I haven’t written on here in forever but I am feeling a need to recently. Not because of things with my pilot but because of my own pilot-ness! I get to say that (sort of) now. I’ve recently begun flight lessons. It’s an exciting experience and one I’ve been looking forward to for awhile now. It took me forever to convince the boyfriend it was a good idea and not a waste of money (talk about loving what you do?). But I planned it all out and bucked it up and scheduled a lesson. That was in the beginning of February. It was suppose to be end of January but the weather had other plans for me.
My first flight lesson was wonderful. I did most of the flying and it was fun and addicting! I wanted to learn as much as I could. I read a bunch before the flight and afterwards and I couldn’t wait to get up in the air again. But again the weather had other plans and just recently got back up in the air. Doing steep turns feel so weird but it’s great. Being in control is so fun. It’s a freeing experience.
In my second lesson, we also did my first stall. Something I wasn’t looking forward to at all, but it wasn’t too bad. I understand what I’m reading a bit better now and ready to tackle them more for the third lesson. Sadly, which has to wait due to my instructors corporate job and my own vacation. I can’t wait to get serious about flying though.
There are many similarities between working in the commercial aviation business and the professional theater world. I am always shocked to find the new ways our jobs are similar. What we do in our jobs may vastly differ in ways but the “culture” of the business doesn’t. The concern it seems always with pilot wives/girlfriends/etc is cheating and sleeping with flight attendants. Fidelity isn’t strong within the theater world, I know the proof of this, not so much within the airline business. Marriage isn’t sacred to some people, and doesn’t magically have someone keep it in their pants. I see married men sleep with other women all the time (my friends do it, I don’t condone it though). Knowing this exists in my own industry and that I am apart from it actually helps me not be that jealous girlfriend. If I can refrain from that activity so can he, if it exists in his world as well.
The other similarities that make life easier for the both of us is scheduling. While he is gone for 4 days out of the week, I work a little bit for 6 days of the week at night. It helps not having a 9-5 job. We understand the odd schedule we both keep that so many people judge us for and make us “undate-able” for many others.
One other funny thing is our unions, they both suck. I feel bad because Actor’s Equity isn’t a strong union but looks so good compared to the pilot’s union. It’s a fun bonding point.
There are always things to find similar between our careers and it’s fun and exciting that we can bond so much through that. Not everyone could, but two people in unique jobs can.
So, it finally happened. He wasn’t able to come home due to weather and was stuck out of the country. I knew it was bound to happen and it will probably happen countless other times in the future. Yes, it was disappointing but I survived. It wasn’t so bad since he was coming home late and now he was to return home before I would even be up in the morning.
This just proved to me to not base my life off his schedule. I had not really planned anything for the evening except for waiting for him. I was able to hang out and find other things to do to occupy my time and keep my mind off I had to wait 10 hours longer to see him. It was a good lesson to learn, you never know what is going to happen with the weather and since it has such an affect on his job it will always be that.
The upside of this story is the recent snow storm. I felt jipped out of time with him because of earlier in the week, I also worked during the week so it cut the time we’ve been use to short. But a pleasant surprise his early flight was cancelled! Instead of leaving at 6am he got to leave at 2pm, giving us lots of extra time together. So it almost evened out in the end in one week. It was nice, I realize it won’t always be this way, but it’s always nice when things like this work out.
I am glad that my boyfriend is a line-holder (a pilot that flies 4 days a week) verses being on reserve where he could be called in at any time during a certain number of days. But then that comes with “Day 3 blues” as we have begun to call it. His trips are 4 days and by the third day is when we are feeling the distance. As with grief, each day seems to have its own stages.
Day 1: Saying goodbye is sad, we seem to text more often saying how much we miss one another and cannot wait to see each other again.
Day 2: We’re both in the swing of things. He’s almost half way through his trip, I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing, whether it be work, errands, or enjoying my alone time.
Day 3: This is the rough one. It’s still a over a day before he comes home yet more than half way through the work week. There isn’t much to do to get over this day.
Day 4: Slowest day of the week. Every hour that goes by is so slow. And god forbid he gets delayed! That just makes it all the worse.
I realize that our relationship is still relatively new but if we make it through this will be how my life is like and yes, it’s hard to deal with some times, but I love him and my time with him makes up for the four days he’s gone.
Timing is everything, especially when your significant other is gone for most of the week. This story goes back a few months ago but it was brought up again recently and I felt this was important. My mom had called me earlier in the day, but I was at work so didn’t answer, the boy was coming home from a trip later that evening. I was killing some time by making cupcakes to surprise him when my mom called again. I got the bad news that my grandfather had passed away. My mom, and me too, of course, was so happy that he was coming home that night. He was actually on the bus back so would be home in less than 30 minutes. It was as perfect as that situation could have been.
I am still so grateful it worked out that way. He was able to be there and console me soon after I had found out, but I realize that won’t always be the situation. He went on an overnight the next day, I was still upset and cried by myself. When I told him he said he was worried that would happen, and it always will probably. I understand and accept it. He won’t always physically be present when I need him, but luckily with technology, if he isn’t in the middle of flying I will be able to hear his voice or see him. This is why it is important to realize that timing is everything and having friends and family around you to support you when your pilot isn’t there is key.
Pilot stereotypes are always brought up when it comes out I am dating one. Never once did I really worry about them though. I remember when I was about to go on a first date with him, I told my co-workers about it and one asked “Is he really a pilot? Are you sure he’s not lying to seem cool?” Frankly, that thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. Why would anyone lie about that? I second guessed myself for a moment, but let it go. On our second date, we were sitting on a park bench talking and the topic came up. He told me that it is hard because when he meets someone new and it comes up he’s a pilot, people either thing a) he’s lying or b) he’s a player. Both these seem to be left over from the “Golden Age of Flying” the days of Pan Am and flight attendants being a glamorous job filled by only sexy women and pilots were looked up to and men who could get anything by wearing their uniform around. I immediately responded in our conversation about being a player and cheating. I told him it’s not the profession that makes someone cheat but the person, he adamantly agreed. It’s the truth. Just because he has that job does not mean he will cheat. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, it does, but not every pilot cheats and is a player. He has told me that some men he flies with believes if it’s in a different state it’s not cheating, he does not believe that though. I trust him completely. It is the person that it depends on 100%. The other side to this stereotype is that for me it would be easy to cheat as well, many times that is forgotten. Again, it depends on the person. I will not be bringing any other men to my apartment though.
I am new to blogging. I am still new to dating a pilot, but wanted to start this blog anyway. I may not be the most knowledgeable but this is a way to cope. I love the fact he is a pilot, I love that he loves what he does. I don’t mind him being away at least four days a week. It’s not so much coping but sharing my experience and while sharing it that it will help others cope and make my life easier when the difficult times come (because from what I understand they are to come in every pilot’s life.)
So, a bit about our lives. He’s an FO on a regional airline for about a year. I work in theater in New York, so I understand odd schedules and not exactly ever having a secure job. Our relationship is only a few months old but amazing thus far. He has helped me through some major emotional struggles already and I know there are possibly some airline troubles to come and I want nothing more to be able to support him through it all. We both LOVE what we do, and that makes all the difference. We have followed our passions and are able to be working professionals, it is amazing.
There are many perks to dating a pilot. You get to have alone time, this is only a perk if you are an independent person. I have my own career which takes a lot of time on the weekends, so I love that he normally works on the weekends due to his seniority. I do get lonely at night but I enjoy having that time not worrying about anything but myself. It forces me to get all my errands out of the way in a certain time period so I can actually enjoy all my time with him when he’s back. My other favorite thing is seeing him in his uniform. I love looking at him in it, I know it’s such a girl thing but I don’t care. I’m still not over seeing him in it. The only sad thing is seeing him in it at 5am right before he’s about to leave for a trip. That’s not so fun.
Well, that’s all for now. I want to use this blog to post more often and not just about my pilot but as a whole picture and how that effects my life. More to come soon!