I had possibly the best example of why my brain is absolutely fucking ridiculous.
So growing up my dad and I went to a bunch of air shows. I loved it, the acrobatics, the noise, the size, the tech. It was around the same time as when Top Gun was really popular. I did not see that movie until my 30’s when it was glaringly obvious how bad that movie is.
When Maverick came out people at work talked about the recruiting boom that happened after the original came out and that the remake is probably just another recruitment move (I think it’s pretty common knowledge that the original was heavily funded by the US naval Air Force).
So I’m scrolling my news feed today and I have the Atlantic Air Show in my feed. I read their post about the cf-18 demo team and how they’re going to be part of the show. I thought “I really want to make an effort to go to this. Maybe I can volunteer as a member”.
And then it dawned on me, almost 5 years into my fucking career in the Air Force, that it was going to all of those air shows as a kid that made me think that the Air Force would be the way to go if I were to join, and that was the fucking point. I was looking at it as my personal history with dad and going to these air shows and so of course the air force is a good fit for me. Connecting my career to my past. Meanwhile the point of air shows is to basically brag about military might. I never considered the war aspect of the aircraft. To me aviation was a wonder, and sure the military uses planes - some of the coolest as far as tech or ability, never thinking of them as a death from above - I never considered the fact that most of the air shows that I went to were on military bases. Like how did I not make this fucking connection? I simultaneously wonder if I’m just that unsusceptible to marketing/messaging, or if the marketing/messaging was so subliminal or subconscious that when I did consider the military the Air Force was seemed like the obvious choice.
This brings me to another point. I talk a lot about the story of “the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be when I grow up was a cat.” However there was a brief time when I wanted to be a pilot. When I voiced that opinion to my dad he made some disparaging remark about my math grades and basically told little me that I wasn’t smart enough. I immediately gave up on that dream, and held this moment against my dad for years. When I joined the military years later I applied as a pilot, thinking that maybe I could actually do this. In hindsight I’m very glad that I didn’t because being a pilot is exceptionally difficult, and well, we all know what happened to my air traffic career (which is “easier” than being a pilot) …
So, yeah. That’s where my brain is at right now…