The view in the mirror isn’t always what’s expected. Several weeks ago, I was graced with the awareness of an inspiring woman, Karlene Petitt. I was introduced to her via the Airplane Geeks Podcast. I listened to her banter back and forth with the Flyboys and put them all in their places when needed. I admired her confidence, knowledge and “get ‘er done” spirit. Imagine my surprise when she responded to my interest with interest of her own. Of the many pilots out there, she had chosen me to be included in her blog of Fabulous Friday Flyers. She felt my story was worth sharing and worth the chance of reaching out to someone who might help me get where I want to be instead of just wherever I can get.
I was so honored to be included, but was not ready for what I would feel upon reading my story told by another. That was an unusual experience; seeing myself through another’s eyes. At first I did a lot of cringing. All I could see was how much of a “stupid girl” I am. How I could have done so many other things but made a ton of bad choices. We are our own worst critic. But then the responses started. I received some direct message tweets from pilot friends. I had a few messages left on my website and there were comments left actually on Karlene’s blog post. All positive. All impressed that I was still going. It made me reevaluate who I think I am.
Maybe I’m not really the confused, scared little girl hiding in the corner hoping no one will notice me and yet secretly hoping someone would help me. Maybe I’m not the goofy outcast that people made fun of and threw bodily fluids at in school. Maybe I’m not the broken, beaten, bruised and bleeding girl trying very hard to get clean in college anymore. Maybe I’m not the love blind girl, willing to sacrifice it all to fulfill my husband’s every dream for fear of being labeled a “bad wife.” Maybe I’m not just a single mom trying to keep my daughter, healthy, happy, safe and engaged. Maybe I really am a strong & stubborn person who has been through a lot but can’t give up because it’s just not in my nature to do so. Maybe I am actually a decent, real person who is allowed to be happy and pursue that which I really do want. Wow. Seeing myself through another’s eyes really made me rethink who I had believed I was all this time.
I’m still learning who I am, but this view into the looking glass was inspiring to me. It reminded me where I have been, where I have always wanted to go, and showed me where I got sidetracked. A great self learning tool and I am thankful to the Airplane Geeks and Karlene Petitt for the opportunity to actually see myself from the outside.
Not to sound arrogant, but the view isn’t really as bad as I had believed.