This picture was borrowed. I could not find my picture of Mount Fuji taken on flight 001 Toronto to Tokyo.
I penned these words TEN years ago...before 9/11, before SARs, before a merger, before mad cow disease, before a recession. Be careful...it's optimistic! Funny thing is, I'm still preaching the same tune. At least I'm consistent. :)
I’ve Climbed the Mountain...Now What?
For my entire adult life I have toiled to become an airline pilot. (It was even mentioned in my grade seven yearbook under career aspirations) Now at age 39, I’ve finally made it. Looking back, I could have been a doctor, dentist, lawyer, two times over. So when I ask myself was it worth it and the answer is Hell Yes, it feels good! I think, a person’s greatest fear in life is looking back and saying, “I wish I did things differently.” I thank my lucky stars this is not my case. Like most, I encountered my fair share of upsets, denials and wrong way streets. However, I remember back during my university days to what was written on one of the many cheap posters stuck on the wall to hide the cracks. It sounds corny, but here it goes, ‘If you have a dream, don’t let anything dim it, keep hoping, keep trying, the sky is the limit’.
I see so many today lacking goals...like ships without rudders. (Incidentally, if there ever was a time to become a pilot the time is now!) Today’s up and coming have major uphill battles. It seems everyone is fighting for jobs even though many are qualified to the brim. It is not enough. The market demands more and more and so many fall off the Career Mountain. I too had to struggle through two recessions, which by the way are extremely hard on the aviation world. I returned to university during the first recession to put behind my belt even more qualifications. Because of it, I veered off onto another career mountain only to realize half way up that I must climb down and start again. One-step backward, two steps forward.
As I approach the turbulent turnover of age forty, I can feel myself shifting gears a little. (Update...I'm going through the same thing...again!) :) The saying, “Lordy, Lordy look who’s forty” begins to infiltrate my thoughts. To pass on what little wisdom I have, I’ve become a mentor for up and coming ‘wanna be pilots’. I spend much time pointing out various options in their quest in becoming a pilot, but many a time I get this feeling they only want to hear the shortcut route. For most careers it doesn’t exist, just perseverance, hard work and the ability to deal with life’s curve balls. “Stay focussed and it will come,” I tell them. But for many eighteen year olds it doesn’t seem to register.
What do I see now that I am at the summit? Well, I look behind me and see the large hills I’ve climbed. However, as I look ahead I see just as many and with them many valleys. So I’ll take a long deep breath of great appreciation and then chart my course for the mountains ahead.
Since then I've written a book and more importantly I received my fourth stripe. They turned me into demi-god status. LOL. Although I'm wise enough to realize the pedestal beneath me can tumble anytime. Heck that's the way I feel about this blog sometimes, ....perched precariously. :)
Below are some shots of flights over mountains....cumulus granite.