I wrote this post quite awhile ago. I never could bring myself to post it because looking back at it still produced a twinge of guilt. But here it is and I know that this is the right time to post it!
Also so much has changed since writing this post namely the fact that I am engaged and I probably would've done this after getting engaged whether or not I was having a hard time so that has made me feel better.
Overall I hope that this speaks to some of you in different situations in your life.
I lay awake in the middle of the night with tears streaming down my cheeks trying to not wake up my sleeping sister next door. I turned on a lamp and dialed my boyfriend's number… I needed to confirm my feelings and decision… He answered his cell-phone and turns out he had just gotten home too so I hadn't awakened him, thank goodness. I was crying so hard I could barely get out the words… I almost didn’t want to speak them out loud. Choking on my sobs I managed to tell him why I called, “I have to quit flying.”
I love flying. I love the feeling of gravity pushing the breath out of your lungs as you climb and steep turn at the same time. I love the power that you have control of. I love spiral diving above the patchwork quilt of fields that makes up the Manitoba prairie. I love the fact that flying is a virus… once you get it it's very hard to get rid of it. I love the quiet and peaceful atmosphere that a sunrise flight produces. I love taking off and leaving the chaos of this world downstairs for an hour or two and just have you, the birds and God. I love the people in the flying community… they are top notch people!
I didn’t want to quit. I wanted to do start to finish all in one shot. But that didn’t work out for a couple of reasons. The main one being I took on more than I could handle in my life right now.
When I told him, Jeffrey was so good with it. My family responded really well. My friends were surprised but understood I think. :) The hardest part was convincing myself that I had to quit. As I’ve said before I LOVE flying and it really hurts giving up something that you love. Not only that though I was really ashamed that I couldn’t finish. I had a few people tell me they didn’t think I would and I was fueled by a passion to prove them wrong. Now in saying that I am a pilot, I have a student's pilots permit, and I know how to fly… so in some respects, I proved people wrong. I have done three exams… and with hard work passed all of them. That all aside though I still felt shame… and I was sick to my stomach at the thought of having to tell my instructors.
That night Jeffrey calmed me down and prayed for me and I fell asleep. The next morning I told my family and then emailed my instructors asking if I could meet with the both of them the next day. It worked to meet and I started playing out the conversation in my head over and over trying to figure out how I would tell them. The day at work, the 20-minute drive… it all seemed like an eternity. I drove up to the aerodrome and they walked from a hanger to meet me in the office. I was shaking. I sat across from them trying to look happy and stop myself from shaking. They asked what was on my mind and all my eloquent speeches vanished from my brain… I looked at my hands folded in my lap and said: “I think I am quitting flying.”. My top instructor looked at me and smiled, “Regan I knew this was coming, but let me just say something. Flying is like a drug, you’ll need your fix every now and then. No person can put their foot in the door of aviation and not get sucked in. You aren’t quitting because you will never get rid of that desire to fly. This is just a break, a pause in your training, that was probably necessary. You are a good pilot and you have a lot going for you! And don’t feel ashamed about this! You definitely aren’t the first and you won’t be the last! You are always allowed around the aerodrome and if you hang around I’m sure you’ll get a free ride now and then!”
I felt so happy leaving the aerodrome! I was relieved that I didn’t get heck, yes, but more than that I know thought of my time away as a pause from flying… not a failure.
So yes I have stopped flight training for the next while because I needed to prioritize my life with the eternal things coming first. I had not given time to Jesus like I should for a long time and now that I don’t have the stress of flying on my shoulders I have felt like I have been able to enjoy my Saviour more freely… the first prayer meeting I went to after “pausing” flying felt like a breath of fresh air! I will go back to flying no doubt about that… or snag rides off of pilots I know!
But Jesus first! Flying... seventh! ;D