Thursday, November 13, 2008


Today, I was having a conversation with my commander about an NCO of mine that is having a hard time. He was asking me what my gut feeling was of her progress/potential, and as I answered, I mentioned to him that I'd told her a bit of my personal history.

Specifically, I related to her how hard I'd had to work to overcome some of the obstacles that I've faced. To put it simply, there are two kinds of pilots in the world. There are those who naturally have what we call "great hands", and there are those who have to bust their ass and wring a metric shitton of blood, sweat and tears from their skin before they can learn to fly. I fell squarely into the second category. Flying did not come naturally to me. Not by a long shot. When you couple that with a series of disasters (mostly self-imposed) in my personal life...I had a hard time learning to fly.

My commander was there for some of that, and he'd advocated for me in the past. So he knew what I was talking about when I said that I told my NCO that it was possible to overcome such difficulties. I also told her that it sucked, and that it was very difficult...but possible.

My commander, whom I respect greatly, looked at me and said "you're a tough cookie, aren't you?"

That statement, from that man, made me smile greatly and thank him. Because that's probably one of the best compliments I've ever gotten. I've endeavored to be tough, because toughness = survival.

Toughness is not the absence of pain, it is moving on in the face of pain.

It's nice that someone I respect, noticed.


lela said...

"Toughness is not the absence of pain, it is moving on in the face of pain.

How right you are. But remember, being "tough" isn't everything. Even the strongest steel needs to have some flex in order to keep from breaking.

Sevillalost said...

That's the difference between steel and iron. Steel is flexible. Iron is strong, but brittle. I never said I was strong...just tough. They're not the same.

I don't think I'd use the word "brittle" to describe me, do you?

Grama36 said...

How right you are Sevilla about moving on in the face of pain and obsticles that are put in your way whether they be self imposed of other wise..I always knew that you were one strong cookie..made of steel but flexible..

James said...

Gee, I found you nicely squishy the last time I saw you ;-)