The End of an Era

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hold on to your butts, this is a long one.

A week ago, I walked into the lounge at LaGuardia and turned in my crew badge and my manual. I shook hands with the supervisors, and effusively thanked them one last time for my best adventure so far.

I walked out of the small office into the room swarming with other flight attendants, like I had so many times before. This time, I was no longer one of them. I marveled at how unfamiliar it was to now be a passenger in the airport instead of an employee.

On my last commuting flight home, I let myself cry a couple of big, slow tears. Two was all I needed. That was good enough for me. I smiled at the marshmallow clouds that have been my office for two years, and I said thank you to God for letting do something so special.

My decision was not impulsive -- it's been something Bryan and I have been praying about for some time. It's something I've sought wisdom about from people I love and trust. It has been a really difficult choice. I've never had a job that I was even remotely sad to leave, and this one had so much of me wrapped up in it. My job isn't who I am, though. It would be a dangerous place to dwell too long if I were to begin to think so, and sometimes it was easy to do since it consumed so much of us.

I've always known I wasn't a lifer. I knew that eventually we'd have small humans to raise and that part of what I've always wanted is to be home with them (side note: I am not pregnant). I know a lot of people that make it work. Some are okay with being gone half the month, and find vitality in it. For us personally, it has not been sustainable. We still wanted to travel and see the world, but decided we'd do it more conventionally. I am relieved. So, so relieved to be home for good.

My job is all Bryan and I have known in our relationship. The first time he called me, I was on a layover in Los Angeles having frozen yogurt with one of my friends from training. The first time we ever met was at the airport. He picked me up at arrivals and we didn't know whether to shake hands or hug. He picked me up after trips. He dropped me off before I had to commute. He flew to Austin to be with me so I didn't have to be alone on Christmas. He is patient, sweet, and supportive. I would choose him every time.

On Tuesday of last week, he picked me up from the airport one last time. He had flowers wrapped in paper, and a vase to keep them fresh, because that is so Bryan. He wrote me a letter, and took me out for sushi and Gatsby. It felt like the best welcome home, and gave me such peace.

I've met amazing people, seen a lot of places, and made lifelong friends. I started this blog. I hope you'll stick with me as the direction changes and our conversations are a little bit different.

Being a flight attendant made the world smaller to me in the best way. By the cultures I experienced through my co-workers, passengers, and places I'd never been, my heart expanded in ways I didn't know possible. I'm a very different person than I was two years ago. There are some seasons of our lives that seem to particularly shape us, and this has been one of my greatest to date. I started out so afraid of everything, and somewhere in the process the world became less intimidating and I think the heels made me walk a little taller.

We're going to live life in a new way now. This won't be the only post on the matter. I hope to share more details later, but for now it feels good to just let it all be known. God has been so gracious and providential in presenting new opportunities for me professionally, and I hope to share details on that soon.

In the mean time, I updated my Travel page and I hope you'll enjoy it. I am really proud of this chapter of my life. It makes me cry joy tears.

You're gems. Thanks for being a part of this with me.


  1. I know I'm sticking around :) Praise The Lord for new seasons!

  2. Happy/sad/excited/proud. Love you DFL(D).

  3. "so, so relieved to be home for good". This MUST be the best part. I couldn't imagine leaving all the time like you did and I know you must be a strong person for doing that.

    But it seemed like an awesome job for you for the most part and it was a good way to see the world, but now you're home! Moving onto better things, I bet. Can't wait to hear more about it :)

  4. WOW! How exciting and terrifying and relieving and exhausting and all the other FEELS.
    Enjoy this transition- and make the most of it. I think the decision we make AFTER we jump off the cliff are often the best, most gut-instinct and honest ones.

  5. You have me in tears, Fran. Honest to goodness tears.

    I'm so glad that flying was so good to you-- it's a blessing to find a job that changes you in such a way, and for that you are very lucky. More than anything, I wish for you that the next stage of your life will be richer and more fulfilling than ever.

    Cheers to new beginnings!

  6. I found your blog somewhat recently, and I'm so glad I did. This is such a great tale of moving into a new season. I look forward to following the rest of your journey and reading about what's in store for you. :-)

  7. Sweet sweet Fran -- what a hard decision, but I am so excited for you to get to spend more time building your life with Brian! I always love the Tennyson quote "I am a part of all I have met" and I am so happy that you have had this adventure. Can't wait to see what comes next!

  8. I'm so happy for you!!! I imagine that job was SO good for you in so many ways. Part of me is even a little envious (however, my motion sick-prone stomach is NOT)! But I am so excited for whatever new things are in front of you too. I imagine it's a huge relief to stay home now. I'm sure the leaving got old after awhile. Good luck with whatever comes next!

  9. Wow Fran. I have loved reading your flight and travel stories, and definitely will be looking forward to your new adventures!

  10. So excited to see where the road leads for you, Fran....

  11. Dear Fran, I will miss the stories and living vicariously through your travels. But I'm SO happy you don't have to breath the insides of planes all the time anymore. You rendered it so beautifully once when you likened the scent to "recycled farts". Enjoy the fresh air!

  12. Excited for what is next for you! Life is such an incredible journey.

  13. I can't imagine what a big change this must be for you, but I agree that your job is the only thing that defines you. Needed to hear that recently!

  14. Hi friend, I'm so happy for you. I teared up at Bryan bringing you flowers wrapped in paper. I know this is going to be such a great new direction for you and I can't wait to, in some way, be a part of it as a reader. Congratulations on this chapter closed; this chapter opening.

  15. wow! that is some big changes. I loved reading your adventures in the sky, but excited to see what comes next!

  16. Wow! That would be a huge decision. I'm so happy for you and the new chapter you are starting! It's exciting starting something new. =)

  17. How exciting!! I loved your travel stories, a great chapter :) What how fun to see the new adventures and stories to come!

  18. so now that you 'live' in Kentucky, we can meet right? excited for you friend!

  19. Change is scary and you are brave!

  20. first and foremost - WALK ON IS MY JAM. i friggin love that song.

    moving on. shit, fran! you're closing a chapter! that is both exhilarating and scary and everything in between, i'm sure. you're a smart girl and you'll find your new normal soon, i'm sure. i have to admit, i'll miss the celebrity sighting posts though... and it's all about me.

    wishing you luck, girl.

  21. I am looking forward to reading about your new adventures! It must be bittersweet to close the door on a chapter that had such an impact on your life, but I am so happy for you to be "home for good." Your describe it so well - that feeling of relief - and I think it sounds like the start of something wonderful.

  22. Oh Fran!

    I'm so so happy for you. I know it couldn't have been easy to make this choice (having made some career compromises in the past for the sake of better things, I understand) but you should feel so darn proud of yourself for doing so.
    I am so excited to read about the new chapter of your life and for what is to come for you and Bryan.
    It's been tremendously fun following your adventures around the world but I am overjoyed for your new one. You're strong and brave and never cease to impress me with your sheer amount of character.

    Admittedly, I'll miss your SPOTTED! posts aaand it's a bummer you'll never greet us as we board a plane (I've totally always had secret hopes every time I've flown Delta... I probably never would have said anything to you (is that weird? "Hi Fran, we've never met, but you got married on my birthday and you're pretty and smart and funny and I read your blog." Maybe that's weirder... Either way.) but I like to think that I would have been brave enough to tell you what you've added to my life.

    Sorry I'm kind of blabbing. I tend to do that.

    I wish you all the luck in the world :)

  23. So so happy and proud of you! Even though we never got to meet on one of your layovers. And I still plan to text you when I feel a traveling freak out coming on. Enjoy this next step! You're amazing.


Don't go chasing waterfalls. Please - stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to.

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