When You're Not Looking

Life can be such a tease.

The last two years, I have been trying for a promotion at work and have missed it both times by a hair. The first time I was just surprised. The second time I was just discouraged. Over time, I started to think that maybe it was a sign and came to a conclusion that life was ‘helping’ me in another direction. My career has always important to me. But had it become too important or, even worse, the only thing?

With all that in mind, I started declining 'exotic' project locations for any long term assignments to have more time to carve out my personal life at home. My boss fully supported me and has more than once reminded me of this when the lure of far off destinations started to suck me in. I forced myself always to go home for a weekend before making any decisions on offers and, sure enough, once the initial excitement wore off and I reconnected with my friends for a couple of days, it was a lot easier to get some perspective and say no. It will always appeal to me to explore the world but I am more cautious now and more aware of the consequences of the hobo lifestyle.

Now, let's go back to New Year's Eve. 2009 was a tough but important year for me. It took me a long time to sort out what to do next with my life. Almost one year ago, I made the decision to give Munich another try. I was blessed to meet a lot of wonderful people, to explore so much of Munich that I had missed in the pervious three years and finally to find my apartment, my home. Over the summer and fall, I tentatively started to go on some dates and finally open up to the possibility of letting someone into my life again.

So what about New Year's? The day I was dumped as you might recall. It was not the best day but I appreciated the feeling of closure that a short-lived mistake had ended with little time wasted and that I could start 2010 with a clean slate. We needed to quickly regroup and find alternative plans for the night. I had a friend in town visiting and wanted her to have fun even though I wasn’t so sure I would.

After a few phone calls, we had a packed schedule, but the first thing I wanted to do was spend a couple hours at one of my girlfriend's houses where she was having a laid back gathering that evening, mainly with her other Scottish friends who live in Munich. My friend and I showed up all glammed up from an afternoon of hair and make-up with my hairdresser Klaus, a makeover genius, and spent a few hours with the group before heading on to the next parties. One of the guys at the party, who I had met once before last summer, didn't even recognize me and re-introduced himself.

After we left, my friend asked me about him, if maybe he was single and someone I could go out with. I laughed it off and told her to forget it. I had been interested after the first time I met him but he didn't even remember me. Jerk. And off we went without another thought about it.

But he was thinking about it.

I saw him a couple weeks later when I joined the Scottish mafia for curry night. Then again a couple weeks later I was out with the girls, including our mutual friend who had hosted the New Year’s Eve party. She mentioned he was going to join us a little later. Hmmmm. Ok.

That night, once he arrived, we fell easily into step together and haven't looked back since. He asked me out for dinner the following week. Apparently he had wanted to since New Year's Eve and the Scottish mafia had gone so far as drafting a group SMS to send me that night before sense got ahold of them that maybe it wasn’t the best way to impress a girl and it stayed in the draft box. Finally we got a nudge, or a shove, from my matchmaking friend who saw it more clearly than us. One month after New Year's Eve it began.

And it is how it should be. Straightforward. Friendly. Uncomplicated. Fun. Humorous. Considerate. Compatible. Reliable. Mutual.

Coming at a time when I have more clarity about my priorities and what I want.

Then the call came. On Friday night, the Scot and I were high on Gummi Bears and giggling (ok, I was doing most of the Gummi Bear eating and giggling) in the car on our way down to Austria for a ski weekend and my phone started ringing.

Late for a Friday. It was my boss.

Calling to congratulate me.

A decision had been made to do a few mid-year promtions.

While I wasn't looking, that promotion snuck up on me. It’s not the most important thing to me anymore but still a nice feeling.

I like 2010 so far.

Posted from Mannheim


B. said...

That's awesome... congratulations! Glad to hear 2010 is shaping up so nicely for you. It's always when you let your guard down that good things start happening.

G in Berlin said...

Congratulations. It's great that when you start taking care of yourself that things start coming together in all aspects of your life. I think that the respect you show yourself makes others respect you as well.

headbang8 said...

Splendid. Well deserved. Congratulations!

Expats Again said...

Good for you! Enjoy your new relationship and your new promotion.

Expat Traveler said...

Congrats Michelle! Your year is off to a great start and that promotion... Gosh I sure hope things keep on happening this way this year to many people... I'm in desperate need of a job.. lol... Maybe things do happy for a reason..

Ah skiing! What is that again? I haven't been really since I left Switzerland!

Megan said...

Sounds like this is your year. Congratulations on all the developments so far. Life happens when you're making other plans, right? Hope the good stuff keeps coming.

Michelle said...

Thanks ladies and gents...I am soaking up the good times while the sun is shining.

Anonymous said...

YAY!!! congratulations on all fronts, michelle - well deserved!

CanadianSwiss said...

I'm really happy for you, Michelle, and your post today is giving me hope, because my 2010 seems to have started out a lot like your 2009! Yep. Just been dumped.

Michelle said...

What!?! What happened? Last I saw you were just engaged!!

C N Heidelberg said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy to hear things are going well for you. And Mannheim?? What's the story there? :)

CanadianSwiss said...

I haven't got a clue, really. I always thought women were conmplicated, but men in their mid 40's?? I'm still in half-shock after 3 weeks of knowing.

Michelle said...

Well, a big virtual hug and I am really sorry to hear that! I hope you at least get some clarity and comfort during this difficult time...I know how hard it is :-(