Friday, September 24, 2010

#39 The Great Unknown

September 24 2010

It's difficult to believe that the year is coming to an end. Fall is here. Today was the first day it did not break into the 70's in Santa Ana and finally all the good shows are back on telly. College football is in full swing and Matt is up at the crack of dawn every Saturday morning watching the Premiership. Summer is over.

It has been nearly 6 months that we have been living here and the pieces are finally starting to fall into place. I am no longer "in trasition". When I left California all those years ago, it was largely due to the fact that I did not want to think of my life yet in certainties. I still wanted the thrill of the unknown. I wanted the option of having all the options. Now everyone is off getting married, getting engaged and getting pregnant and all of a sudden our lives seem like they are one long certainty.

Some of those getting married will get divorced, it's a certainty. Most of us will have children and at our age now some of us will have trouble conceiving, certainty. We will move out to the country or back to the beach, certainty. We will argue over money, where and how to school our children and how often we see our in laws, certainty. Quite frankly, it's all a bit scary.

I knwo that one usually finds comfort in such regularity. Schedules are supposed to be good but I'm not so sure. I've realized that the big transition is transitioning the thrill of my personal life to my professional one. This may be why there are so many workaholics. The thrill of your career is still one of the last great unknowns. Here in America, we are leaders in re-inventing ourselves. You may have the husband/wife, 2.5 kids and mortgage you can't afford, but for 8-12 hours each day you can still be whomever you want to be.

So perhaps this is where the great unknowns will still come from? Our generation has no problem in changing our careers and the recent economic downturn has spurned more changes than ever before. We are suddenly realizing that we still have all the crap we bought with our fattened salaries a few years ago. We don't need another pair of expensive Italian shoes but what we do need is satisfaction. I can now get by without buying a new handbag every season and taking a cab whenever I want to. But I can't get by hating my job.

So change and challenges will remain on the horizon. And let me not kid myself. While I think getting married (check) and having 2.5 kids may be the most standard thing in the world, I am without doubt that I will find ity the most challenging and exciting thing that I ever do.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

#38 Corona del Mar Part Deux

September 8 2010

It's coming on 6 months now and I must say it has been a smooth ride. Life is good, our friends are visiting, our dog loves the beach and Matt's paperwork is being processed. Life is moving forward and more importantly, it has become crystal clear that it was the right decision.

There is nothing more frustrating than looking back and knowing that you were wrong. That you made the wrong decision and dragged a bunch of people along with you to experience Rue Failure or Wrong Turn Avenue. We've all been there and I am ecstatic to have ended up this time around on Best Decision Ever Made Lane. Or is it Second Best Decision Ever Made... after moving to London. Well, you know what I mean. I feel liberated. I feel like I can breath again. I feel like I can make decisions again that are based on things other than buying myself another month. It was all my fault. I had gotten myself into a tricky position and knew that I had to get out. And get out I did.

I haven't read back on the blog in awhile but I am sure you could all smell my desperation. It was there written clearly between the lines. Now I am working in a completely different market, doing a completely different job, working with a completely different kettle of fish (ie, my family.) There is no training when you come back to work with your family. No manuel on how to work with your relatives and not totally upset them or them you. So as you can imagine, the past 5 months have been what I call "teething". That being said, I have learned a lot. I've learned that sometimes you must lose the battle to win the war. I've learned that sometimes an office of 5 can have more politics than an office of 50. I've learned that regardless of how highly I may view my international experience, in this office (experiene wise) I am bottom of the totem pole.

Humbling at times, yes. Exciting, always. For a company that has employed very little change in the past decade, this company has embraced change like I never would have imagined. Sure people hate change and it has not all been smooth sailing, but it was far exceeded my expectations in the manner in which it was embraced everything from a new website to a new ERP system. People who have worked here for 25 years are coming up with new ideas that seem to have been lingering away in their subconscious for years unsure as to whether their voice was validated. It is empowering to see it happen and to know that my return was a catalyst for it.

I've got 3 years now to learn the ropes until my Dad wants to retire. 3 years to cram a lifetime of knowledge into my brain. Will I get it all in? Not even close. But I am fine with making mistakes as they eventually lead to the answer. My mistakes have gotten me here so far and I am happy with that as I know that life is one big numbers game.