It’s a beautiful Seattle morning, a glowing sun peeking through puffy clouds hiding to give way to a layer of clouds. A cool breeze wafts through the window, and I watch my coffee steam while a sweet choral rendition of Emeli Sandé’s “Where I Sleep” lulls me into a calm yet blissful existence— this is where I’m home.
I moved into my apartment in late June as the Pride festival enveloped the neighborhood; I was too busy unpacking to participate in the gayeties. My darling mommy helped me set up the essentials, and my great aunt and uncle came over with a bed that I had shipped to their house. It really does take a village.
Are you liking Seattle?
And the answer is wholeheartedly, unequivocally, YES. But there’s one aspect of this job that makes it very difficult to connect and explore a new city; absence makes the heart grow fonder. Because I’m gone so often, and for large chunks of time, it’s not always easy to get down a routine. And let’s talk about the weather: it’s deceitful. Since I’ve moved here, it has only rained a handful of time— much to my dismay. I love my cool, cardigan-wearing, cloud-covered, all-out brooding weather. But Seattleites are quick to slap this notion out of my head, because, “You’ll miss this gorgeous weather from October until May.” Well, that remains to be seen.
I have a small group of friends who aren’t in aviation, which is a double edged sword. They host a gathering every Friday that we’ve entitled the Queer Coven. It’s BYOB and usually everyone brings a small dish to share— with my Midwestern sensibility, I roll up with a crockpot full of dip (tonight’s selection will be pizza flavored!). This only presents itself as an issue when I get home from a long four day trip and want to unleash— it’s then that the language barrier of aviation becomes a hindrance to understanding.
There was nothing wrong with my time in Chicago. The city itself is a metropolis like no other, and I adore it. I made lifelong friends and partied my heart out; Chicago was fun, but it was too fun. I lost a part of myself that I should have been enriching. Because I was on reserve and not flying a ton, that left me free time to gallivant and twirl many nights with a drink in hand. I stopped going to yoga. I stopped reading LGBT Young Adult fiction. I noticed these destructive habits and a retreat from my passions; I had an epiphany that it was time to change. I’m grateful for the experience, for without pain you can’t know joy.
New City, New Me
My intention upon my move to Seattle is to have meaningful experiences and connections. While I was able to remove myself from an environment that was not conducive to my well-being, I realize that my issues are not inherently geographic.
Two things are happening to me; I’m beginning to love my body as it is while making effective changes in eating habits and physical activity. I’ve joined a gym (and, admittedly, don’t go as often as I should) and became a member at a yoga studio. Now, that is where I shine and have made an excellent rebound. This particular studio is the right mix of hippy-dippy while offering a healthy workout. And the instructors are kind and supportive— for Gaga’s sake, one plays Beyoncé. While it’s not technically “hot yoga” the studio is “gently heated.” But I’ll tell you that I come out of class completely drenched and enlivened.
And for the time being, there is no romance, not that there really ever has been. I’m not opposed, but I’m also not very gung-ho on the concept of dating. It’s a side project on the back burner for another time in a distant future— but that’s a conversation for rainy day, if it ever comes.
One final note: I’m on a mission. With this renewed joie de vivre, I aim to tell you my truths as an openly gay—flamboyant—airline pilot. Not everyday is sunshine and rainbows, but not everyday is an oppressive mess. I hope to meet you on your journey as I keep flapping on mine; welcome to The Flight of Your Life.