I remember the first time I saw View From the Top, which happened to coincide with transitioning between a now defunct regional airline and waiting to start training with a major. No matter how many times I repeated 'Paris, First-Class, International' the stress of my job continued and it really felt like work. The role of Flight Attendant is popularly viewed as glamorous and exciting, but many people fail to understand the challenges associated with this position.
Since ever changing schedules, sleep disturbances, and physical demands add stress to our system, we become less able to dedicate ourselves to the true needs of this unique position. It can be difficult to always 'be on' when we don't feel our best, but Flight Attendants have the gift of 'maintaining the smile' which becomes a learned behavior we take into our home lives as well, blocking us from true authenticity.
For me, being a Flight Attendant was more than a job, it was my identity. I struggled to connect with others who didn't understand the real aspects of my job, and felt lonely at work because I was connecting with people on an artificial level. Passengers, delays, reserve, and inconsistent sleep schedules are all present in this work, but having a more secure sense of self and removing 'the smile' with people we trust can truly give us back the love and passion that brought us here in the first place, so one day maybe 'Paris, First-Class, International' won't feel like work, but will feel like fun...
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