Saturday, December 15, 2012

Say What?

Anybody ever look back and remember some of the things they said when they were teenagers?  I do, and I said some stupid things, made a lot of bold claims, embellished stories and personal experiences to make myself look better.  Several things, it seems, will remain with me for the rest of my life.  I can say with absolute conviction that God does have a sense of humor.  I remember statements like, "California, I'm never going there, I won't ever step foot in that state," or how about this one..."I'm never going to eastern Congo."  Well, you know what happened?  The good Lord, in His infinite wisdom, decided to introduce me to a beautiful California girl, and even though I always maintained that love at first sight didn't exist, I knew I was going to marry Joy before I knew her name.  And I not only stepped foot in California...several times, I also lived there...and I liked it.  I went to Disneyland, thinking it was for sissy girls and little kids..and I liked it, so much that I went again...and I can't wait for the next time!  I not only went to Bunia...but I liked it.  I've also emphatically claimed, for the last 12 years, that I would never become an airline pilot.  I didn't want to be one of those guys that managed a computer and sat there for hours on end, playing angry birds until I had to push the big red "land me" button.  I wanted to fly in the mountains, actually manipulate the flight controls, be in "real" command of my ship, land on the sides of mountains.  You can see where this is going, can't you?

The CRJ200 that I am training in
I think I've finally learned to shut my big mouth.  How does that quote go?  "Better to look stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."  So here I sit, in a hotel room, studying all manner of company publications, pilot manuals, aircraft manuals, the whole nine yards.  Seems that US Airways Express saw something good in the piloting skills I have so far acquired, and invited me to start pilot training with them.  So right after Thanksgiving I began an 8 week process to becoming a real live airline pilot.

The CRJ200
Things haven't always been easy, but I am thoroughly convinced that each experience we have in life is an opportunity to grow as a person and sharpen each other.  Just like each step I've taken in my flying career has stretched and grown me as an aviator, so it is with each step in life, each fork in the road.  I have always loved Robert Frost's saying, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference."

So, next time you're presented with a fork in the road, take a minute to stop and think about which way you're gonna go.  Take a chance, just might like it.