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Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Memories {#2} Flying the friendly skies....

So I'm linking up with my good friend, Nicole for my Monday Memories. (If you're a blogger and you have a memory, you should join us!) Just follow the link on her name to get to her blog.

So I know some people are posting current things that are happening in their worlds that they want to commit to memory, but I kind of feel like that's what my blog's purpose is all the time! So I really want to go back...and write about memories that were important in my world,  even before my name was 'Mom.' The memories that don't help explain how I got to the place I am in life now. 

I think this will be a neat way to pass on memories of 'me' to my kids so that one day, when I'm 103 years old (don't laugh, my grandma is knocking on the door of 103 right now), they won't be in  a panic trying to ask as many questions about my life as possible before I depart this earth! 

When I graduated from college at Arizona State University in 1999, I held a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism. Unfortunately, at that point, the allure of the profession had diminished for me and I desperately wished I had pursued print journalism instead of broadcast. But, I didn't. So there I was, newly graduated and totally clueless about how to proceed with my grown up life. 

Somehow I found myself toying with the idea of becoming a flight attendant. I bought books about the career, I researched all the major airlines (most of which no longer even exist!) and I reluctantly starting applying for different airlines while working at my dad's office for the summer. Sorry McEvoy, Daniels and Darcy! I promise I WAS productive (when I wasn't actively seeking other jobs!) lol.  

I swear it wasn't even 24 hours later, I got a phone call from American Airlines. I fielded that call on a Tuesday which was disconcerting given a conversation that went, "Can you fly to Dallas on Thursday for an interview?" I'm sorry...come again? Thursday as in 2 days from now? Um, sure? 

And so it goes. I got on a plane, flew to Dallas, BY MYSELF, and found myself amongst a TON of other people who were also interviewing. The most hilarious part of it all to me was that before we even had an actual interview, we had to go onto a simulator to see if we could hoist a suitcase into the overhead compartment. (Nerve wracking for a short person like me!) But I did it! 

I recall the waiting room, I recall filling out paperwork, and I remember sitting in a group interview taking turns answering questions. I also recall that for every question asked, I always attempted to answer it before anyone else. (Not because I wanted to be an interview hog, but because I felt it made me look more confident and more authentic because I wasn't piggy-backing on anyone else's answers. Good strategy or not? Who knows?

I got the job, though, so I guess it wasn't all bad. :) 
Close the red railing, 10th person down. 
Getting on that plane for training, leaving my comfort zone was absolutely gut wrenching. I cried. I cried & I cried. I was leaving my family, my friends, flying by myself to stay in a new city and begin a new job that would have me as far away from all the things near and dear to me as possible. Hard for a home-body like me....but at the same time, I felt this major sense of accomplishment. 

I spent about 7 weeks living in the Arlington Hilton in DFW, Texas, in Room 510. There, I met some people who are still my friends today! Many of them still flying, several are not. 

We trained hard, we played hard.  :)

Karen, Caryn, and me studying hard.

Can't be a flight attendant if you can't open the doors, you know! 
Karen, Me, and Caryn

Caryn and I were just getting ready to ascend the stairs so that we could take our turns jumping out of the slide on the plane! "Jump! Jump! Don't take anything with you!" 

Leah and Me

Partying after our graduation! 

A Christmas Party we hosted in our house!
Caryn, Jennifer, Me, James, Karen and Courtney! 

Fast forward through training, I was honored to have been selected to deliver a speech on behalf of my class 99-35. And then, almost immediately, we were allowed to go home, pack our stuff and report to our new bases within a week, I believe. 
Delivering my speech at Graduation.

My sister, mom and dad flew to DFW for my graduation. The most surprising thing about this photo is everyone's hair! 

I was so excited to have been assigned to fly from Chicago. We bid for bases and Chicago was my top choice. The others I bid were NY, San Francisco, DFW and I think Miami??

Finding out our base! 

I found a fabulous house with 2 girls I became good friends with in training, Karen and Caryn.  :) They are both from the Chicago area so they knew the area. Plus my college boyfriend lived in Chicago also, so it was a bonus for me! 

Our house! See how high the windows are? Totally couldn't reach them to knock on them!!

Addison and Pulaski...
The night I arrived in Chicago, before my very first official flight ever, I took a cab to my new house, where I thought my roommates were going to be home. 
My roomies.  :)

Should there be a sudden change in cabin pressure, a mask compartment above your seat will open automatically. If this happens, quickly reach for the nearest mask and pull it firmly toward you.  :) 
(I didn't even have a key yet.) Long story short, there I was, trying to give directions to a cab driver to a place I really didn't even know, with nothing but a few suitcases. I will never forget FREAKING OUT because the lights were off and no one was answering the doors. Our house was on the middle floor of a tri level building so I couldn't even reach the windows to bang on them. It was dark, it was cold and I was on the verge of a breakdown. Finally after some time, Karen came to the window. They had been sleeping and hadn't heard me! I spent that night sleeping on a towel on a hard wood floor with clothing as a pillow the night before my first flight~ Glamorous, huh?  

Anyhoo, I met lots of fun people while flying...Ruthie from the old school Real World, Howie Long (yum), Joan Cusack, Dr. Phil and his son, Chuck Berry, Samuel Pivens, & Kerri Russel to name a few.  I ended up coming back to Tucson after about a year because of unrelated issues, but hands down, this is one of the greatest memories of my life. 

Talk about growing up. 

I constantly surprise myself when I think about the fact that I moved alone, lived in a BIG city, rode the subway to work, (after I walked many blocks in my uniform through the streets of Chicago, in the snow to get to the subway.) CRAZY. CRAZY. CRAZY. 

One of the best memories of my life. And the advent of Facebook was all that much greater when I became reunited with MANY of my friends from my training class!! Woo hoo!! Kudos to those of you still flying! Turned out, my heart belongs to my kindergartners.  :)

(And those who know me in kindergarten....does this apron look familiar?) Who knew it would go from protecting me from spilled coffee to paint and glitter?) 


Kim said...

What an AWESOME experience Ami! That must have been fun living in Chicago, after you got settled in. Great story, thanks for sharing. Of course, we are all glad you chose to be a kindergarten teacher!!

Jenn said...

That's a great story! I always thought it would be cool to be a flight attendant. I'm the mom of two sets of twins that just found your blog. The kids are adorable! www.twobytwomom.com

Karen W said...

Ohhhhh, Ami!!! I am so sorry you stood outside that night. :( Those were some of my favorite memories. I have never seen some of those pictures. I miss you very much and wish you still lived here.

Ami said...

Karen!! No worries!! It still remains one of the best memories ever!! I miss you so much too!! I'd love to reunite. The hubs and I keep saying we'd like to come to Chicago! Hmmm.... :)

Nicole Mikkelson said...

I just love you! I love that you do this link party, I love that you do old memories and I love that you were a flight attendant. I think you are awesome.

Anabelle said...

YOU MET RUTHIE AND KERI RUSSELL???? Once again, you surprise me!
Oh how that move-in day (night) story would be different had cell phones been invented. :)

Lorie said...

I so remember you coming home from training!!! Good times!!! I think you even showed us a video. :)

Anonymous said...

Ami! I love your blog!! But where are you? I was sad to see the B.A.D. in May didn't work out. But life gets busy! I understand. Hope to see a new post soon! I check every day :)

Rs To Gold said...

What an AWESOME experience Ami! That must have been fun living in Chicago, after you got settled in. Great story, thanks for sharing. Of course, we are all glad you chose to be a kindergarten teacher!!cheap rs gold

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