Wow, has 2014 been a whirlwind. I started the year off working at a company that I was desperately trying to find its replacement. Then I find the replacement, only to find out within 2 months that I’d be moving to Maui! 3 weeks after my boyfriend was offered the job both of us had packed and left the great Pacific Northwest and were living in the tropics. From an apartment in the city to a condo on the beach. From a dead-end job to a position where I’ve already been promoted to a manager. I can feel the difference in all the little things. I’m eating better, exercising more, and lost weight. We’ve simplified our life, and it’s been good. There’s been downsides – being so far away from family and friends is difficult. And I’ve missed the changing seasons – especially experiencing fall which is my favorite. It was the first Christmas where I didn’t do any decorating. But overall, I’m very happy with the changes. It’s been a good year. A year of growth, new experiences, new friendships, and even experiencing a new culture (and in some cases, a new language – pidgin counts as a different language – right?).
Three (almost four) months since we made the epic adventurous move to beautiful Maui and the dust is finally settling and things are getting into place. We’re moved in to a beautiful condo, my man and I finally, for the first time since we started dating have the same days off together! I can’t even begin to describe how nice that is for us to have 2 whole days together. Half of our workdays, I can even come home to him having lunch made for me before I take him to work – so it’s like we get extra bonus time together. We’ve explored some of the island, but there is a ton more to see and take hundreds of pictures of (don’t worry mother dearest, there will always be plenty of pictures). I’ve done snorkeling, surfing, and hiking. I’ve been able to hang out with old friends who just happened to be visiting the island on holiday, as well as extended family who I haven’t seen since I was 8 years old. My work is chill and relaxed, and I didn’t have to take a pay-cut – which is great. My man is greatly enjoying his work, even with the bumps and dips that come with being a manager. I’ve met a few friends – which is great. I thought people in Portland were friendly – well, Maui-ans put Portlanders to shame. “Talking story” is big here, and I’ll frequently have customers who will stand at my counter and chit-chat for 20 minutes or more, just because. I love that – it’s just so nice to be a part of a culture that values people and relationships and communication. Doesn’t have to be anything important, but those relationships are growing into how this island runs. More and more, I find out that it really is who you know and what you ask to figure things out. People are more accepting here – it’s such a small island that everyone knows everyone – or at least can figure out a relationship on how they know that person. A person at a bank is the sister-in-law of your next-door neighbor sort of thing. 5 months ago, I had no idea I’d be living in Maui within 2 months, but now that I am and things are calmer, I have no complaints, and am relishing every moment I have in paradise.
I was getting antsy, I’ll be honest. I had spent three and a half years in a job where I wasn’t going anywhere, and the office morale was terrible. Then I found a great job, but I knew the upward mobility just wasn’t there, however it was a huge breath of fresh air for me to not be in such a toxic work environment. My immediate family moved 4 hours away from me a few years ago, and while my mother made frequent trips, it’s just not the same when I wasn’t able to visit my sibling’s basketball or volleyball games, or hear them in their school choirs. Portland is an amazing city, and it will always be “home-base”, but I feel that it’s always a jumping off spot for me. I left Portland as an infant, only to come back as a teen. Now I’m leaving in my twenties, I’m sure I’ll be back eventually.
My partner received an excellent job offer in Maui, and while it was definitely a tough decision, we decided to each pack two suitcases, sell and give away the rest of our belongings, and move to paradise! I’ve been here almost a month now, my car is here, we are moving into our beautiful beach-side condo tomorrow, and the hunt for a new job for me continues. I’m thinking I’m going to change my career path – where before it was obvious finance, I’m thinking hospitality is more in line with what I love to do. We’ll see. My finger’s are crossed, and I’ll make my own way here too. I’m optimistic and hopeful. So far the people have been extremely friendly and helpful, but as they say here: “Lucky live Hawai’i!” And I definitely feel lucky to be a part of this vibrant community.
Anyone who knows and loves Portland, Oregon knows that when we have a blue sky – it makes us instantly happy. All of a sudden, everyone is outdoors, enjoying the sun and the fact that the sky isn’t some sort of white or grey color.
See? Proof! Everyone enjoying spring’s first blossoms, Portland Saturday Market, and the Waterfront!
My days personally have been looking up recently as well. I found a new job – was actually not expecting to find a job so fast since I wanted to be far pickier about accepting a job offer. I wanted to make sure that it was the right fit, not just monetarily, but personalities, job description and duties, company environment, etc. And I think I found it. My new job is night and day from from old one. I’m happy at work, smiling and laughing more during the work week. Even though it’s more demanding, I’m thriving in the environment. I feel empowered and able to suggest and make changes. I’m back working with several different departments and back talking to my customers. It’s been happy blue-sky days!
I’m feeling optimistic about my current job search. I’ve had acouple of interviews under my belt, a couple more scheduled. I have references ready, and am getting better at articulating what I’m looking for in a position, as well as explaining my previous job experiences and skills. Today I got the letter in the mail from the unemployment office advising me that I’m eligible to receive unemployment benefits, and the check has been cut and is on it’s way. I also recently had an idea and went out and bought a spiral-bound notebook so I can jot down pertinent interview information. I’m going to try to keep in next to me this weekend, so when I have a question I want to ask a potential company during an interview, I’ll have all the questions handy, as well as the interviewer’s name and contact info. I love my lists and writing important ideas and tasks down helps me keep focused and on track.
I can’t say that I’m not enjoying being able to sleep in a bit every morning. I enjoy not having many time pressures, or work stresses. But currentlyI’m working on networking, building relationships, and finding new friends. I know my next job is out there. I know someone will be glad to hire me, and I’m excited to soon be able to put my skills and experience to use, and hopefully gain new ones. 2014 is going to be a great year!