Second Life: Pilot At 45


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — MJ Margraff’s life as a stay-at-home mom was full, but less than fulfilling. Her day planner was packed with play dates and car pool times, but something was missing. One day, she lost that day planner and went to get a new one. And her new life emerged. You may not want to be a pilot, but MJ’s story may inspire you to follow your dreams.

“The aha moment is when I opened up the blank pages and see that basically, I have a blank slate.” MJ told Ivanhoe.

MJ Margraff has loved planes since she was a child. At age 45, she told her family she was going to learn to fly. Ten-year-old Blake wasn’t thrilled, thinking she would spend less time with him. So, she pulled him closer.

“So I included him into the vision of what I did. And then he was also my first passenger.” MJ explained.

Blake told Ivanhoe, “I was lukewarm at the beginning, and eventually rose to a slowly rolling boil.”

Today, Blake says she’s his role model. He watched her work hard, and learned something too.

“It is possible to maintain strong relationships with family and the outside world and pursue your passion.” Blake stated.

MJ is easy going, but says becoming a pilot was tough. She worked through periods of self-doubt by going to what she calls her “soft spot.”

“Have a very good group of friends that are very supportive. Because I announce at least six times I was going to quit.” MJ admitted.

She didn’t quit and now has five flying licenses and works with a spaceflight company. She and a group of students invented the first gravity game called star catcher that astronauts played on the international space station this year. MJ says being open to where her passion took her brought all of this.

“At any time, we can reimagine ourselves and do what we love. And in fact, it’s critical that we do live the life we’ve always imagined.” MJ said.

MJ is now 61 and training to become a suborbital astronaut. If you want to learn more about her work to achieve her dreams, she’s written a book called “Finding the Wow: How Dreams Take Flight Mid-Life.”

Contributors to this news report include: Wendy Choiji, Producer; Tony D’astoli, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.