I've never been that confident of a pilot. I've spent very little time flying solo, just because I've done the minimum required to get my flight ratings and typically can't afford just to take a plane out by myself. But as a result of this I also don't have a lot of confidence in my ability as a pilot. I know I'm not alone in this, but it seems the only solution is just to fly more.
When I flew for Spirit I gained a lot of self-confidence, knowing that I had the ability to not just fly the A320 series but also be GOOD at flying it. I had lots of compliments from captains that I was one of the better First Officers they had flown with. But you don't really fly the A319s/321s, you mostly just manage them. Very little of the work in that airplane is hand-flying. It's mostly working the autopilot. I was very good at that, but really, you could probably get any intelligent person pretty competent in the A320 series. I knew deep down that my "stick and rudder" skills were suffering behind the controls of a jet. And I was very, very rusty.
David says that you don't become a bad pilot. That you start out bad or you don't, and good pilots just get rusty. I trust his opinion as an experience CFI that I don't suck. But it's hard to cognitively realize that AND put it into practice.
While I keep saying "I'm not crazy about being a flight instructor" I don't mean that I think flight instructing is beneath me or that I shouldn't have to go through it. I know how important it is. I've seen how a few hundred hours of flight instructing turned David from a good pilot to a GREAT pilot. I want that experience, I want the self-confidence that comes with that.
Hopefully The Move (yes, capitalized) will fix some problems. David is moving back up north for the summer season and as soon as I can find employment up there I'm going, as well. I'd prefer to find something involving flight instruction (so my CFI/CFII isn't a waste) but I'm looking for traffic watch, aerial surveying or even plane detailing. Anything having to do with airplanes, really.