A December to Remember

Another year coming to a close and, for the most part, 2010 was very much what I had hoped it would be.

Life just generally calmed down. By the end of March, I had stopped traveling for work and could settle in to a more normal lifestyle of being home every night and where travel was only of the fun vacation kind. My promotion finally fell into place after a year and a half delay and I felt more optimistic that I could continue on for the next 3-5 years with the same company. I attended an inspirational future leaders conference for women in my company and was further encouraged about the next steps. A big milestone is on the horizon in January; I will be with my company for 10 years.

Nevertheless, in preparing for my annual review in October, I had the feeling that it might be time to move on. Staying with my current company means the next few years are a steep uphill climb if I want to make the next promotion. Plus, in the background, there is always the lingering thought that in town assignments are more a matter of luck than anything. While it worked out for me this year, it is always a gamble on what the next assignment might bring.

Even with that feeling of being ready for change, I decided to hold off on actively looking for a new job for another year or so. I was going through a bit of tough time with so many friends recently leaving Munich and, despite feeling at home and settled, was starting to wonder if I wanted to rebuild yet again, knowing the result will likely be the same, or if I should also consider leaving. Again, no firm idea or plan, just a sense that I needed to think about what I really wanted for the next few years and also what might make the most sense with my personal situation.

Mr. Kilt and I were talking about the next steps in our relationship. He had always made it clear that getting married and having kids were top priorities in his near future and we began to discuss moving in together, as well as the possibility of getting married next year and even how kids would fit into the picture. In a very academic way, this all sounded great. Mr. Kilt is a solid, down to earth, caring and fun person who has a lot to offer. Finally it seemed after putting a lot more emphasis on my personal life, things were coming together. Yet somewhere deep in the pit of my stomach, where intuition reigns, something felt a little off. Planning our future should have felt good but I felt trapped.

I told my gut to be quiet and leave me be but as December approached I was feeling more and more disconnected from everything and everyone. Somehow life had moved into auto-pilot and I felt like I was just going through the moves because it all got easy and comfortable. I argued with myself, isn't that what I wanted? To reach some kind of angst-free equilibrium and maybe even live happily ever after?

At the end of November, two things happened. First, my client approached me with a job offer. A permanent position in Munich, no travel, an excellent opportunity with a nice package. Second, a colleague who had become a friend opened up about his feelings for me and I knew immediately I couldn't just brush it off. I had always felt a connection with him but always chose to ignore it as I was focused on a future with Mr. Kilt.

After a well-orchestrated, carefully planned and executed year, I suddenly faced December with two major decisions starting me in the face, one for career and one for personal life. Another fork in the road when I least expected it, two forks actually, with far reaching implications. On a gut level, I knew what I wanted but my brain needed some time to catch up, double check and reassure, absorb it all and come to some kind of acceptance. My brain fought it for as long as it could but in the end I went with my instinct in both cases.

And so I come to the close of 2010, my decisions are made, and I am on a break to digest it all.
Truly a December to remember.

Posted from East Hampton


G in Berlin said...

Wow. What a cliff hanger. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday and New Year's and that you are very happy with the choices that you have made.

Expats Again said...

Best wishes for a truly happy and fruitful New Year. Your life is on the cusp, as it seems, and you have a lot to contemplate. Major life choices that only you can make. I will be waiting to hear what you have chosen.

Expat Traveler said...

Definitely a cliff hanger.. Going with the gut. I have a feeling I think I know one answer but really I don't have a clue on the other...

J said...

wow, what a December. Just when you thought it was going to be an easy year.

Congrats on however you decided. You seem to have gone by feeling instead of logic. I wish I could do things like that.

christina said...

Whoah, this post turned out much differently that I thought it would! You gut always knows best and the only way is up no matter how many twists and turns come your way. All the best for 2011!

Michelle said...

Hi J, Thanks - hope you had fun in Asia - sure you did!

Thanks Mausi, hope you are doing well. Miss seeing your blog posts but understand :-)