You Are the Master of Your Fate

Emily Barkemeyer

Hello, my name is Emily. I’m an active duty Air Force pilot, momma and travel enthusiast. When I’m not flying for a living, I’m hopping on a plane to see and experience the world. I love to travel, explore and live the biggest and most fulfilling life I possibly can.

 What have I learned along the way? When in doubt, go with your gut.

I went to the US Air Force Academy following high school, which is a 4-year tuition paid service academy in Colorado Springs, CO. I knew that I wanted to serve my country following graduation, but wasn’t sure how. When given the chance to choose my career, I initially didn’t choose pilot and immediately regretted that decision. I’m convinced fate intervened. My entire class had to resubmit their job choices about 2 months later, I put pilot and never looked back.

My mindset is what made me.
My track coach and mentor once told me that my body would quit far before my mind ever did. Whether I’m in the middle of a tough workout, a challenging time flying an aircraft, or a hard parenting moment — I remember that. I embrace it, and I force myself to keep going with a clear mind and determined attitude.

Looking back, I wish I knew what I know now.
I’d tell myself to never doubt myself, my confidence or my ability to overcome any obstacle. And for goodness sake, don’t waste my time or emotions on people who don’t appreciate all that I have to offer.

I wish you knew some things too.
Like that you are already enough. You are smart and intelligent and good. And what you do with that is up to you and only you. You are the master of your fate. Own it.

Being a master of your own fate means that you can never stop learning and growing.
I try to read something that educates me every day. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated, but I want to forever be a student. To always strive to learn more and educate myself.

Don’t worry, we all experience failures — so don’t let a failure stop you from moving forward.
I struggled to juggle my school work and full-time schedule as a student-athlete in college. At the end of one semester, I was supposed to take my finals early before our conference meet in New Mexico. I got a call the night before that my grandmother had passed away so I ended up missing the early tests and the conference meet. I came back and failed 2 of my tests, which meant I failed 2 classes in the same semester. That was the lowest point of my academic career and I felt like an utter failure. But I took the summer classes, put in the work and managed to not only graduate but raise my GPA.

And if you ever feel like you can’t get back up, try again.
The sun will rise tomorrow and you must rise with it. Bad things happen, we make mistakes, we get embarrassed and we grow from it and move on. That’s what we, as humans, must do to stay sane in such a demanding and ever-changing world.

Find people to lift your spirits and guide you forward.
She doesn’t know it, but my friend Kimber. She just got out of the Air Force to go to law school this year. She and her husband fostered 2 kids for the last few years and adopted them this year, and she gave birth. She stays fit, she consistently blogs…. she’s a machine. The most humble and nice machine you could possibly meet. She just impresses me so much with her drive and internal motivation to be the best version of herself. It’s very humbling.


When it all comes down to it, we rise by lifting others.
I want every woman to know their worth. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home and in an environment that supported me no matter what. I know not everyone is that lucky, but I feel like I can use my growing platform to inspire women. To show them, no matter where you come from or what your dreams are, you can accomplish them. I wade through hundreds of messages from men every day sending me kissy faces to find the few women asking how they can fly. Asking how they can be leaders and how I got where I am. If I can help just one of them reach their full potential, that’s enough for me.

The little things in life matter most.
In the sound of the waves hitting the shore by our home in Hawaii. In the squeaks and squeals of my son, Dallas, running through the house after bath time. In the way my husband looks at me after we’ve both had horrifically long days. My life is crazy and hectic but it’s beautiful and I’m so beyond blessed. And that gives me motivation and inspires me every single day.

Emily Barkemeyer

Emily Barkemeyer is an active duty Air Force pilot, momma and travel enthusiast. When she’s not flying for a living, she’s hopping on a plane to see and experience the world. She loves to travel, explore and live the biggest and most fulfilling life she possibly can.


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