My old cat, Simon, who lived to be 24 years old, passed away back in January. This hit me really hard; after all, Simon had been a constant presence in my life for so many years (even longer than my partner), and losing him felt like I’d lost part of myself. Suddenly and without warning, I felt lost, scared, and uncertain about where to go from that point. Not long after that, I took the time to read the Holstee Manifesto on Facebook, and loved it just like so many others, it helped me to begin thinking about what’s important in life, and what I want out of it. Let me back up a few years. I’m a flight attendant. I serve Cokes and coffee on an airline that everyone’s heard of and most people have flown on at least once. I love my job. I love interacting with our passengers, talking to people, and having a good time with my coworkers. It’s a great job with great benefits—especially the ability to travel very inexpensively. But for the last six years, I’ve been working for our flight attendant’s union, first as an elected representative, then later as the communications coordinator. I got involved in the union because I wanted to help my coworkers, while working to continue strengthening the already great relationship between our flight attendants (and the rest of the workgroups) and management. After six years, however, the job, was becoming my life rather than supporting my life. Thanks to the Holstee Manifesto, I decided not to continue with my union duties when my term was up at the end of April. Instead, I’m back doing the job I love so much, but more than that, my partner and I are leaving Chicago, and moving to Denver later this year to try something new, which, for me, really embodies the underlying spirit of the Holstee Manifesto. Being a flight attendant isn’t necessarily the most fulfilling job in the world, and I have decided to fill my downtime helping others. I am taking the skills I have learned over the years and am volunteering to help the underprivileged with job training in customer service. I will also be working with small unions to help them develop their strategic plans to negotiate their future contracts that will hopefully benefit workers and ensure success of their company. I regret not taking the time to read the Holstee Manifesto the first, second, or third time I saw it on Facebook. I could never have imagined that something so simple could have such an impact on my life, and hopefully the lives of others. This is my life, and from the first time I read the Manifesto, I decided to refocus and start living it.

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