23H00, seating in my first officer seat in the embraer 120, i finally realize the path i have walked to get here. 21000 feet high, at 360 miles/h, between Albany and cincinnati, we have entered Buffalo's airspace. i lower the volume on my blackberry that is playing my playlist with The Sparks, to enjoy this moment. Buffalo is where I have learn to fly not even three years ago. my captain tells me " you want to answer them ? " even though he's the one in charge of the radios on this flight. he knows i want to. He takes control of the plane, while I talk with buffalo approach until we are being transfered to cleveland center. A few minutes are enough to hear the controler telling me amflight 1022 direct Willmington, contact Cleveland center on 123.85. I answer with a smile 123.85, see you soon buffalo ! my captain takes the radios and navigation back, as i get the control of the 26000 lbs bird again. The autopilot re-engaged and the volume of my blackberry turned back up in my right ear, we are heading for the international hub of DHL, the biggest cargo company in the world, at ILN. My first time and i am impatient and stressed. i have been warned about the size of the operation. Some 400 airplanes movements between midnight and 6 am. You have to be on top because a mistake can quikly become fatal in this congested airspace, but also during taxi between the runways and the gate. The traffic is so important that the airport belongs to DHL, one of the only aiprort in the USA that is managed by a private company. I'm starting to see the airport lights, between the two big cities of columbus and Cincinnati. i'm lucky, the weather is good and wind is calm. i am number three for landing on runways 4L, behind a Polar 747, two hours behind schedule because of the volcano erupting in Alaska, and a 767 from ABX, a subsidiary of DHL. I'm coming high and fast. I'm still getting used to this new airplane. My airspeed indicator reads 165 m/h, 20 m/h above our approach speed, calculated for our weight. the controler is asking us to slow down as we are gaining ground over the 767 on short final. I'm rushing to slow down and trying my best to stay perfectly aligned on the glideslope and be dead on the speed. the wheels touched down on the designated spot and i jump on the reverse to try to decelerate quickly enough to exit the runway as close as possible to our gate. I can hear my captain telling me "good job frenchy ! " i am proud of my self but i know that his comment is more an encouragment then a congratulation. we park the plane at gate B92, next to the ABX 767. i feel so small next to her. The engines are barely off, the cargo door is already opened and the ground personel is getting busy unloading and refueling us with kerosene. the shuttle is waiting for us to take us to the pilot lounge where we are gonna stay for 4 hours. The 767's captain boards ahead of me and tells me " How are you sir ? Nice airplane ! " I am happy. I went from "kid" to "sir". It feels good to be accepted by your peers. We go have dinner at the company joint then I lay down in a bed for a nap before leaving in 3 hours for hartford, CT and telling my self that I am gonna have the priviledge of seeing the sunrise above the atlantic ocean. The music in my ears, I fall asleep thinking that I am lucky to do this job even though I have had some hard times for a few month, but also thinking about all thoses who have supported me during all this time so that I could acheive my dream.