F/A Training: Life Changing and Somewhat Terrifying

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Hey guys! Just wanted to give a quick update! :)

I've been thinking a lot lately about how much this whole experience has changed my life.  I know, I know... that's totally cliche and you hear it all the time.  But honestly, a year ago today, I was a totally different person.  In fact, a MONTH ago today, I was a different person!  I've never much liked putting myself out there and talking to people I don't know very well.  I'm happy talking to people I already know, and I'm happy being alone, but put me in a room with 50 other people I don't know, and I used to clam up. I was afraid of that happening here in Vegas.  There's nearly 60 people in my training class... not only am I taking classes with these people, I'm also basically living with them.  But I was completely amazed at myself.  I opened up almost immediately.  I'm certainly not the loudest or nicest or funniest person in the room (believe me, there are some really strong personalities here!)... but I haven't been at all afraid to put myself out there.  We get assigned random seats each day for class... and everyday, I talk to the people around me as if I've known them all my life.

That's probably the biggest change.... but there's been lots of little changes too!

I've learned how to wake up at 4:30 every morning.  Never in my life have I thought I'd be doing that!
I've started wearing a watch... it's a requirement for class, but I've been wearing it ALL the time.  I used to hate wearing watches!  Now I find myself doing that thing where I'm not even wearing the watch, but I still look at my wrist to check the time.
I've learned that just because Vegas is in the desert, that doesn't mean it's warm.  But that does mean it's realllly realllly dry.  For the first week, my nose hurt SO bad from the dry air.  I finally bought a little travel humidifier and put it on my bedside table.. when I sleep, I have that sucker pointed right at my face!  Plus when I put on my face moisturizer in the morning, I use probably 3 times the amount I used back in Florida.
I've started laughing more.  These girls (and boys!) in my class are all such great people.  We're all so stressed out, but we're all there for each other.  All these people who were strangers 2 weeks ago now feel like some of my best friends.

On that note, we took our second test today.  I got 100% again!  I was one of only 2 people in my class to do that.  Several people failed.. they'll be retaking it tomorrow, and I really hope they pass.  It feels like we're all a family now.  And we're all SO emotional.  Today we watched a video with interviews of the crew of US Airway's flight 1549, the flight that Sully Sullenberger ditched into the Hudson river in January of 2009.  I swear, by the end of that video, nearly everyone in the classroom was in tears.  We're learning about emergency situations and evacuations right now, which is just really tough, grueling stuff.  We have to memorize lots of evacuation commands, we have specific doors we need to evacuate at, all these procedures we need to do.. but absolutely no mention of the emotional side of all that.  There's no room for panic or fear, no room for hesitation, and really no room for any emotion at all.  Our primary job is just to get passengers off the plane as safely and efficiently as possible... that is, until we feel our own lives are in danger, at which point we evacuate ourselves.  Because as our instructor put it, we still have a responsibility to the people we've already evacuated, and we're no good to them dead.

So look, ALL I'M SAYING... is keep your seatbelts on anytime you're seated, even if the seatbelt sign is off!!!  You never know when you're gonna hit some rough turbulence and smack your head on the ceiling of the plane, just cuz you weren't wearing your seatbelt.  True story.


Leigh said...

I'm so happy to hear you're making all these wonderful friends and enjoying yourself! This is the positivity that you need and most likely a big reason why you're performing so well! Keep up the great work, Jill! Proud of you and can't wait to hear more!

And P.S. Don't worry, I ALWAYS WEAR MY SEATBELT!! lol

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