times with special people.
Have you ever stopped to look at the ‘snapshots’ of your life? Looked at images that evoked memories?
My beautiful children, my amazing family, my incredible friends… I have been lucky to have lived an amazing life so far: travelled to incredible places, experienced irreplaceable moments and loved by beautiful people. Near front row seats at the World Cup, cocktails on a rooftop bar in Capetown, shaking hands with famous people who made a difference, safaris in Africa, white xmas’s,European holidays with my fabulous niece and sons and being able to say I love you to those I love.
Sometimes we think life can deal us a cruel hand: sometimes it does, but look closely at the snapshots, you’ll see that life is what it is: beautiful, sad, funny, frustrating, but mostly, it’s full of love.
To the amazing people who have made my lifes’ snapshots so far, so incredibly beautiful – Merry Christmas to you all and most of all, stay safe, stay happy and stay smiling for your snapshots… xoxo