It all started back in 2005. I had been frustrated with where I was in my life. I was working at a job I hated, out of shape, had back problems, no social life to speak of (had swore off dating some six years prior), and was soon to be heading toward 40 years old. Thank God I had always had great friends, who were always there for me. My family on the other had been always on again off again. I had two biggest fears at the time; 1st being flying, and the 2nd being in a serious relationship. My fear of flying goes back further than I can remember, and my fear of intimacy I believe started with my difficult relationship w/ my family.
Growing up as many did, in a violent abusive family, I had little belief in family or marriage. Therefore I swore in HS that I would never marry, and I would never be a victim. To escape from all the drama at home, I focused on music. Music became my sole focus. I poured everything into it, and spent up to 5 or more hours practicing the Violin, Bass, and trumpet. I composed my own music, and someday hoped to become a great composer like Beethoven (my hero as a child).
Things didn’t quite work out that way. I finished HS, and got the first job I could (working at a copy shop). I wanted out of my family’s house as quickly as possible. As soon as I felt I could, I move out into an apartment with three other roommates. Even though music had basically taken a back seat for me, I found a new passion, dance! One day while watching a free concert at Lincoln center, it featured some Flamenco dancing. 5 men in rather tight pants, came out and danced. I was enthralled with Flamenco. All the lyrics and music talked of such pain, and I felt at the time that the music really talked to my soul, and allowed me to express all the pain I had locked up inside of me.
At that time, basically I worked to dance. Every day after work, I went to the dance studio, and took classes or rented rooms to practice. I wasn’t planning to give up my day job (even though I hated it), but simply wanted to dance to express myself, not to perform. My feeling was if I performed for money, dance would loss it’s passion for me, and for me it was mostly great therapy for me. I carried about my life, somehow ending up in a career in finance (which paid well, but which I found rather boring and still do; the truth be told). The years passed quickly, and I dated from time to time, but nothing serious ever came to be.
Then at 36 years old, I started to take stock of my life, and realized that soon I would be 40, and I hadn’t accomplished any of the goals I had long ago set.
A friend of mine advised that I seriously re-examine my life and goals. I realized that one of the things I wanted to change was my career, (but what I had no idea). I know I wanted something that was not 9 to 5, and tied to a desk. I wanted something challenging and different every day. At the time my friend lent me a book called “Wishcraft” by Barbara Sher. The books helps you discover your skills and talents, and narrow down your best vocation/dreams; by a number of different exercises they assign. They after you decide your best life/vocation; it helps you find practical solutions for implementing these goals. These exercises were very instrumental to helping me discover my ‘dream life’.
Here are some of the exercises:
1st Exercise- What Color are you? I’m Aqua Blue. I’m Serene and calm. I’m magnificent and brilliant. I’m fun, light and Happy!!
2nd Exercise-Private eye Game-Go through your house as if you are another person, who has never met you, and write what type of person you think lives there.
From looking at the CD collection of American Pop, to Spanish romantic music, I get the feeling this person is very idealistic. From their movie collection, which consists of mostly of Star Trek, science fiction, aviation, and comedy, I believe this person likes the sciences and Space in particular. They love to learn and they love to laugh. Their books are mostly self help books, non- fiction, some sci-fi books and spiritual books. From this persons book collection I also get the impression that they are always looking to expand, grow, and learn.
I see many items in the house are Blue, Red and Black, infused with beiges and browns. From the layout, design of the place, my guess is this is a person in or around 30 to 40 years old. They have an established style, which is modern, light, and young. This place is mostly clean, but rather dusty. The person appears to be organized, and from the food in the refrigerator and pantry, my guess is this person attempts to be health conscience, but definitely has some not so health food choices in their stock. The bathroom is neat, but a little dusty (cleaning I’m guessing is not a top priority). You can tell she is fun and creative, and she likes to express these qualities through the multitude of jewelry pieces, and accessories she owns.
3rd Seeing yourself as others see you. Ask a friend to tell you (& you write it down) all the good things about you.
My friend J.J. states:
PM gifts are-
Strength -- of character, of opinion, of belief, whatever you do, you do it
Resilience--you remember that song: "I get knocked down, but I get up again,
cuz you're never gonna keep me down...." I think you have an amazing ability
to pick yourself back up out of a scrape and keep going.
Stamina--they are all related, as you can see. This is the "keep going"
part I mentioned before. You have a lot of endurance and can withstand a
lot before you even get "knocked down" in the first place.
Acceptance--you are accepting of people of all kinds: different creeds,
backgrounds, cultures, races, mental or physical standing. You have been
that way as long as I have known you.
I don't know the word for "not easily embarrassed, but when you know
something is the right thing to do, you don't care how outsiders see it if
you think it will help. (I think of all the stories you tell about doing
stuff with Autistic kids in public).
Positive--you can be hopeful and idealistic--sometimes to the extreme, but I
bet this keeps you healthier than you know.
Enthusiastic--when you are interested in something, you put a lot of energy
and interest into it.
Determination--you go after what you want and do not give up easily.
Warrior--a protector and justice seeker for the underprivileged or overlooked.
Tenacity--when you are interested in a subject, you stick to something and
want to become well acquainted with it and apply it to your life. You try to
live out what you believe.
Generosity--you are the kind of person who would literally give the shirt off
her back or shoes of her feet to a less fortunate person.
Detached--you can let things go and move on.
Well you get the idea. Several exercises later was one of the best exercises for me, in helping me discovery my true calling and dreams. It was called your 'Your Ideal Day', or as I called it 'A day in the Life of my Dream Life’ and it went something like this:
My name is Christina Aka Piper Mama I live in Soho NYC, in a two bedroom apartment on Barrow Street. I live with my best friend and husband Bryan. My Husband is self sufficient, entrepreneur, who primarily works from home. Our home is modernly designed, with lots of glass, silver (stainless steel), and an ultra modern asymmetrical couch. We have an awesome fireplace in the living room, which extents one entire wall (rectangular). Our kitchen is stainless steel, with Aqua and red appliances. Our bathrooms (we have two) are also modern. My honeys bathroom is in brown, and beige, and mine is in different shades of blue and aqua. We have a flying/space study. We devote this room to all things aviation and space exploration; and have memorabilia of both. In this flying /space room we also have an FAA approved full motion simulator (which our guests love to try and fly, when they come by). Our dining area is small space right outside our eat-in kitchen with an island, and has a lovely round bistro table with black glass (seats up to 4).
Due to a friend’s challenge some years back, I took my first flying lesson and fell instantly in love with all things aviation. This challenge was quite a feat for me, as I was absolutely petrified of flying at the time. Well, due to this incredible experience, I immediately set out to work on getting my private pilot license. I went to 5 different flight schools, and realized that each one of them had some major defects. Some had inadequate training, poorly maintained planes, run with little organization, or the school was just out to make a buck off their students (with little regard on turning out good pilots). The idea then hit me, that with all my years of experience in finance, and administration, and my love of aviation; I knew I could own and run my own flight school; and it would offer the best training possible for whatever your ultimate flying goals where (w/o the major defects I found in other flight school.
Hence this is how Piper Mama, Flight School came to be. I obtained my Private pilot lic., and opened our flight school in Baders field, NJ. Bader’s field had closed down many years prior, but I saw the opportunity for growth and business and bought the airport, and then opened my flight school in the summer of 2013. Piper Mama’s (a name dubbed by one of my old past roommates, who often heard me brag about my favorite airplane at the school where I studied; Piper Warrior). Our Flight school is sort of a second home for Bry and me. What we love most about our school is the down home, family, old school, general aviation feel of the place. Our school is really part of the community and we all feel like a tight knit family.
Our schools mission is to pass on and give all who desire to fly, the best training we can. From basic, advance to aerobatics. Keeping in line with this mission, anyone who has ever had a desire to fly (but thought they can’t due to money, age, or health), we want to offer them the chance to experience this amazing experience at least just once in their life time. Therefore one Sunday out of every month we have a big fly-in, where planes from far and wide fly-in for the afternoon to our school. We offer free hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, and our flight instructor dress in old time pilot wear gear (from the barnstorm days; goggles, white scarf and all), and we offer rides in our old time aircraft the Waco, to all for $2.00 for 15 minutes. Our hope is we can inspire, our youth and others who might have felt flying was beyond their reach, to actually work and earn their own pilot licenses. Our CFI (certified flight instructors) offer the best aviation training possible, with advanced training also offered in upset recovery, spin, and aerobatics training. We believe learning to fly is very serious business, but it can also be fun too.
We also help the community, so we have a program in place to help inner city kids. We bring these kids into our flight school once a month and offer free ground school training (all books study related to aviation). All candidates that qualify, and obtain at least a ‘B’ average in ground studies, will receive their first 20 hours of flight training for free. We feel even if these youngsters do not go on to further flight training we feel that this program gives these them discipline, focus, pride and a strong work ethic, and hence makes them better members of society.
At the end of the day my Honey and I head on home. I usually exercise for about 40 mins. We both take turns cooking, and who ever cooks, the other cleans the dishes. While eating, we usually watch a sitcom on television, or some discovery channel. After which we usually read some e-mails, or watch a movie, or more often than not; make love (which is way more awesome that TV lol). We usually call it a night at around midnight.
As I’m starting to drift off to sleep. I think about how blessed I’m. I’m so grateful for my good health, a great partner to share my life with (aka my Bello Bryan), wonderful friends, for having a sufficient income (low to Mid 7 figures income)to do what I desire; such as live Soho, and own my own flight school, and aircrafts; personal and in our flight school). I’m also grateful, that as I do love shopping, I’m able to do a little here and there. I’m also grateful that my husband and best friend; being we have decided not to have children, have gotten to travel the globe together. We have had amazing experiences together, and I know that there are many more to come. I’m always excited for the next day to arrive, to see what amazing new experiences there will be, and all the new things I might learn. God has blessed me now and always with a truly amazing full-filling life.
Thank you GOD!!!!!!!!!!!
Well there it is, a day in the life of my ‘Dream Life’ (this exercise was just re-written by me in Aug. of this year). Since first doing this exercise back in 2005, I have found the love of my life, best friend, and soon to be married, life partner.
I’ve not yet obtained my pilot license, or opened my flight school (but I will). But maybe I should go back to 2005, when this all started….