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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Joy and Sorrow

It has been a while since I've had time to post, weeks punctuated by a lot of studying for the instrument, instrument, commercial and instructor writtens, the inevitable Christmas rush, a visit back home to Ireland and the big jump: telling the higher-ups at work that I was leaving to embark on this new adventure.
I made the call this morning, a casual conversation to give one of my bosses and close friend in New York a heads-up that an official notice would be coming soon. He most agreably offered me to stay as long as needed but I had to turn down the kind offer for further paychecks since my start date is set in stone.
Tomorrow, the written notice will be composed and sent to the appropriate parties and I will have thus put the wheels in motion for good. While feeling no sadness whatsoever about leaving the company, I am nervous about this final leap into the wide open precipice ahead. It will no doubt be one of the most exciting adventures of my life, second only to the wonderful moments shared with Jen.
Unfortunately, it also came with the backdrop of paternal disapproval.
My father, a self-made man who led an extremely successful life and always provided for us, had initially greeted the news with utter placidity, which I welcomed with surprised joy since disapproval is what I'd expected.
"You're crazy," he however barked at me on my last night in Dublin.
I tried to talk to him about the decision, run him through the planning I've done over the past year, appease his concerns and enlighten him about the months ahead, what I'll go through, what can be expected but to no avail. With anger he shut a door in my face and we barely spoke until I left.
While his reaction will not detract me from pursuing flying as a career, it makes me sad not to be able to share the excitement of it all with him.
He always dreamed of becoming a reporter and congregated with journalists wherever we lived, from Africa to Italy, France and Ireland. As a young man he began working in the marketing departments of newspapers in Ireland and Kenya then moved on to public relations and led an exciting career that took him to all corners of the world. After retirement the void was just too great and he became depressed. While he courageously pulled through, he also grew more frightened and I think that he is terrified of what to him seems like an abrupt change of direction.
To some extent his fears are completely justified. Aviation, after all, is an uncertain industry with little money to be earned initially and inherent risk. But I always knew I'd never be a rich man and I have dreamed of doing this ever since I was a child.
His dream of becoming a reporter never came true as he built his career on the other side of the fence, as a flack. In many ways he has lived journalism through me over the past 10 years and we often spent two hours on the phone on Sundays discussing stories I'd written or events I'd witnessed.
Surely he feels some sadness that his dream was never realized. So why can't he support my decision to make mine a reality? Or at the very least accept it.
In time I know things will change but I would've liked to jump into this with his support and perhaps even encouragement.
So it will be with a mix of joy and sorrow that I'll begin training in just over three weeks.
Whatever the circumstances, I'm ready.


Blogger John said...

The way I look at it, life is filled with uncertainty. The only thing that is certain is there's no fate worse than reaching the end of your life wishing you had done something different with your life. Don't let the naysayers get you down. Do your best and try not to worry. That's my advice.

7:42 AM  
Blogger MyFlightBlog said...

I agree with John it would be awful to go through the rest of your life always think what if. If you know being a career aviator will make you happy it is not important how unstable it will be at times. Don't be too down in this time of great change as you have a world of fun experiences ahead of you. Good luck!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Capt. Wilko said...

Thanks for the support guys. I'm definitely looking forward to this great adventure. As you noted, John, uncertainty is everywhere, including journalism where massive changes are happening because of the cost of producing news so no field is immune to it. I'm sure he'll turn around some day, it's just sad that it had to happen this way.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous C. said...

Wow, I'm impressed with what you're doing. I'll eventually make the same leap, I think, but the thought of quitting my safe, secure job right now is terrifying. Best of luck to you -- if you hit it hard at ATP and have the support of others (your father will hopefully come around), you should do just fine. Best of luck, and I hope you'll blog your ATP experience.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Capt. Wilko said...

Hi C,
Many thanks and I will definitely keep a daily journal of my time at ATP. This is what the blog was originaly meant for, so stay tuned!

10:37 AM  

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