Well, I have now returned to school from an on-the-whim Spring Break trip back home to San Diego! As most of you know, I was fortunate to have a 10 day Spring Break and be able to attend the Women in Aviation Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee! Wow. I can’t even begin to describe how awesome of an experience it was. I was in aviator heaven. From Boeing to Gulfstream to Virgin Air to XOJet to AOPA to Walmart Aviation to Delta to United to FedEx to UPS to name a few.. I guess you could say I was a little overwhelmed. Meeting pilots and company representatives from all over the world was nothing more than humbling. Honestly, I never truly realized how much there is to aviation until I attended this conference.
From banquets, to FedEx chocolates, to having lunch with the Women in Aviation Chapter from Ghana, Africa, to Women in Corporate Aviation and Setting Your Stage for Success meetings, to just spending time with the girls in the Women in Aviation Chapter here at ERAU, this was an experience that I will take with me for a life time. Walking into the main Exhibit Hall at the Opryland Resort Convention Center, there was this overwhelming feeling I had- like I was a part of a family. Ok, ok, maybe that sounds weird, but there’s just this sudden connection you seem to have when you know everyone that possesses the same interests are all in the same room as you. I met some incredible and inspirational women and left with stories that I will take with me throughout the aviation world for many years to come. There’s this incredible ladder called aviation and I’m loving every moment in climbing it.
I got to spend a great deal of time with family and catching up with my beloved city. Not to mention- real Mexican food! I miss home, but it was definitely fun running around being a tourist in my own town for the week I was back. Now it’s time to finish out these last 4 weeks strong!
While being at the Women in Aviation Conference, a quote that I read on the plane ride home from BNA back to SAN struck me: “It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t” – Stephen Kellogg
I immediately thought, ‘Wow. I don’t think I could have read that quote at a better time.’ Whether it’s through a job or getting a degree, we’re all climbing a ladder, but only some of us are climbing the ones we truly want to climb. Some of us climb ladders because others expect us to or it is the one that has simply presented itself in front of us. Whether it’s parents, friends, or society who tells you what ladder to climb- I want to know: are you climbing the ladder for yourself, or others? Let’s take a detour; in aviation terms, RVR is a means of visibility (Runway Visual Range). It is the distance which the pilot of an aircraft on the center line of the runway can see the runway markings so the plane can be landed in safe visibility. Some of us can see a reward at the top of our ladders so we quickly and eagerly climb the rungs to get the trophy; the job title, the degree. Yet we don’t see that starting a journey in and of itself is a reward we have already proclaimed. It’s not about the ultimate satisfaction at the end, it’s the juiciness inside the middle of the sandwich. RVR is great, don’t get me wrong, and you may be able to see the end of a certain ladder, but that doesn’t mean it’s yours. Your ladder may be scary, tall, frightening with minimal visibility as to what is at the top. Let that fear be your reassurance, because once you take that first step, you will open up a world of reward that you could have never imagined and I can guarantee you that nothing is more exciting than following not your parents, not your friends, not society’s ladder laid out for you, but rather your own. Trust me. It’s much taller.
To the starting end of the semester and my first year in college –