Times change, so do people
Late last year I realised that my current role had become something I hadn’t expected or looked for. It wasn’t awful, although I was stressed a lot, but it just wasn’t making me happy anymore and I realised I wanted, or even needed a change.
I decided to myself that enough is enough. I had dreams. Maybe they weren’t achievable, maybe they were far-fetched, maybe they were so romantic and idealistic that they’d just never happen. But then who’s to say right? And I decided that as I was entering my 30th year on this little beautiful, blue planet we call home, that it was about bloody time that I do something about those dreams before it is too late.
Paris. Je t’aime.
So…it was nothing big. Just the usual. I’m sure many a girl has dreamed of this. Strolling down the quai de la seine, seeing the Eiffel Tower in the distance, a man in striped t-shirt playing the accordion nearby and you’re munching on a delicious, crusty baguette fresh from the boulangerie. Yep, I wanted to live in Paris. I’ve always loved the language, we’d visited many a time as a family when I was young and I’d even gone and found myself a lovely French boy (albeit in Bristol).
I did what any girl would do (or boy for that matter) in the face of being unhappy and burnt out. I edited my CV, took a look around, applied for a few things and then waited. Nothing. Zip, zilch, zero.
I panicked. Obviously. I thought, I’ve set my sights too high, I can’t do this, I should go for something more average, more achievable. I talked to my friends, I asked my colleagues for advice, I spoke to my family about my options and I took myself aside and thought long and hard about what I wanted. What did I get back?
“Every job has its upsides and downsides, you’re always going to feel this way. All workplaces are the same, with the same frustrations. How are you going to do that if you don’t speak the language? You know it’s not going to be easy to move to another country right? Let alone find a job there.”
Now that’s not to say I didn’t have a myriad of comforting and encouraging and supportive messages alongside this. But well, you know what the mind is like. We just love to home in on the negative sometimes and forget the positives. Especially when people say EXACTLY what your own mind is panicking about.
Enter alter ego Siany
So…what happened? Well, I have this rather odd thing that happens when I fight with my own mind. I can’t make a decision or I’m scared but still want something and well, my alter ego takes over. It’s odd, but true. I have this alternate version of me – she’s more confident, she doesn’t listen to the negative, she can stand up on stage and talk to people, she can do karaoke in a room full of strangers and she’s the one who gets me what I want, when I need it most. At these times, normal Siany takes a comfy backseat in the sofa of my mind and just watches in awe.
So…I fought through the pessimism and the anxiety attacks. I asked myself why I was unhappy (frustrated and not doing a job I felt proud of anymore) and if I felt I could do more (I needed change and to be able to learn and grow again). And alter ego Siany said, bloody hell Sian, keep going and keep trying, or you’ll never know.
And with my perseverance came an opportunity. It wasn’t exactly what I hoped for. It meant a move to London (somewhere I hadn’t ever planned on moving to), BUT it also had regular trips to Paris in the deal. I thought, do it, do it now, opportunity is staring you in the face! So I applied.
I got an interview, they liked me and asked me for a second interview! All was going well, but in reality I felt it was above my head, that I couldn’t possibly live up to expectations, that they would never choose me. Thank god for Alter Ego Siany. I planned, I gather materials to prove my worth, I practiced for difficult questions – until I was totally prepared. And then….
The second interview
It all went smoothly. I loved them. They appeared to like me. I made a few hiccups, it’s only to be expected when nervous, but I walked away happy. We even spoke about Paris and how much I loved it and dreamed of moving there one day. Phew. Done. Now I just had to wait. I’d been told I would hear the following day.
11pm?…the phone rang. Uhoh.
I remember thinking, they’ve definitely told everyone else now so I’m probably the last one to be let off the hook. They would have told the one who got the job first right? I remember hearing familiar words, ‘We were really impressed by your interview and thank you so much for coming in.’ Or something to that effect. Building me up for the fall.
“So we’re offering you the job.” What. the. feck. I got it!?!
“And we’d like you move to Paris.”……………silence.
I was slightly giddy at this point. Pretty sure I sounded like a nutter. Definitely laughed quite a lot. And I’m almost certain I didn’t actually accept right there and then. But OH MY GOD.
I called my mum (of course). I called my boyfriend. I did a lot of extremely stupid dancing. I told my hamster (she did a little spin in her wheel which I took for her happiness). And then I slapped myself a few times to check I wasn’t dreaming.
I’d done it. I’d actually gone and done it.
Spring, Summer, Autumn…
I won’t bore you with the rest of it. Let’s just say, I quit my job, I started in April, I moved in May and now it’s autumn and I’m falling in love with Paris more and more every day. And my job? I love it. Yes, it’s still stressful and yes I have good days and bad. But right now I’m doing something I love, surrounded by amazing people, and supported by a brilliant team back in Bristol, I feel I have a future and goals and mentors.
If I feel frustrated – I have the power to change things. If I feel unhappy – I have the power to change things. If I feel lost or alone – I have the power to change things.
It’s all down to you. Not your boss, or your co-workers, or your family or your friends. Not life or luck or nature or chance. Not the weather, the age you are or the amount of time you have.
It’s all down to you. And I see evidence of this every day. All it takes is for you to look. People up and move, they quit their jobs and pursue their passions. People move for love, people travel for joy, people work for a greater purpose.
So don’t get sucked in. Don’t believe everything people tell you. Don’t think it always has to be like it is. It doesn’t.
Things can change. And YOU can change them 🙂
That’s all for now,
p.s A massive thank you to everyone in my life who supports me now in everything I do and dream of. You are priceless and words cannot describe how much you mean to me.