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Picking a Tattoo That Defines Who You Are

Picking a Tattoo That Defines Who You Are

By: Michael S. Hatfield
August 14, 2015

One evening, my pal Frankie exclaimed, “See, I was right! You’re all about flying, it is your whole life, your entire who-you-are!” I said, “Right. No, pal, that is not what I was saying!!”

Truly, it was a personal struggle to leave the dream job I’d worked seven intense years to attain and then 25 years thereafter thoroughly enjoying. Making perfect sense, my lady wisely said to me, “Flying is not your entire identity, honey, it is just one of the things you do.”

Oh, I loved her for that. When one’s wife confirms something, right or wrong, everything is a-OK in husband universe.

My tiff with Frankie started from a discussion of “something was missing” after retiring from the airline. I had a real tough time identifying just what in the world it was, though! So, what the heck was bugging me? What exactly was missing?

Adding more wood to the fire, Frankie said, “Real Estate is your second love and flying is your first! I replied sharply, as guys are sometimes known to do, “buddy, I am telling you that every now and again I have to go fly something just to make the world seem right again. I think I must have one of those there “needs for speed.”

But Frankie was on a tear and I was not convincing him one little bit that flying is just one part of my life, not my entire identity. I also very much enjoy helping Buyers and Sellers towards their real estate goals, and get quite an “up-boost” from closing a great deal, too!

“You do realize, sir, that I’ve always had two concurrent, totally different careers throughout life: one in business and one in the flight deck?” “Yeah, OK,” was his response. Then he went and said it again, “the views, the speed, airline people, and the power of being in command of a $100 million dollar machine might mean more to you than selling real estate.” OK, now he did it.

Having two vocational interests is a lot like having two children, both wonderful different, and you love and enjoy them both.

Have you ever heard two strangers, both from New Jersey, meet and greet each other?” The first question they ask the other is, “what exit are ya?” This doesn’t mean that they love Jersey better than where they live now, it just means there is an interest there–like pilots asking, “what equipment are you on?” Some people live in two places and some pilots fly more than one airplane.

My personal discovery of “what’s missing” came after landing a light airplane on a beautiful, sunny, smooth-air, afternoon. Post flight, everything seemed right again in Michael World. It was then I realized I was given-over to the enjoyment one gets from flying! Things like instrument landings in all types of weather, the sensation of maximum power take offs in low visibility, must have gifted me with this little chemical pearl I did not ask for.

When I hung up the Airline uniform for the last time, I also discovered I missed the friendly camaraderie from fellow flight crews, team members, mechanics as well as frequent fliers.

Still, I honestly maintain flying is not my whole life and identity or I would not have been able to retire without them having to throw me out physically by the neck! I would have found another flying job, too!

After revisiting the identity subject for the 10,000th time, both flying airplanes and working effectively for quality real estate clients are my passion as well as what I love to do.

Truly, the internal pull to fly jets is strong, but I get my “people fix” in the great business of real estate and adrenalin from helping others. Hey! Anyone want to go fly?

Michael S. Hatfield enjoys working with Real Estate Buyers and Sellers as a Broker Associate with RE/MAX Accord in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. He has a passion for leveraging his experience to clients real estate goals. As a frequent guest on “Your Financial Life” on KGO TalkRadio 810am, Michael has lived and enjoyed the Bay Area throughout his entire life.

A former Captain and FAA Designated Lead Airline Check Pilot for one of the nation’s largest International Airlines, Michael authors articles on airline issues and real estate matters.

Michael may be reached at (925) 322-7775 or at His offices are at RE/Max Accord in Danville with 9 more locations serving the Bay Area.