New Horizons And Being Scared To Death!
Blogging has been put on the back burner for a while because there has been lots of activity in the Kelley household. Exciting things going on and a lot of changes. It’s nice to sit down, share my thoughts and recent life events. Fall is setting in. Things seem to settle a bit during this time of the year. The airshow season is winding down. Boooooooo! It seems that it just started but that was actually months ago. This aviation “hobby” has taken on a new life. Seriously. The amount of time, energy, and money I’m willing to allocate to aviation are mind-boggling. A few years ago, if someone had told me that I’d willingly (and gladly) cut discretionary funds for flying time, they would have received a very strange glare 🤨. That must be a true testament that people change. A relationship expert recently revealed to me that it is more common for women to change with time, versus men. Do you believe that’s true? Are we able to recognize a change in ourselves as it’s happening? When do people realize they’ve changed? For me, it seems to have been a slow progression. Until one day, I was somewhat dumbfounded that my whole outlook on several key things had changed. It is eye-opening, exciting, and scary, all at once.
Change is okay. “It” happens. People need to be able to handle change because it’s unavoidable. There is a myriad of things beyond our control and unforeseeable. We have to learn to roll with it or we can get frustratingly stuck trying to make things a certain way and/or hold onto an idea of how we think things should be. Accepting change makes life much for manageable, and even fun! In the following paragraphs, I’d like to share some of the more recent changes in my own life.
“Ain’t no ‘hood like motherhood,” right? That role is constantly changing as kids are growing. Early on in parenting, it’s hard to envision your children actually becoming independent one day and leaving our arms (or nest). Through the years, it has felt like my boys were always going to be in the midst of everything I did. Sometimes, it felt as if they were still physically attached to my body. Logically, I knew that wasn’t always going to be the case. However, they have been a part of my life and household for twenty years. It’s been hard at times to fathom life without mounds of food for dinner, loads of laundry that seem to never shrink, appointments to make (and parenting bribes to get them there), frustrating debates about every little thing, dirty shoes to trip over, twice weekly grocery runs, etc., etc.
When flying lessons began for me, my boys had been growing in independence for some time. That had something to do with the timing of my aviation endeavors. I’m not a “helicopter” parent and have always wanted them to grow in independence. I’ve had some of my own interests through the years, outside of my “mom” duties. A few years ago, the time had arrived for me to sink my teeth into something else that really fed me and my individuality. There are a gazillion interests to take up or embark upon. For me, it was flying. For as long as I can remember, there has always been a little voice inside my head, questioning me “are you ready to start flight training yet?” It was mostly put off. The season of life was never right. Three years ago, a new chapter began. The timing was perfect. Because of the ages of my children, they were able to handle a lot more by themselves. I wanted them to. It’s never been my plan to coddle them. They are capable of doing a lot. Thank goodness! I wanted to start building something unique to me and begin investing in my next chapter of life.
Pinch Me: I Can Fly Airplanes!
It was obvious pretty quickly that aviation was what I had longed for, in ways that couldn’t have been predicted. My priorities began shifting immediately, with little hesitation. It was easy to start saying no to other commitments that would interfere with flying time or flying funds! That’s how I knew this was big and it was going to be a huge part of my life for some time.
Pursuing goals and learning new things is super-exciting to me. There are a myriad of aviation ratings, certificates, and goals to pursue. That’s fun for me. It’s sort of like being a hoarder…I’ll take that rating, then that one, and oh, yes, of course, this one too….It’s hard for me to be content unless I’m working on something that provides a new experience or new knowledge. There are endless possibilities. I’m crossing my fingers that the Fountain of Youth will be discovered in my lifetime because my list of “things to do” keeps growing. One thing is crossed off and another is added. Yes, I’ll need an espresso to go, please! 😉
Yes, I fly airplanes. I’m a pilot. That feels so good to say! When my training began, the goal of becoming a pilot was overwhelming and seemed as if it would take a lifetime to achieve. The significance of my accomplishment sincerely hit me recently when one of my best friends made an out-of-the-blue comment to me. After a long conversation filled with some heavy stuff (mixed with some laughter), Jennie closed our phone conversation by saying “Girl, I’ve just got to say that you did it. I’ve got to hand it to you. You decided that you wanted to be a pilot and you made it happen. I’m so proud of you.” When someone knows everything about us (some not-so-great things) it’s very special to receive a comment like that. It solidifies that there are always positives and potential in each one of us. It feels great when someone has seen the hard work and vocalizes that, doesn’t it? Sometimes we need reminders of how far we’ve come. My head can be so buried in my future plans, all of my visions, ideas, and yada, yada, yada, that it takes someone shaking me with a comment to realize what has been accomplished. Thank you California Girl!
New Chapter: Running a Non-Profit and Retail!
Running a non-profit was absolutely never, ever, ever on my radar. Surely, most people enjoy helping others, right? My flying passion led to some of the most satisfying endeavors including providing scholarships and mentoring. These things have tied themselves together perfectly with my personality and aviation! In the past, there has been personal charity involvement. Helping others is rewarding. We should all strive to do that. Admittedly, some have felt inconvenient and at times, forced. Giving time has seemed more like a chore until this natural fit with women and aviation. This is what helping others is supposed to feel like! Wanting to spend more and more time and more and more energy with something you believe in wholeheartedly.
Asking people for money to fund aviation scholarships is easy. It’s something I feel very strongly about. It’s an easy topic for me. My heart rate naturally increases when speaking about how much aviation can allow someone to learn about themselves, others, history, etc. It’s exciting! I never feel as if I’m asking for something that isn’t important.
Designing the logo and the products has been a really fun by-product. Clothing and fashion have always been enjoyable to me. My friends used to joke that I gave new meaning to the phrase “shop til you drop.” 😜 Spending hours shopping, seeing all the colors of the new season, touching fabrics, comparing prices…that is pleasing to me. flyGIRL has allowed this melding of all things that interest me. Every day is exciting! Everyone should be able to use their gifts and combine their interests for the most fulfilling life possible. It can happen. I’m an ordinary person that followed what was enjoyable to me. Opportunities presented themselves.
New Horizons: Career Changer. Holy Cannoli.
It’s been exactly twenty years since I’ve been an employee. Having a designated schedule is a scary notion. One could say, of course, as a stay-at-home mom, I’m really not in control of my schedule. The children dictate a lot of how you spend your days. A whole lot. However, there did seem to be a lot under my control. Now, there’s a piloting career that I’m about to embark upon. Yes, I’ve been offered a J-O-B. Training will begin in January. 😬To say it’s overwhelming and terrifying is an understatement. As flyGIRL, I’m supposed to be a cheerleader for females in aviation. Cheering for myself and believing in my ability is currently a little challenging. I’m not even 100% sure it’s the right fit for me and what if I don’t like it? Backing off of flyGIRL will be necessary. Hopefully, it will maintain itself while the amount of time that can be spent on it will diminish for a time.
In the back of my mind, I know things will work themselves out. There are great things that will happen during this experience. At times, I’m sooooooo excited about the future. At other times, I’m afraid that I’ll make the wrong decision or miss the correct path somehow. This is the perfect time to recall one of my favorite quotes, “there is no wrong path, only different paths.” Memorizing quotes is something I urge you to do. “Just do it!” The number of times words have turned my negative spiral of thoughts into a positive direction is countless. If memorization isn’t your thing, turn on some tunes and dance around your house, office, garage, wherever. Music has the ability to magically make concerns disappear. Something about endorphins being released… If you haven’t read about how beneficial endorphins are, Google it.
Not everyone’s passion is aviation. I’m not sure why exactly, but ok…🙄JK (sort of. My hope is that everyone realizes they can do anything. It’s never too late. Stay in tune with that little voice in your head, always. Be alert and ready for the right time when your window opens. Jump at opportunities that speak to you, even if they’re new and scary. When you overcome fear, amazing things happen. Be prepared that not everyone will understand. That’s okay. No one else knows you better than you do. No one (other than God, of course). Don’t apologize for changing or for moving in a new direction. Growth happens with change. Growth is good. Evolving is positive. Let your life unfold. Wander where your heart is. That may change with time. What fuels you may not always be the same thing. Don’t do things that drain you. You’re not doing anyone any favors. Filling your time with things that are meaningless to you won’t feed you and won’t feed those around you. It’s okay to say “no.” You have a lot of life ahead of you and you can do new and amazing things!!