Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What day is it?

One of the most "uuugh" inducing parts of this life we have together, is that neither of us ever know what day it is.
Technically, we should, when put together. See, CEL operates strictly by date. He won't know Monday from Thursday but he always knows the date. With my company, we work sliding schedules and my "weekend" is the middle of the week- so I always know what day it is... but the 13 or the 23 doesn't make much of a difference to me -thats what the blackberry is for, to chrip at me for meetings and events.
Anyway, part of the difficulty with this silliness is that when we're on the phone or in emails, I don't know that we're ever referring to the same day. It's funny the majority of the time, stressful the rest ("Will we have our days off together this week? I have that meeting on Wednesday so my days off will change" "What's Wednesday? I get home the 24th." "......")

And, it's more than the phrases and the verbage he uses, it's more than his packing skills. Recently, he got a ticket for speeding on the back road to the airport. He figured "like everything in my industry!" he had until the end of the month it was due to take care of the paperwork. Wrong. That was a fun discovery...

I suppose we all do it in all lines of business to some degree, but it always make me smile/shake my head/sigh/laugh when I realize- he's such a PILOT. It's like a man with a different operating system.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saved by the Trip

I have no doubt that CEL and I were meant for each other. He reminds me of how we found each other, "against all odds", and how perfect we fit together.

How I wish that meant things were smooth and stress free all the time... like they were...

We started dating at the very beginning of his time with the Airline. I haven't known life with him any different, but reserve felt different. I swear he was around more. I was beginning my career at the same time, which doesn't make for a sensible time to start a relationship, but nothing about us has been the "easy way". What mattered was that we fell in love, instantly. What I didn't expect was my doubt and worry to consume me the way it has been.

I can't help but feel like I don't have it together when it comes to us. I work 90 hour weeks at a Fortune 100 company I worked my tail off to get into, and sometimes, frankly, I don't have time for the hour long conversations once he gets to his overnight.

Yes, I get snappy. Yes, I know it's my fault. Yes, I'm working on it. That doesn't change the fact that it sure would be nice to be in opposite roles sometimes. When the house needs cleaning, the dog's acting more like a child with ADHD, the fridge is empty, the A/C is on the fritz, the car needs washing, and laundry is spilling out of the hamper into the hallway-- it would be nice to be saved by the trip!

I am independent and self-sufficient to a fault. This I know. A hurdle I've had to deal with just by being so in-love with CEL, is needing him. (This is the part that I hope the wonderfully strong women who write those other blogs maybe hear a little teeny ounce of similarity, even if it is way in the back of their mind...)

Needing a man is just not something I am programmed for. I don't need anyone. I can take care of myself and anything life throws my way. (Please, sense the false tough-girl here!) My past has been rocky with people voluntarily or involuntarily leaving, and I made it clear to CEL that needing him in my life was difficult for me, ...knowing that I could need someone who has to leave me for a 4 or 5 day trip every week was a prospect I swallowed with an optimistic-pill. I thought I would figure it out. I haven't mastered it yet. He tells me I "can" need him. That he'll be there when he can, always when he can. I guess that's the part that gets me.
Anniversaries- both the kind you mourn and the kind you celebrate, bad days at work, great days at work, little victories in training the dog-- days and times I "need" him there, he's usually unable to be there.

Sometimes, he talks about quitting his job. In my head, there are two thoughts. 1, I know he really would do that for me, for us. And 2, he would do that for me, for us. The first is a very sad, humbling, "he would really leave his passion for a lifestyle which allowed for him to be home each night and for me to kiss him goodbye each morning and for our kids to always have their dad around..". The second is more of a little girl, a selfish stranger who sometimes comes and lives in my gut and jumps when something like that is said, something that says, "I didn't push him to say that, and he said that! He loves me and he wants this!"

Yep, the second girl is a bitch. The second girl and the first girl usually blend together into what I really feel about him leaving flying: He'd be insane.

Part of what I love about him is his passion. My father and grandfather were flying nuts. I grew up looking up to two men who talked airplanes and flying stories until all hours of the night. I went to airshows and am not (so) embarrassed to admit that there are more photos archived away in albums of me standing next to airplanes than there are of me standing with Disney characters. I wore t-shirts boasting of aircraft that my grandfather flew, helped my father organize his collection of model planes, helped him sort through literally hundreds of aviation related books. I went through the phase of rolling my eyes each time my dad heard a distant aircraft and could identify it (based on WHAT!?), and caught myself laughing until I cried when I learned CEL did exactly the same. He loves everything about flying, and I knew two of the most "addicted" men out there. It's in his blood, it makes him- him. I would never ask him to stop.

If he could be home each night, yes, I'm sure we would be a very different couple. But he wouldn't be happy at some other job, and I only want him to be happy.

I just need to find a way to get through this rough patch... I need to remember that he's not electing to leave me, it's the downside of the career he loves. He tells me all the time he hates every second he's away, but loves every second he flies.

Rock. Hardplace. Stuck.

I need to move past feeling like he got saved by the trip, and remember that the leaving isn't what he loves.

Suggestions welcome.

a new leaf- a baby step

I laugh at people who use the word blog. I never have had one, never thought I would have one. I used to read a popular blog religiously, but would never admit it. (It was about the field I was interested in!) Then, one tear-filled, empty house night, I started googling. I found blog after blog after blog, written by girlfriends and wives of men in the aviation industry. After absolutely losing track of time, I had read pages and pages of these women's experiences, all of which I felt a connection to in some way. But not in all ways...

Maybe there is something WRONG with me. They seem to have it figured out, or at least can write their way out of a breakdown while leaving little to feed my image of what I secretly had hoped would be a frazzled, stressed, panicked, suspicious, woman who is in love with a man who's job happens to take him thousands of miles away for stretches of time.
Maybe that's just my own pathetic image.

Because I am all those things...

I am, first and foremost, in love. The earth-is-spinning-faster, stars-are-shining-brighter, chirpy birds and butterflies in the stomach kind of love. CEL is my knight in shinning armor, my everything. I don't know where I would be or what I would do without him in my life. I genuinely feel like the luckiest girl in the world. He's a wonderful, caring, loving, funny, passionate, amazing man.

He is also an airline pilot.

Which has, in it's own way, not so indirectly led me to typing these very words in a little box surrounded by buttons whose functions I'm totally unsure of. (This must be similar to how my grandmother felt when I tried to teach her to use her new cell phone, or her ipod... I suddenly feel guilty for my frustrations. Technology...)

I am a pilot's girlfriend. And after a year and three months, I'm still trying to cope with that.