During my brief and spectacular life, I have wanted to be the following:
Piano player, lounge singer, painter, poet, home organizer, decluttering specialist, home stager, blogger, stage actor, physics teacher, physics student, math student, fitness instructor, model, runner, international traveler, bass player, guitar player, gallery assistant, English professor, property owner, board member, gala attendee, copy editor, executive director.
Most of these desires remain (several have been accomplished, yet not enough to satisfy). Though some rise to the top of my mental list and some swim among the bottom rungs, one has rarely fallen: Small-plane pilot.
Specifically, the desire to be a tour pilot for tourists over the Napa and Sonoma valley vineyards.
Today, I continue to place the stepping stones toward that goal in front of myself, like a childhood game where you have to use only 3 cardboard squares to wend your way across the “lava” of the carpet.
My brother and I have the identical, if apparently false, memory: flying in a glider or small passenger plane as children. We both remember being in a small plane in childhood, perhaps during the annual family vacation in Cape Cod, perhaps somewhere else. The details of the flights aren’t clear, but the memory –and its attendant delight, thrill, and glee– are.
Surprisingly to us both, neither of our parents have any recollection of such an adventure. And so, either our parents are mistaken, or Ben and I have a shared sensory delusion.
In any case, the desire for me to fly a small plane has never diminished. I bought a Groupon discounted one-day flight lesson several years ago, and a little more than a year ago finally cashed it in for a 4-hour lesson, including FLYING AND LANDING an ACTUAL PLANE — with PEOPLE in it!! (just the instructor and myself, but still). I went up flying with a friend who has his pilot’s license last year, and he let me take the yoke for a while (THRILLING!).
And last week, as it continued to be written on my goals and dreams pages, I finally contacted a flight school nearby to ask about the time and financial commitment to earn my private pilot’s license.
They replied to the effect of, “It’s complicated,” and why don’t you come on down to discuss it. So, today, I am.
I have no idea if I will continue to lay the cardboard steps before myself, if I will decide to train the path in a different direction, or forge ahead on this one. But, I will never know if I don’t show up.
Molly Louise, You are Cleared for Take Off…