Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I always have said I like to have options. But there are times when too many options makes making a decision difficult. Especially when it concerns the rest of your life.

I have some decisions to make regarding 3 options. And gathering information to make the correct decision is becoming a problem because I'm at the point where getting more information means a commitment of some sort to one of the three options.

Option 1:

I've been a pilot for 23 years. I've always wanted to be a pilot. I enjoy flying. But my incident one year ago has essentially ruined it for me. So has working for others who twist and bend the rules to help them and put me at risk. To proceed with this career I have the option of acquiring a type rating in a Cessna Citation (read: jet). Part of that option is acquiring funding through the Workforce Investment Act. WIA funds in Northern California are distributed through Northern California Employment Network, a consortium of 11 counties in NorCal. They made their restrictions a little tighter than the States which eliminates some providers including the one I might want to use. That provider is willing to be added to NCEN but it will take "a while". And we all know how long "a while" is with the State of California. Even more so now that it may be broke by February 1st.!

Option 2:

I've also always wanted to be a history teacher. Jr. or Sr. High, World History teacher. I think I'd be good at this but I dropped out of college to pursue a life in the circus...I mean...flying circus! I have some credits but not a lot. Going back to school is an option using the aforementioned WIA funds, grants and student loans. It would take me about 2.5 years to get my credential and a teaching job which are, at this time, scarce and pay less than aviation. Good news is, the gov't likes teachers and grants and such are widely available. But to do this I would still have to find a job to pay for incidentals, car payment, utilities, etc.

Option 3:

I "interviewed" today for a position selling supplemental insurance through Family Heritage Life. Seems like a good gig. Pays decent. I'll get out of it what I put into it. Unfortunately some red flags popped up...nothing that is a deal-breaker just some things I need to think about. First would be an independent contractor position. 1099sville. Second, it's sales. I've never really liked sales of been good at sales but I've had many people over the years tell me I'd be good at it based on my personality. After sitting through the presentation I could see myself doing this job as the product is something I would be interested in and for me, that's half the battle.

So I have 3 options. Two mix well...#2 and #3. #3 provides the job to pay the incidentals while I exercise option #2. The kicker is I have to choose Option #2 as my career path from here on out. To be honest with myself, I'm a little burned out of aviation right now. Don't know if it's the PTSD talking, the gear-up talking or 23 years not progressing talking. I still truly love to fly but I do not look with joy at hardball IFR, or Point A to Point B 5 days a week. Or being rousted out of bed at o'dark-thirty to fly to someplace. I don't enjoy the long, 3-4 hour trips. I rather enjoyed the out and backs at the USFS or even the RDD-SIY-RDD run I did a few years back (even though at the time I was nearly suicidal!)

I guess I'm just not willing to cut off aviation completely. To forgo the career path I am/was on. I see it as, well, a failure of some sorts to not continue. But I do get excited when I think about becoming a teacher but fear I'm too old, too late coming to the party. I'm also concerned that I am being selfish to my kids. By spending the money to become a teacher I feel I'm taking money away from their higher education. I so want to be able to get them through their Bachelor's degree so as to give them a better shot at life than their parents had.

I don't know...I want a sign. A big one in neon lights. One that will assuage all the guilt. One that will comfort me in that the decision I make is the right one. One that will keep my wife sane and worry-free. One that won't keep me up at nights wondering if I did the right thing...

Anybody got a sign like that?


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