One year and ten weeks ago, I made an attempt to start over in the great state of Texas. I quickly discovered it wasn’t a good fit. So with the help of another Sister-Friend, I once again packed my daughter, three cats and all our belongings into a U-Haul, and set my direction for Colorado. After a harrowing evening drive of sparking down the highway, exhausted eyes, and blown power cords for the dvd player, we managed to make it into Kansas and drive the whole day to Aurora, Colorado. My daughter did well even though she was obviously done with long drives. The cats hid in the trunk and came out to give us stink eye once in a while or stretch out on everything and fur us up. We passed windmills, power plants, churches and a bunch of nothing on our drive from Lewisville, Texas, up through Oklahoma and finally westward through Kansas on I-70 towards Denver and what was beginning to feel much like a fabled city in the sky. We watched the afternoon storms roll in as the Rockies grew in the distance. Somehow through sheer luck, we managed to squeeze between the storms and arrive as the sun was setting brilliantly behind the snow-capped Rockies. But arrive we did.
Now in Colorado for one complete year as of June 15th, I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to do. I arrived in Denver, unemployed with two job interviews lined up. Both resulted in job offers, and I accepted the one closer to home with better pay and benefits. Unfortunately in March, I was laid off and now find myself seeking another job, only now it seems much harder.
But I’ve also managed to get my daughter into and keep her in an amazing school. She is blossoming and learning so much being around other children. It has helped alleviate my concerns of her being an only child. She has just grown so much. I’m amazed that this cool little person allows me to even hang around her. She is strong-willed, keeps the cats in line and absolutely loves her new butterfly/faerie garden I put together for Children’s Day for her. I am just so pleased that she is finally showing signs of a stable, happy home. Although I am unemployed, I am doing everything I can to make sure her world does not get uprooted and rocked again, any time soon. We are going on one year of stability in her 2.75 years. I’m hoping for more.
I’ve also rekindled the smoldering flames of my aviation passion. Throughout my life, my friends and coworkers have always known and understood my love for the sky and all things that take to the wind, although very few shared my passion. So it was through the amazing world of Social Media that I found like-minded souls and learned the title “Avgeek” and how it fit me. I began tweeting into the vastness of the Twitter-verse about what I saw in the sky above me and amazingly someone responded. I started sharing photos of the sky and the nearby airport and more people began sharing with me. Suddenly I had found a group of people whom I could share my passion of aviation with, without feeling out-of-place. And then the floodgates opened.
- I was asked to become a regular member of an aviation podcast, the Mile High Flyers.
- I removed my marriage name from my Airmen’s Certificate. Is It Really Just a Name?
- I was asked to submit an article for the Women in Aviation International, 2010 Conference magazine, the Show Daily and it was PUBLISHED! She’s Here in Spirit
- The powers that be, let me sit left seat of a fully functional commercial airliner flight simulator and perform maneuvers over various parts of the world, including a barrel roll! Z Force One – I flew a BIG BIRD
- I was privileged to interview a fighter pilot, “Interview with an F-22 Pilot,” a man and his family flying a Light Sport Aircraft to all 50 states “Flight for the Human Spirit,” and an amazing woman who flew around the continent of Australia and made the film, “Flyabout” chronicling her journey.
- I RETURNED TO THE SKY and actually FLEW the plane. Plus it was recorded! “Zyola Returns to the Sky”
A year ago, I arrived in Colorado unsure and nervous of what the future would hold. Would I be able to make it on my own? Will I find a job? Can I afford to keep a home for my daughter and I? Will we be safe? I still worry about those questions every day. I am still hoping to find a way to make a steady income that will allow me to provide for my daughter. I am still hopeful that we are safe. The further away from my divorce date the better I feel. I don’t know what the next year will hold for us. I’m not even sure I know what I want it to hold for us yet. What I do know is that I can only take it day by day, and believe there are more good things in our future. All things considered, it has been a good year and I am in a better place than I was last year at this time.
I’d like to give a special MAHALO NUI to Nate Duehr, whom as @denverpilot was the first #AvGeek to Tweet me. He is also the “King” of the Mile High Flyers podcast and co-owner of the Cessna 182 that took me back to the sky. It was through him and the connection between a mutual friend, Toni Cole that I have had such an amazing and rewarding return to the world of aviation.