Daniel* – Pilot

Before I start writing this particular post, I am warning you now that it mentions sex. There are no details but it does mention it. For anyone who doesn’t want to read further, don’t.

In this experience I am going to admit first and foremost that it involves a one night stand. Not just any one night stand though; a one night stand with a pilot. I broke my cardinal rule at work (Never, EVER, sleep with a pilot). Yep, call me whatever you want or judge me for whatever you want. I had a one night stand and there’s nothing I can do about it now so get over it. Before you all start climbing onto your high horses, I can safely say that almost everyone reading this has had one too. Don’t worry you lot, your secret is safe with me. It was very out of character for me but everyone has their reasons. Some people just like sex (good on you)! Others use sex as a way to just feel something, anything. Some people are searching for love in the wrong places while others just don’t like commitment and end up having one night stands instead. Whatever your reasons, I’m not judging and I hope you will do the same for me. My reason for this one night stand was the simple fact that I was feeling insecure (surprise surprise, I feel insecure a lot). We’ve all been there. We feel insecure and in our distorted opinions we think that by feeling ‘wanted’ even just for a few moments, our insecurities will disappear…. until they don’t.

For work I get to travel around a lot with some great people. I work with new people all the time for different trips which is incredible. On one particular trip I met a pilot. He was charismatic and intelligent from the start. Everything about the way he spoke and what he talked about was so engaging and interesting that I could barely contain how in awe of him I was. I was absolutely stroking his ego (here ego is in no way an innuendo for penis – that of course came later on *insert terrible wink emoji*). On the first night away and our first full day exploring, I was enticed and couldn’t help but fall prey to the allure of this particular pilot. At work, you hear all sorts of stories and from day 1 we are warned to stay away from pilots. Now I’ll be one of the first to tell you that the majority of the pilots at work are actually really good, decent people who you can have a laugh and spend time with completely innocently! A lot of them are just, like anyone would, looking to explore the place or enjoy the sunshine with some good company. There are a minority who give pilots their bad reputation however. This is where my previously mentioned cardinal rule comes in – Never, EVER, sleep with a pilot! On my first day of work in my current job, I promised myself that I would never get involved at all with a pilot because I knew I would inevitably get hurt. Before you start insulting the one that appears in this tale, the pilot in question, Daniel*, isn’t to blame because he was only being himself the entire time. His personality was just one that drew people (women) in and who could fault him for that! I wasn’t taken advantage of by the big bad pilot. I was just a woman, standing in front of a man, asking him to make her feel good about herself (Classic script writing I’ve just stolen a bit).

Anyway, on the second night a few of us went out for drinks so naturally my guard was down and my inhibitions letting me run free. When we all headed back to the hotel, we slowly piled out of the lift one by one at our assigned floor until it was just me and Daniel left. We stood in silence in the confined space until we stopped at his floor and the doors opened. Daniel stepped towards me, placed a quick kiss on my cheek and said goodnight. I returned the gesture. There was an awkward moment where we both kept saying goodnight but he didn’t show any sign of moving away from me. Before you know it he’s wrapped his arm around my waist, pulled me in close and we’re kissing to the sound of the elevator doors closing and the lift flying up to my floor. Without either of us saying anything; like it was natural and didn’t need questioning, we both got out the lift at my floor and walked in silence to my hotel room. Once inside you know the drill! No detail is needed here so use your imagination. Although don’t use it too much you filthy minded people! There was only one thing probably slightly out of the ordinary, or maybe you all do this…. Right at the beginning while I was still in my underwear, I took a moment and excused myself to go to the bathroom where I shut the door. Sometimes I do this thing where I just stand and look at myself in the mirror. I try to imagine what other people see when they look at me but in my head I think I see something completely different. My whole life, I’ve been incredibly self conscious about my looks. Like most people do, I have insecurities. As I was looking at myself, taking in the way my face and body looks, all I could think was how much I wished I was more confident in myself. I can’t make myself prettier and although I can lose weight, I can’t change my body shape so confidence is what I need. Snap out of it! I quickly flushed the toilet for good measure so I didn’t seem like a weirdo and scolded myself for being so self conscious. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I really believe I could never be someone’s first choice…

Anyway, I couldn’t stay in that bathroom forever and I didn’t want to. I went back into that bedroom and, well you’d be proud. I went into it knowing full well that it was a one night stand. A part of me hoped it wouldn’t be but the rational side knew it was and that was OK with me. In the morning Daniel left and we both went about our days like nothing had happened. Nothing was awkward and he was the perfect gentleman about it all. He sent me a very kind, considerate text making sure I was OK about the whole thing. I messaged back with something that I thought made me sound cool, laid back and nonchalant which of course just sounded stupid. I think I got away with it though.

Between making judgements, you’re probably wondering why this is important. Well what happened on the flight home is what made this important. No one on the crew knew about my late night activities and a few made comments about Daniel and another girl on the crew. She was much younger (I’m only 26 for goodness sake), prettier and thinner than me (obviously looking back now I can say to myself ‘Who cares?@’). My insecurities immediately flooded into my mind. Comments were made that Daniel had obviously liked this girl and I was clouded with emotion; unable to rationalise any of this. I instantly felt like a consolation prize because Daniel’s first choice hadn’t been with us in the lift the night before. I was the runt of the litter that people choose because they feel sorry for them; not someone’s first choice. I felt awful about myself the entire flight home and every time Daniel spoke to me my vision was blurred with my intrusive thoughts. The bully inside of me was winning.

This is why this experience is important! Because hindsight has given me wisdom that I should have had at the time. Why do we do this to ourselves? Not just girls; guys do it too. Why do we continue to be our biggest critics? Why do we let other peoples’ judgements define how we see ourselves? After landing I was cold to the rest of the crew and once back at my car, I sat and felt tears tumble down my cheeks. Don’t judge me; I had just worked a 15 hour day and hadn’t slept in nearly 30 hours!! You do that, then spill some cereal on the floor and tell me you didn’t bawl like a baby. I was absolutely gutted. I couldn’t blame anyone here but myself. No one had made me feel like this but me. I messaged some of my closest friends with a quick run down and waited for comforting replies. Luckily for me, I received a reality check! Why was I being so hard on myself? So what if, in my opinion, this girl was prettier than me. So what if Daniel had made comments that he thought she was hot to other crew members. Why was I beating myself up about all of this? Why couldn’t I believe that maybe, just maybe, Dan was high fiving himself for the previous night? That’s why this was so important. The whole experience just showed me how insecure I can be. When staring at myself in that mirror I should be able to smile and think how beautiful I am because I am me. There will always be someone better than me but that’s all subjective. I’m not naïve enough to think a one night stand was going to be Prince Charming but for just one moment I was hoping it would be. Instead, I learned more about myself and that maybe I need to start learning how to believe that sometimes I am someone’s first choice. Not only that but what right do I have to assume what a guy (in this case Dan) is thinking about me? What right do I have to tell a guy that he didn’t choose me because he was attracted to me? I have no right to any of these things. Despite what I may think sometimes, I’m no mind reader. My telepathy doesn’t work; even if passengers seem to think it does! If I constantly tell myself that I’m a consolation prize no wonder I end up with guys who think it too. I’m basically giving them permission to think that of me. Dan never made out that he didn’t want that night to happen so why did I waste my time creating some kind of ulterior motive in my own head?

Let’s not do this to ourselves anymore. Now pick up that cereal you spilled and stop crying!

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