February 22, 2005. Tuesday.
At work the following day, my district manager called me in for a meeting. We chatted about my move a bit. He mentioned that the office in Charleston would find a position for me to keep me with the company. It was a large global company so I was flattered that they thought highly of me. But my (soon to be live-in) boyfriend already working in that office with less than 20 people. I just wasn’t keen on the idea of seeing him 24/7. Red flag?? Not yet. So I declined.
And that’s when my D.M. knocked me over with a feather. I will paraphrase here.
He said, “We want to send you to California for a year to work in our L.A. office. You would rotate through departments, similar to a trainee, and report back best practices and efficiencies that could improve operations here in New York.” The L.A. office was one of the best and largest offices in the U.S. When I got back to NY I would be in a management position. I should probably explain that I was leaving a fairly high profile supervisor position in operations. I should also mention, my boyfriend never wanted to live in NY again. (I know, lots of red flags that I ignored, but that’s another story)
So my awesome District Manager had just thrown a major life decision on my lap. Career vs. Boyfriend. Choose one. Six days before my departure. In today’s (lack of) words: OMG!
The first thing I did was find an empty office and call my best friend. Before I had so much as thought about my decision, I had to talk to Carla. Her words: “YES!! WE are going to L.A.!!!” LOL. Then I called my mom. And the rest of the day was a blur. I finally called my boyfriend that evening to tell him about the opportunity. He was less than pleased, which was disappointing but expected.
I had told my D.M. I would think on it and let him know by Wed or Thurs. I called him that Tuesday evening right after speaking with my boyfriend and said
“YES! YES! YES!!!!” “Yes, I would love the opportunity. Thank you for thinking of me.”
It was always yes. I just needed a few hours to come to terms with the fact that I was SO COMPLETELY OK with ditching my plans and my boyfriend for this amazing opportunity. I didn’t tell my soon to be ex-boyfriend until Thursday morning and I will save that debacle for another post (or series on leaving Mr. Wrong). I canceled the moving truck, unpacked essentials and waited with bated breath for my NEW upcoming move.
It wasn’t until April that I boarded the plane destined for L.A. I had no expectations, just a clear head and a determination I had never felt before. I was ready for anything. I ended up spending eight months in L.A. before moving to Arlington, Virginia to work in the company’s Dulles and Baltimore offices in a management position. I had made amazing friends in L.A. and learned invaluable lessons about life and myself. The experience was one of the best in my life and it gave me the courage to keep going on my own path.
Much later I realized my boss had talked to my D.M. after our Monday meeting and that had gotten the ball rolling. There is no telling what my life would be like if my boss hadn’t done what she felt was right, if my expressions were guarded, if that day never happened.
Look out for more on my journey – how I get to Trinidad. And survive it.