"There is just something so fabulous about being able to touch the sky. I'm not sure quite what but the principles of flight are marvelous. Works of art and science that have been put together by philosophers, scientists, and pilot wanna be’s at the time. Honestly, I never thought that I would be invested in the flying industry but here I am. Being bought into the longevity and commitment to something more than just life. The burning fire of passion, honor, and devotion."
It all began in my early childhood when I enjoyed swinging on the swing for hours and hours on end. It appeared as if nothing was apparently wrong with me. However, on the other hand, I began to develop an odd bond with the clouds in the sky. Counting them, looking at them, or just simply drawing them. Clearly, there was something different. It could be simply stated as this: No one had this hobby. It just seemed so odd that a youngling had a bond with the sky so much. Sure, but no. I mean there are so many endless possibilities that could occur, but a bond with the sky and the heavens above?
Colors, textures, mixtures, existed above, mesmerizing my own child eyes. I had no idea as to why this was happening. I could admit one thing for sure: I had my eyes turned to the sky and I wasn’t coming back down to the ground. The clouds had already been touched by the tip of my nose.
All the time following had passed by so quickly as if the clock wanted me to get older. Not a day passed by that I didn't look at the sky. Honestly, it seemed like a reality that I longed for but didn't understand was waiting ahead. I had never believed that it had been for a reason that my eyes were in tune with the sky. My mind was going a thousand miles per second while trying to focus wasn’t going to get me anywhere. It appeared that reality was going way too fast.
Sooner or later my twelfth birthday had come and gone. Before I knew it my family and I were in the airport going to tropical, green, lush, Hawaii. Everyone’s dream place for vacationing. Albeit, there was so much to see, hear, taste, and smell. Of course we went to the island of Kauai.
While time ticked by I took the time to notice all of the decorations that had been posted for Christmas. Trees, candy canes, and more layered through the airport entrance. Everything just seemed so foreign and scary since it had never been seen before by my own eye. A plane’s loud jet blast could be heard from inside the luggage check in. After quite some time checking in our baggage, heading through security, we had finally made it to the terminal.
The sheer look of amazement had taken over my face. I was scared, amazed, and happy all at the same time. A beautiful Boeing 737 had caught my attention; Sleek, thin, and shiny and white, Red, and Blue. It was like walking into a whole other world with new things and new people. It felt oddly like home: warm, welcoming, and encouraging. I remember hearing the jet blast from it taxiing away from the gate.
A strong odor that smelled like home. This was the first time that coffee had ever smelled good to me. Whilst eating lunch I studied out the windows, watched the people go by, smelled the smells, and listened to the jazz music. Had this been a new world that I had discovered? What was this? By the time lunch was over a tiny detail had caught my eye: men -and very occasionally a woman- dressed in black pants, black shoes, a black coat with yellow stripes running horizontally down the wrists, and finally a white collared button up shirt with a black tie. Sometimes I’d catch them wearing an odd shaped hat. What did this mean?
By the time that the flight departed I never had enough time to study anything to get a firm knowledge. The service was excellent with a plentiful amount of cranberry juice. There was just something so different about this. Whatever it was, it definitely intrigued me.
That brought me to sunny days on the beach, in the ocean, and on the land. Hawaii was a very nice, warm, and elegant place. Many turtles, whales, and dolphins were spotted in the water. All of the scenery is very picturesque and will leave anyone speechless. A personal favorite from the trip was taking a boat around the Napali Coast. Humuhumunukunukuapua’a hid in the rocks and crevasses under water. Hibiscus, plumeria, croton, and monstera were around every single corner. Sunsets and sunrises kissed the ocean creating so many different colors.
The saddest moments of my life have been coming home from the islands. This is the hardest thing that every traveler just has to agree with. Especially not knowing if it is possible to ever return to the place again. Sometimes it’s so sad.
The year following this trip was the longest ever because it had appeared that the boredom was setting in. Having fun for a week and a half then coming home to do nothing is not fun. I had forgotten about the airport experience until sometime around my thirteenth birthday. The questions began to flood my memory just as if it was yesterday…
By the next trip to O’ahu I had gained some sort of knowledge. The same smell filled the air: freshly brewed coffee with a hint of cinnamon. Planes taxiing to and from the gates. Still the same colors: red, white, and blue. The occasional plane covered in a darker blue marked Southwest on the side would appear. Still questioning and being introduced to the sea around me, I had definitely known more things this time than last time. That being said, I knew what a flight attendant was, pilots, what the uniform stripes meant, and what HNL and LIH meant. Aviation is a whole new language that was very confusing to me at the time, but it soon wouldn’t be.
Among all the crowds in the airport were tiny details that once again appeared, as I had never noticed fully before on previous trips. Wandering to the gate so mesmerized by the large panes of glass displaying a picturesque apron with large planes, I sat there fully intrigued. Gloss finished paintings of the airport covered the walls. The same uniforms were wandering the walkways. Some walking, some running, and some stopping to take a sweet little picture. I still remember every single detail as if it was yesterday. Walking on and walking off the plane felt all too powerful. Every single food item that I had eaten, what it tasted like, and smelled like. Once again: I felt like I was in a whole other world that felt like a second home.
30,000 feet was the cruising altitude of the Boeing 767 airplane. Seeing the world from that high made it seem so small but yet so beautiful. My ears began to feel pain behind them. My head felt like it was on a puff of clouds floating towards heaven. I felt close, close to heaven, and close to God. The creation of flight is amazing and very nice. Flying is something that I can't quite describe properly as I have a lack of words. There is something that is just so indescribable to me about the action of flying. Tres Beau is a phrase the French use to describe something so beautiful. I can also add the phrase 'so schön' to that statement as well. I could easily say to myself that aviation is such a beautiful thing. A concept so well understood by mankind but yet so far from reaching its capacity.
O’ahu was a very gorgeous place as well. Another thing that sparked my interest was attending the Pacific Aviation Museum. Planes parked in the hangar that dated back to world war II. I mean, it was very neat being able to visually see history. This is the moment that sparked vintage aviation in my soul. Stepping a foot in that museum was taking a step back in the past that captivated my soul.
At this point my life began to drastically change. My life would have never been the same from this point. I have officially found who I am supposed to be, longing for the future I once again returned home to only continue the research. Time went on and I kept going never quitting or getting tired. I spent so much time trying to get a good understanding of what and why. There is no simple way of turning back now.
Every time a plane had passed by I would look up. I could never help but wonder where they were going. Planes crossed paths in the sky creating an X where each contrail intersected. They’d light up pink, orange, or even yellow when the sun went down. Each kissed the clouds as the planes floated on through. Creating a photographic painting in the sky above. Completely seduced by the greatness of aviation one day at a time. There was not a doubt that something was just different. There was never any words to describe it; like it was just calling me home -yet something so foreign.
Soon after I thought about being a flight attendant. It just seemed so right, jetting around the world, and not a worry in the world. Still not knowing the future in this ever changing world I thought that was my solid career choice for the future. Being a flight attendant would open a new idea.
Jumping up for joy at another trip to Hawaii, flying though the skies again, and touching the clouds through the metal bird. I never believed I’d be this high in the sky and this happy. Aviation was there changing my world one minute at a time. Looking at the men and the women in uniform and taking in consideration everything my mind grew further in curiosity. I never wasted a moment in the airport. I took mental notes and evaluations of everything because I couldn’t return until the next year -a long, excruciating year. It felt like decades between airport visits: running through the woods, chasing the birds, and while getting tackled by ravenous wolves. Nothing ever stays the same. sometimes I worried why, who, when, or even worse: would my newfound world fade away. I did not want to every forget about my new found world...
Dreams are such a bold thing. Amelia Earhart had become my role model. So many things had been brought to pass by this wonderful, young woman who was willing to fight for her passion. She never gave up despite persecutions because she was a woman. Still chasing the bird despite being chased by the ravenous wolf, perspectives had changed. The best thing in the world to someone can soon turn into the worst thing ever. That bird can change into the wolf if you let the other voices get to your soul. Yet, Amelia Earhart always focused on the bird and not the wolf, which was the people who did not agree with her choice.
There was a time that I had attempted to hide from aviation -the grasp of my passion. I wanted to escape my new passion, it was just not me anymore. I forgot the past. It would be easier for me to just give up aviation rather than keep doing extensive research. Nothing more seemed too interesting at this point. Everything just seemed like a twinkle in my eye that never should have existed. Time went on and I had felt like I had been hit by a train of confusion -like something was missing. I was happy, but not as much as when I loved planes and the sky. Pleading to find the way back, I had found biology. For a while biology seemed very redeemable. It only made sense, I loved science and biology was my favorite class.
I still remember that year -the year that I was wondering what the future might bring for me. My mind was racing a million parsecs per second, at least that is what it seemed like. I further ended up searching the world for more reasonable answers to my life dilemma. Colors were still meshed together. Biology started to not make sense. Ribosomes carrying RNA and switching it to use a protein? What is the difference between Mitosis and Miosis? Deoxyribonucleic acid? So curious but yet I didn’t seem to understand.
I couldn’t help but think about aviation and airplanes once again. The planes; they dotted the sky hinting at the short time that had clocked by. My dream was right in front of me, my destiny, but yet I was so naïve -at the moment. I was letting time pass, stress pass, when my dream was right in front, and right in the sky. I knew one thing and one thing for sure: the sky called my name. It was written in bold cursive in the clouds calling out to my soul.
I wanted to be a pilot; a pilot that would touch the sky and jump on the clouds. I wanted to fly a 737. I knew that I was alone and that not a lot wanted to pursue something so unthinkable. It was hard for me to wrap my head around the concept. I wanted to be a pilot. I wanted to be a pilot soaring through the sky at 35,000 feet, 470 miles per hour, through and over a storm.
I understood that not very many people wanted to be pilots, especially females. I was partially alone, but I wanted to prove that I can do it. I wanted to prove to everyone the great things that a person can do if they just put their mind to it. Great things come from those who try. I want to take every opportunity that I get to do good things and to do what is best for my passion. Create a dream and leave it a legacy.
What a dream is what I like to call it. Special night skies glisten and I actually recognize it. The sky is my home, the home that I never realized I had a connection to. The years of 2017, 2018, and 2019 were filled with so many good things and now I have even more good things to come. I would call aviation a passion, a fire that burns deep within a soul, or maybe even a deep burgundy rose blooming in the heart. It seems so impossible, but the impossible is always possible. Amelia Earhart once said, "the only effective way to do it is to do it." That statement resonated within my soul. Another quote by Henry Ford also stuck with me, and that is as follows: "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” The pure thought of flying is what got me intrigued with the industry...
What is flight to me? Maybe flight is just the thought of being a bird... flapping her wings. Maybe the concept of flight is just something overlooked. There is more and this journey is not done yet, it has just begun.
"Flying is freedom and freedom is flight."
This long connection with the sky has led me down a whole other rabbit hole. Without going to Hawaii it almost hurts knowing that I would have never discovered both Hawaii and aviation. I am so connected with both that it is seemingly impossible to give them up. Aviation really dug its way down into my soul. It is almost like a virus -a good virus of course. With that being said, it really did change my life for the better of course. Without aviation I would have never been lead to the language of German, the power of travel, or even the words of influential past aviators.
I never realized how much my own life has changed. Only recently, after beginning this blog, was I able to connect with myself more. I have made so much progress and I feel so great. Aviation has taught me so much about myself and it has also given me so many wonderful blessings. If I have to be honest, without aviation I do not know what I would be doing right now. Currently I am looking forward to attending college and beginning flight training in the fall of this year. I am going to be honest here: this future female pilot absolutely cannot wait. I am beginning to grow a little bit impatient. After all, it has been close to five excruciating years of waiting to finally pursue my dreams. Time has come and I just want to cheer for this wonderful chance.
"There is a simple song that won’t make the rain stop, but it’ll sure turn a life around, and that’s the sound of a jet engine turning on."
My name is Jetta, and I am a student pilot currently attending Southern Utah University to become an airline pilot. Join me on my journey from zero to the left seat.