So, I went out and got this domain and got all hyped up about writing a blog. I wrote one post and then I did nothing. For seven months. Well not nothing, just nothing to do with this blog. See in the last seven months, lots in my life has changed. Just not in the way I thought it would.
Back in April we had a tentative plan that we would be leaving our work sometime in 2017, then I got cold feet and thought that maybe 2018 would be better. Then I went back to 2017, then 2018 and so on. Then I got even colder feet. Ice. Cold. Feet. While I did want to make the change, it’s just something you shouldn’t do without a plan. But what route is the right one? Leave now? Two years? Three more years? How much money should we have? Are we nuts? Well let me tell you, as a friend and mentor has said to me many times, “life provides”; and by providing it opened a door that I could not have foreseen in April. I just had to decide to walk through.
You see for the last twenty years I have worked in various parts of the fashion industry. I have been a buyer, a product developer and store owner and for the last nine years, in the luxury industry; the last three years as the head of the menswear buying team for a luxury fashion retailer. Now to answer your next few questions. Yes I traveled, yes I went to fashion shows, yes I met famous people, yes I made good money and yes, it was a dream job. Until it wasn’t anymore. What I am learning about life is that what you dreamed of when you were twenty is not necessarily what you will want to do day in and day out when you are forty-five. Retail is by its very nature a high pressure industry, there is a daily report card (in the form of the previous days sales measured against the same day one year previous) published at my most recent employer at 7:30am, every morning, 365 days a year. I would open that report every morning before I got out of bed and it decided if the day was going to be a good day, or a bad day. As with most careers, there is a cycle that is followed. Mine was four major trips a year to Europe to view the collections, followed by New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and in the last year, Korea and Japan for good measure. All told, if you added up all the work trips I took over those nine years, I spend two years away from my family. Now this might sound exciting to some, but if you have traveled at all for work you know it sounds better than it is (I went to Milan THIRTY EIGHT times in the last nine years, I have yet to see the Last Supper). While yes, I suppose technically it is better than sitting in your cubicle day after day, which for the record I also did plenty of, I was starting to dread them. No comfortable hotel, delicious meal or extra travel miles made it worth it; especially when the bed was usually hard, the meals were grabbed between appointments, if at all, and the flights were often canceled. When I was single and only had to worry about myself they were great. Once I was married, they became hellish. You just can’t keep a relationship going on a five-minute phone call after a 14 hour work day and a few text messages sent for the back of a cab on your way to the 6th appointment of the day. Each and every return from a three-week fashion extravaganza ended in a hurt feelings and cross words between me and my husband. It was getting old.
Then in July, everything started to change. It was announced that the President of the company I worked for was stepping down and being replaced by a “clean up guy”. Now, I have worked for a lot of personalities in the last twenty years, but this guy was beyond anything I had ever seen before.Egotistical, foul-mouthed and downright nasty. The environment at the office took a turn for the worse, everyone scrambling to save themselves. I had been doing well, my team was made up of smart and hardworking people who knew how to run a business, but the environment was becoming harder and harder to work in. Then one day, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I just couldn’t keep doing it. I just couldn’t go in one more day. I took a day off, then a week, then my doctor took me off for two……..
I never went back to my job again. Apparently there was a promotion waiting for me, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. No amount of money or better title would make it worth it. I was done. The company, to their credit, treated me very fairly and allowed for me to step away gracefully and so on November 1st I said goodbye to my team and handed in my cel phone, work pass and discount card. Goodbye career.
Now we sit here in mid November and are getting ready to leave. We have sold our condo, are in the process of selling our car, our furniture, our clothing and any other stuff of value we have. By the start of 2017 we will have a little clothing, some cameras, phones and computers, our passports and our backpacks. That’s it. Let’s see how that goes.