Two years ago, under completely different life circumstances, I hit the publish button on my first post. Since today is my little blog’s second birthday, I wanted to write a quick entry to mark the occasion.
Things looked much different just a few short years ago. By the end of that August, ten months of unemployment had economically and emotionally taken its toll. I was anxious for the new beginning and excited about telling my story.
Initially, I had two goals in mind for my writing.
The first was to educate people on what can go wrong with an airline career. I’ve never pretended my situation or circumstances were unique. There are tens of thousands of pilots who have endured the same career hiccup. To narrow it down, one thousand four hundred and thirty five professionals have the identical chapter titled “United Disaster” written in their book of life. I’m just one guy who wanted to tell our story.
My second reason for writing was to capture my experience as a new-hire at an innovative startup airline. Most of the world has no concept of the training very experienced pilots receive when they start at a new company. If people outside the industry didn’t find it interesting, I hoped up-and-coming pilots would find some value in the posts. As a fall back, if nobody found the material worthwhile, my posts would serve as a personal diary to document that time in my life.
It has been a lot of fun. As I mentioned a year ago, the posts will be much more sporadic. I only write in my free time… My family time always takes precedence over the blog. I will continue attempting to publish quality material with minimal redundancy. When something unique happens, I’ll try and pass it along to you.
I’d like to thank you for all the emails over the last few years. I’ve really enjoyed hearing from current and retired aviation professionals all around the world. If you’ve sent email, I’ve replied. If you didn’t receive a reply, please check your spam folder. If you’re not sure if emails are getting through, send me a message on Twitter.
As I mentioned, life circumstances sure are different than the unemployment two years ago. I bid in the top 25% of first officers and just started third year pay. I’m awarded the schedules I want and our family can breath a little financial sigh of relief. Hopefully, when we resume aircraft deliveries next year, upgrade to captain will be in the foreseeable future.
We are also living where we want to live. Before we moved, my wife said, “What if we move back to Nashville and it’s ‘not the same’?” Her question and my commute were both valid concerns. So far, the commute hasn’t been nearly as bad as I had feared. As for my wife’s concern? It isn’t the same… it’s better. We’re enjoying everything about our old life with a whole new perspective.
Always remember… bad things will happen in life. When they do, grieve them and move forward. In the years that follow, realize that most of your experiences wouldn’t have occurred if not for that stumbling block. There are so many people in my life today that I wouldn’t have even met if it weren’t for the second furlough. I wouldn’t have moved back to Tennessee. I wouldn’t have experienced working on the most fun-filled aircraft in the sky. I could list a hundred things supporting my overall point: Getting downsized twice was miserable… but, I am now able to recognize the blessings. I cannot imagine my life back on the original path without that chapter in my book.
This morning, we flew from New York to Los Angeles. I am currently enjoying some rest on a long layover. Exercise, phone calls, a thirty minute walk to In-N-Out and studying for my upcoming PC are all on the agenda. Although I’d rather be home with my family, it should be a pretty good afternoon. I hope you enjoy your day!
Thanks for reading.
Additional info: All the posts from the past two years are listed in chronological order on the Table of Contents Page.