This Working Girl Is Going On Vacation.

View from the Office

I am trying to write more.  It helps me process all the things I have going on in my life.  This is not one of my better posts, but it is where I am right now. Baby steps.

First, I got a new job. And I have already started.  I am now working for a company based in Seattle. I’ve been in Seattle, training, for the last 2 weeks.  I have one more week of training before I go on vacation.  More on that later.

This company is amazing.  Everyone is SO NICE and helpful.  They are busy, they work hard, but they all have lives outside of work. The executive team believes in grit, integrity, honesty, and open communication. It is a great fit for me.  My career coach would be proud.

I am feeling a bit melancholy about it all. I wish I could retire now. I have so much life to live, I have family I want to support, there are things I want to do. I feel like I have been shackled to a job for 22 years and I tasted a bit of freedom. And I loved it. I crave it now. I want it.  I desperately want it.  But I had 5 months to figure out a way to retire and I wasn’t able to make it happen.   So if I have to go to work, this is the company I want to be with, the people I want to work with, and the journey I am now on.

Second, my bestie Unicorns & Rainbows and I are headed to Amalfi Coast on June 16th.  We will be there for 10 full days. I am beyond excited.  It was a splurge, especially since the $$ came from my savings (since I was jobless), but it is going to be worth it.  We are headed back to one of our favorite places, Villa Scarpariello.  I hope Prince Luigi is there again.  He is such a cutie.

 

 

Bestie Might Move.

Stating the very obvious, it has been a while since I’ve written. I’ve been busy working my ass off.  I’ve been focused on my career, on making a substantial difference in the first 90 days.

I’m so busy, why write now?  Because my best friend has been interviewing for a phenomenal job opportunity.  It has been a long and arduous process.  But the process is nearing a conclusion and it looks very very promising.  I am so happy for her.  This opportunity is what she has been working so hard for – and to be completely honest, what women, in the software industry, have been wanting for so long – the coveted executive position. The only catch is that she has to move – to Seattle.  Which is a great place to live, we have friends there, and the cost of living is so much more livable than the Bay Area.

My heart hurts.  The thought of losing another bestie to another state makes me really sad. Really sad, crying sad.  I have 4 besties. Girlfriends that I’ve made plans to retire with:

  • Unicorns – who may potentially move to Seattle
  • CLicious – who moved to Utah 2 years ago
  • Jewels – currently dealing with a personal tragedy so great that it will take many years to heal
  • My longest bestie – probably knows the most about me. She is married with her own life on the East Coast

I have other friends that are around that care about me and I them.  With more effort on my part they could become substantial influences and best friends.

Right now what I am feeling is the simple sadness of missing someone.  Unicorns left for Europe right when I separated from my Ex.  I was so happy for her, but the depth of the alone-ness that I felt was devastating.  I do not know where I would be if CLicious and her husband hadn’t adopted me and included me in everything that they did.  They made me family… I will never forget their generosity.

The thought of Unicorns moving away has my stomach in knots, my heart torn apart.  I am very upset about it.  I automatically have gone back to the place I was 8 years ago – during the divorce and her departure.  Later, I remember clearly when CLicious left. I spent 6 months in a daze.  I had to relearn how to live, I had to figure out a new routine.  I can say I am still not completely over her departure. The thought of not having both Unicorns and CLicious makes me very sad.  And alone.

I am 45 years old.  I have no children.  My career is great…. but I am certainly not where I want or thought I would be at 45….  I love the company, the work, the potential.  But I am not a VP. If I work hard I can make the executive ranks in a few years….  so what, so I will be a VP when I reach my 50’s?  Is that really what is important? Is that really what I want?  No.

So what do I want?  I want a partner. Someone who I can be vulnerable with. Someone that I can support and who supports me.  I want a relationship where we have each others backs.  We look after each other, care for one another. What do I need? I need to feel secure and safe.   I am not lonely so it isn’t about just being with someone, with anyone. It’s about sharing life with a super special person that I care about and they care for me.

Yes, I have ATrain, the Ex, who wants to get back together.  I can’t see this being successful.  Not because he isn’t serious about it. He loves me. I love him.  Personality wise we make a great team.  But at the end of the day, I do not think we want the same things. He is happy with how things are. I want so much more.

Anyway, what you just got is my ramblings after drinking a few glasses of red wine….  Not that wine is required.  I’ve been so busy these last few months… busy and exhausted. With what you may ask?

  • I’ve been working my ass off at my new job (90 days in and so far so good).
  • Commuting..  taking public transportation and listening to podcasts to fill the time.
  • Totaled my car.. and just bought a new-to-me car.
  • Pre-registered want-to-be owner of a Tesla Model 3.
  • Trappings of a regular life – work and personal travel, family stuff, etc..

I will do my best to write more regularly.  My dramatic reaction to my bestie moving away  inspired me to write tonight.

Taking Some Time Off.

southern_coast_of_turkey

Hello all.

So much has happened in these last few months.

  • Family – AbFab’s husband lost his legs in a work accident.  Here is a news video of how he survived – inspirational.  They are both so strong, so resilient. The kids – Mayonaise and Shanaynay are doing well and they love their dad with or without legs.
  • Travel – I had an opportunity to go to Turkey and I did it.  I went to Turkey for 10 days with one of my best friends – Unicorns. She suggested it one week, we booked our tickets the next week, then we left the next week. Impromtu.  It was one of, if not the best trip I’ve ever taken. More on this later.
  • Work – not going well at all…the product doesn’t work and leadership is lacking – in both inspiration and direction.  Every team works in silo’s – Sales selling product we don’t have, Product delivering product that doesn’t work.  Since I work with customers every day, I feel the chaos. These people, our customers, put their careers on the line to purchase and adopt our technology. And we consistently let them down.

So, I’ve made a decision.  I made it a few weeks ago, but I’ve been letting it stew in my brain for a bit before making it a reality.  I am resigning.  I will let my manager know on Friday. My last day will be Nov. 13th. I am resigning before having another job.   My plan is to get centered again. This will include spending time with myself, getting healthy, traveling, and reconnecting with family and friends.

Not only will I be starting an exercise regimen, I will be traveling.  I plan to go back to Istanbul during the Thanksgiving holiday. Then I plan to spend a few weeks in Utah with AbFab and her family. I will also see my twin sister and my parents. My goal during this time away from work is to focus on me and doing what makes me happy.  And in my spare time I will look for work.

I am aware that this is extremely risky.  But I am burnt out. I may just do some consulting work and continue to think well into 2016…  Only time will tell what opens up to me.  But I’m not doing “this” again – busting my ass for a company that doesn’t appreciate the work that I do. I will not make myself physically sick with stress and work overload.  I WILL find a great company, that has great leadership, and that will appreciate my skills, abilities, and what I bring to the table.  That’s it.  Until this time, I will find consulting jobs that will support me.  That is my decision.

So yes, I am throwing caution to the wind and moving forward with what my heart is telling me is the right thing for me.  Although I am tidying up things around the house and checking out local yoga studios, I will officially begin my journey of self-rediscovery on Nov. 2nd with Oprah and Deepak 21 day meditation series – Become What You Believe.  I plan to update this blog very regularly as I go through my reinvention – writing thoughts down really helps me.

If any of you have ever done this before, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what worked, what didn’t.. Or if you haven’t, I’d love to hear what you would do if you made such a decision – would you travel, stay at home, visit with family, friends, etc… ?

My next blog will be about my experience in Turkey – which I loved – both the country and the people.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig.

2015_06_OnVacationA-Train and I have returned from vacation. It was a fabulous trip, one of the best I’ve ever had in this country.  We went to Terranea Resort and Spa in Rancho Palos Verdes, just a short 45 minutes from LAX.  I would highly recommend it.  It was a fabulous resort – the room was fantastic, it had a great variety of restaurants on-site, and the service was fantastic.  It was sooo relaxing.  It was exactly what I needed.  I was surprised that A-Train treated and was into this vacation because it isn’t his style.  But he was actually fun to hang out with – he reminded me of the A-Train that I met a long time ago.

I took much needed time away from work and computers.  I checked my email only once and that was it.  I happened to get a new phone last week and I was not able to connect it to work email before I left.  It was a blessing.  It was so nice to disconnect for such a long period of time. First time in quite a few years that I stepped away from work.

I’m slowly transitioning back to the work world this week.  I’m not doing an exceptional job at it.  Good thing that tomorrow is Friday!

I have some great plans this weekend, one of which is to sit by a pool, sipping wine and catching up with my girlfriends.  Sort of like an extension of my fabulous vacation.  Living the dream.  🙂

Think, Think, Think, Think, Think…

what-do-you-want-1

I’m so frustrated with myself for so many reasons.

I’m in Nashville this week, on a business trip. Prior to coming to Nashville, I was in Utah visiting with family and friends.

My birthday was last Friday – I’m officially 44. I spent the weekend with my friends in Park City. They spoiled me with great meals and their fabulous company. C-Licious, one of my best friends, moved to Utah 10 months ago. I miss her desperately. It was so good to see her, but it also made me realize that I do feel really incredibly alone in CA without her. She was the one I visited with most often …we spent a couple of times a week together as well as at least one weekend night. I do have other very close friends near me, but they all have their busy lives and I do not see them often.

Now that I’m in Nashville, I am interacting with folks but I’m not connecting. It is like I am numb all over, and no matter what I do I can’t seem to feel.  Feel anything.  I’ve heard some great stories about people, friends, their families.  Normally I would be totally engaged… moved by the intimacy of sharing experiences.  Not this week – I really like the folks I’ve spent time with, but I am having a difficult time connecting.  That is my thing – I have an ability to connect with most people on just about anything…  I just couldn’t do it this week.

What is wrong with me? I had such aspirations at the beginning of this year. I was so excited, so energized to make changes.  And now the year is almost half over and I’ve done nothing to change the course of my life.  I know I need to, I know I want to, I’ve even written it all out in my 2015 New Years Resolutions. I know the important things take time, but god damn it, I need a bone.  Something, a small sign that this is the right path… that life is going to get better, a light at the end of the tunnel… that things WILL get better soon… I keep thinking that I need some time off, a trip away, a long one where I can regroup and get my bearings back…  but I am not in a financial position to do this.  This is something I will create for myself so this situation never happens again.  But for now, it’s not going to happen.

All I can do is think.  My mind just spins, over and over.  I moving towards my New Years Resolutions, but outside of that, I’m doing nothing.  Because my NYR are taking a while, I feel I’m frozen. I’m standing still, unable to move in any direction. I keep telling myself that I will feel different once I reach my goals – once I lose the extra weight, once I get my finances in order, once I get to where I want to be professionally…. but these things aren’t going to happen if I do not DO SOMETHING.

I am in a sad state.  I know that this is just a phase, and it will pass.  But right now I’m desperate for change. Desperate to get out of this life I’m in – that I wake up to everyday and wish desperately that it was different.  . So much so that I am now seriously considering moving to Utah.  I’ve been looking at real-estate – what I can afford is exactly what I want AND I can afford it.  My biggest fear about moving back is being alone… Salt Lake City isn’t exactly the mecca for singles, especially singles in their mid-forties.  But it’s not like I’ve done that well for myself in CA.  And the good part is a better quality of life, I will be closer to my family, and of course to C-Licious.

Do i stick to my current plan, my New Years Resolutions, or do I just pick up and move on? Moving seems easier, my life would be easier – less financial stress, less job stress, I would be closer to my family and friends.  The thing that hold me back is that I would not be able to get back into the Bay Area (once I sell I can’t purchase again – all prices are out of my range)….. .  the real question is do I really care about having a foothold in the Bay Area?

Well, it’s late in Nashville. There was a party tonight and I couldn’t muster up the energy to go.  One of the first cities that I’ve visited that I didn’t get out and mingle with locals.  Sad really, I was very much looking forward to this trip – to seeing Nashville. I’ve heard so many great things about the city and the people.  Another thing that I didn’t do because i just didn’t have the energy to get out and socialize.

I’m so lame right now.  Lame friend, lame person, dull and unexciting.  I’ve lost my Paula Peppiness… I’ve got to get my groove back.  Any guidance on how to do this would be helpful and appreciated.

Now I need to get to bed so I can catch a plane home.  I get home late on Friday and I’m looking forward to seeing and holding my precious babies.

Spending A Few Nights In.

2013_03_Sophie_and_ZoeyI FINALLY heard from FreeBird.  I sent her a few emails AND actually left a VM (I hate voicemail and recorded messages in general) for her to no avail.  I was so worried about her!  Now I know that she is not only O.K., but she is fabulous!  Life is changing for her, for the better, and she is going to be moving closer to me… since it’s all about me, how fabulous is this?!?  I will be seeing her soon, possibly next Friday.

I’ve also spent the last few nights in. With myself.  I should have worked both nights, or unpacked, done laundry, cleaned the house, etc., but instead I sautéed some veggies, made some cupcakes, drank a lot of wine, watched a season of Mad Men, and now finishing up a season of Parks And Recreation.  Tonight’s going to be a late night as I can’t procrastinate any longer – I have a lot of status reports due to my management by noon tomorrow.

A few thoughts that have run through my head:

  • I went to lunch today with my colleagues and asked the waitress about the treatment of the farm animals that are now meat on their menu. I asked in a nice way, but yes, I’m still on my non-violence to farm animals kick.  My stomach still turns thinking about what the chicks, pigs, and cows endure.
  • I think I’m over my jet lag.  Got up at 8am this morning and heading to bed soon.
  • Since my new diet (sans meat) and dairy (I hate milk but I love yogurt and cheese),  I’ve not had any stomach issues.

Another thought that is constantly on my mind –  Money and Relationships.  The furniture in my current cottage was purchased at yard sales or on Craigslist. The entire living room cost me $170. Why was I so frugal?  Because I was $3000 dollars away from being homeless.  If I had lost my job in Nov. ’13, I would have been living on C-Licious’ couch.  If I hadn’t rented out my house OR my condo in Utah, I’m sure one, or both of these places would be in foreclosure right now.   I feel super lucky to have survived.  Things have improved for me in the sense that I have more of a cash cushion now (not much, but more) but I still worry sick about it.  All the time. Every minute of every day.  I will be working and all of a sudden I will have a panic attack about it.  I’m done with this level of stress.  This is why my major NYR this year is to get as debt-free as possible.  I plan to pay off all my debt and sell all my non-CA properties so that all I have is my CA home mortgage.  That way if I ever get in a bad place again, I’ll be able to handle it on my current salary.  Once I get rid of the debt, I’m back to my saving ways.

For those of you who don’t know, I purchased and remodeled the house of my dreams. It’s on a big lot, or what is considered a big lot in Northern CA.  I have so many dreams, so many plans….. I  love this house.  BUT I don’t live there. I rent it out. I live in a tiny 1 bedroom cottage at the back of a small cottage.  It’s a converted garage.  Makes me want to convert my garage to a studio/1 bedroom… which I will do after I a) get debt free, and b) have a large cash cushion.

So where is this story going?  ATrain offered to buy me a couch and I took him up on it.  Just as I’m trying to make a break, to get some space from him and our relationship, he offers to make my life a little bit easier, and I wasn’t able to say no.  My current couch needs to be re-upholstered – it needs new cushions and fabric. Its cheaper to re-upholster the current couch than a buy a new couch, but I can afford neither.  ATrain gave me money for a new couch (he doesn’t like the old couch).  I officially ordered the new couch yesterday. It will be here in 3 weeks. It’s exactly what I want –  a couch with chaise in the exact color I want.  I’ve never had exactly what I wanted before… I’m giddy with excitement, but at the same time I’m stressed and overwhelmed by the expectations that I think it will bring.  I do plan to resell all my living room furniture to help pay for the couch, but even if I break even, its pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of my new couch.

O.k. enough procrastination.  I’ve got to get my status reports done. I’ll get it done.  AND I do have a date tomorrow, with my girlfriend Hannah – we are going to a charity event, set up and paid for by ATrain, but still, it’s an opportunity to get dressed up and go out!  I’ll take pictures and share what I can…

Moral of the story – even while sitting at home I can find plenty to do that doesn’t include work or housecleaning. 😉

Indian in Chinatown.

apple-amongst-orangesYep. I have found and am eating at the only Non-Chinese restaurant in Melbourne’s Chinatown district.  Well, to be fair, it is the only Non-Chinese, Non-American establishment within 2 blocks of my hotel in the Melbourne Chinatown district.  And its a Sunday night, and there isn’t much open on a Sunday night.

I find this choice much like the choices I’ve made while on my life’s journey – against the grain.  I have opted to NOT eat at the 1000 Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, noodle houses, etc. near me.  I’ve picked the one Indian restaurant around – Jaisalmer Palace.  The food – delicious. I would definitely come here again, what a find!  But the bigger question – Why do I pick the one place that isn’t “normal”?  Whatever causes this type of thinking, I was born with it.  But enough about me, let’s talk about me!  Just kidding (sort of).  Let’s talk about my day/weekend.

  • First, I am in fucking Melbourne Australia!  Yes, that’s right, Melbourne. Only one of the best cities on this planet.  It’s San Francisco, but better (nicer people, generally happier people, less ego driven, more relaxed, etc..). It’s like Italy, but better (it actually has a sustainable and growing economy)..  would I move here? In a heart beat!
  • And one of my very dearest, best friends lives here. Lets call her Smiles from now on, because she has one of the best smiles ever. Its taken me 10+ years to get back to Melbourne and be in her presence. Seeing her for the first time, again, it was like no time had passed, It’s like we haven’t skipped a beat. Catching up with her, our lives, and visiting with her family makes me feel truly alive and lucky.  Last time I was in Australia, I visited with Smiles and her immediate family (mum, dad, sisters, etc)  and had more fun than any one person should have in a lifetime, let alone 2+ weeks.  10 years later, we are both in very different places, and we are still as connected.  She shared her life openly.  We were swinging singles back then (not really, single yes, swinging, no).   She now shares her life with a handsome Aussie and 2 kids..   Spending the day with her and her family made me feel so lucky – I’ve done something right because someone I love to the end of this earth just shared a day in her life with me without reservation.  How lucky am I??
  • AND (I know, it gets even better!!) one of my newest besties is ALSO living in Melbourne.  I got to catch up with her, introduce her and her hubby to Smiles, and who knows… maybe another connection made.

This weekend, for me, is what life is what MY life is all about.  Connecting with people who I love dearly.  I know I don’t have kids, and I will not carry on the typical “legacy”, but that is o.k..  I live, I love, and I feel loved.  And being in this space, where I love openly, where I feel loved, isn’t that what life is about?  Taking care of those we cherish?  Knowing who to cherish and why?  I spent what felt like a lifetime in a marriage with someone who didn’t love me – didn’t truly love my quirkiness… and it took its toll on me. I bring it up now only because it’s taken me 5+ years to close this insecurity.  I have fewer and fewer why didn’t it work” moments (not just with the Ex but with My Mr. Big, Mr. Showtime, and the like, which you can catch up on by reading The Roster (which I will update soon enough)) and more and more “here we go” hands-up-in-the-air roller coaster moments.

So, while trying not to be philosophical, life has been a roller coaster and I’ve often felt out-of-place.  But today, this weekend, while sitting in this Indian restaurant 15000 mile away in a city I love because its near a bestie, I realize, I’m in exactly the right place for me.  Which is the path that 99% of the people would NOT take. I get that, and I’m learning to be o.k. with it.  And more and more I’m better than o.k. with it, I’m LUCKY to have had this path.  Definitely not what I pictured for myself, but truly lucky to have experienced it thus far.

O.k. now I need to leave this restaurant, go back to the hotel, and get ready for work tomorrow.  There are a few other things I want to write about – such as saving a super drunk girl from herself last night (my first night with an Aussie wink wink was not what you would ever guess/think), the Melbourne lights night that was super crowded, to meeting strangers at the Exec Lounges (and I love it!!). So many stories, so little time!