Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Life changing moments

Have you ever looked back on your life and been able to pin point a single moment in which everything changed? A defining event, that led you down the path that led to where you are today? We all have them, perhaps they didn’t seem very significant at the time, but later when you looked back you said;

“Yes! That was it! That was the moment that changed my life”

In February 2007, shortly before my 29th Birthday, I took a phone call from my boss. He asked me to pop up to see him in a meeting room on the 5th floor, ‘right away please’. It was odd, since his office was a stone’s throw from my own. Normally when he needed a word he would come in, pull up a chair. We never had formal meetings.

Tea was served in fancy cups, like this one photographed by Kimba.
I hated that job. When I started I thought that I would love having my own office (which turned out to be bigger than my apartment (it wasn’t a particularly big office… it was a particularly small apartment), but I hated it. I felt lonely and isolated. I missed being part of a team, I missed the chitter chatter of working open plan. It was a great opportunity, but really, in my heart I knew it wasn’t for me.

And so off I went to the meeting that would change my life. My boss had arranged tea and biscuits on the table along with a box of tissues, or at least he had asked his PA or one of the many receptionists to do it for him. It was a nice touch. 

 He shifted in his seat, uncomfortable and I started to realize what he was about to say. His words were awkward and he looked down a lot, eventually getting to the crux of the matter… ‘we have to let you go’…. He went on to explain my ‘redundancy package’… totting up fingers as he went…’a bonus’… ‘holiday entitlement’… 

 
I bit my lip. He nudged the tissues closer to me. But I wasn’t about to cry. I was trying to stop a big joyful smile from spreading across my face. I wasn’t concerned about finding another job, I had good experience in my field and a gift for winging my way through tricky interview questions. I was walking away from a job that made me miserable.

Back in my office I started browsing travel websites. My heart started racing. I’d always longed to travel but had somehow never got round to it. For the first time in my life there was nothing holding me back.

I sometimes wonder where I would be right now if I had stayed in that job. No doubt I would have continued climbing the career ladder. I’d probably still live in London. Maybe I’d have met someone significant and started a family. Maybe I’d still be a girl about town, burning the candle at both ends.

I don’t believe in fate as such, but I do think that life has a way of working out for the best. And that afternoon in the dreary offices of a swanky law firm, my life changed direction. Just. Like. That.

Can you pin point a moment that changed your life? 

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT! 

26 comments:

  1. I guess mine was when my best friend called my boss in Melbourne and suggest she relinquish me to volunteer for the art bienniale. Glad I did as I met my gorgeous husband. Closest thing I could imagine to a soul mate.

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  2. Wow! if only all people who were made redundant experienced the opportunity for new adventures this way. I suppose it's a lot easier when you're not loving the role you're in. Your intro reminded me of that Gwynneth Paltrow movie "Sliding Doors", that moment when your life could go either way. Looks like it went a GREAT way :)

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  3. I actually wrote a blog post about defining moments. Moments in life that have shaped who I am and led me here. It's here http://coloursofsunset.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/defining-moments/

    The biggest one that sticks out in my mind was when I was 18, and I got a scholarship to go to university in the States. I ended up living there for 11 years and met my husband there. I often wonder what would have happened if I'd stayed in Australia, but it quickly leaves my mind as that's not how it happened.

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  4. Love this post. Heaven knows I've been in jobs where a redundancy would have been greeted with a Woo Hoo! As for my own defining moments - probably Christmas eve 2003. The office had long been abandoned but earlier in the week one of my coworkers had been gawking at RSVP (the dating site). Out of curiosity I logged in. I thought my life had reached its lowest ebb but 5 months later I'd met Dadabulous. I'm sure if I had not had done it I'd sitting around complaining about the Sydney man shortage.

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  5. One day of supply teaching with a difficult class led to a contract and then permanency at that school :)

    And the phone call, on a Friday afternoon (about 1.10pm) in November last year, from the fertility doctor, which began with the word 'Congratulations . . .'

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  6. Oh gosh how exciting for you. I like to think that life has a way of working out for the best as well.

    Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses teamIBOT

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  7. I love this! Such a defining moment. I always think of that movie, sliding doors (even though, gweneth Paltrow makes my eye TWITCH) and wonder why life could have taken you if you took the other route.

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  8. Absolutely. When two little pink lines appeared on a stick I'd wee'd on. How's that for a textbook, cliche defining moment ;) x

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  9. It's always amazing to think about what would be defining moments, I often wonder that if I had got any of the jobs I applied for during my 6 month of unemployment after Uni whether I would've met my guy. (We met through a colleague at the first job I did get.)

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  10. I'm tempted to say the birth of kids, but I'm unsure it's really all that life changing. It was a path I was always headed for. Although I can't really pinpoint a single defining moment, it's funny how things have always just kinda worked out in life for me. Fate, destiny? I'm not sure, but it's definitely interesting. Great post!!

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  11. My redundancy from a job I hate put me on a new career path, on to one which I always wanted to pursue but didn't have the qualifications. Once made redundant a friend recommended me for a job, and even I did not have experience, it was not what I knew but who I knew...... :). It was all just down to perfect timing, all the planets aligned! :)

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  12. Love this post... sometimes it is a blessing in disguise, or starring us in our face. Sometimes it is all about timing. It is so inspiring to read you taking it by the horns and going with it and making it into a life changing experience xx

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  13. A great post an awful moment that was silver lined.
    I'd say when my daughter was stillborn was a turning point in my life.

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  14. A great post !! Now you have got me thinking...

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  15. Is there anything better than redundancy packages from jobs you hate? My boss was trying to break it to me gently, console my hurt feelings, but inside I was spinning in circles shouting 'yippeeee!' I admit, I used her emotions to my advantage and convinced her to let me stay on another month, doing very little (while I arranged my holiday), and still receive the package.

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  16. He was all ready for the water works, and you were planning your travelling adventures in your head already. Love it!

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  17. When we found out I was pregnant after such a long time (6 yrs) trying we were hesitant to make any major decisions, we both had great jobs in the UK but maternity (or lack thereof) and the expense of childcare made it look attractive to finally come home. When I was 6 weeks along my husbands employer announced mass redundancies and a bonus for those who stuck their hands up for first round. We had a scan, saw the heartbeat, took the money and came home. Totally changed our lives - not just the baby, the money made it attractive to come home and without it I think we would have stayed and just muddled through once the baby came.

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  18. Ha, so many I don't know where to start!
    I am glad this led you down your current path. You have a wonderful family and well, what can I say about the country you live in :)
    I'm also glad you found your way to blogging. You are a lovely person to get to know.
    Becc via #ibot

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  19. Oh that is an awesome story!
    The moment my life changed? I was sitting on a toilet in a house I hated, with people who I didn't want to be living with, staring at two pink lines. At that point I knew my life had to change.

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  20. Hmmm it sounds like my life ... Now, only I'm not sure we are going to be getting tea and biscuits :-)

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  21. What a great story and life defining moment! :)

    I guess the one that jumps out at me is when I sent a certain boy (now hub) a text about an upcoming party to make sure he was attending! The rest, as they say, is history!!

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  22. oh i love this - i have been made redundant twice (so far!) and i love that you saw the silver lining and chose to run with it - def makes it easier being a job you hate he he x

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  23. They say when one door closes another opens. Amazing that door led you to your life now.

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  24. I've had many I suppose. Lots of big decisions and big life changes. Life seems kind of ordinary now in comparison, but now it's not just my life I'm defining, it's my whole family :)

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  25. I had a similar situation when I was blocked for a promotion. That lead to a whole domino effect that wouldn't have happened if the promotion had gone ahead. When it was offered to me a few months later, it was too late, the wheels were in motion... So glad in retrospect!!

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  26. Loved your post! I know exactly where my life changed too and I don't ever look back or regret it. I am married to the best-EST man in the whole wide world because of that one moment in time and I couldn't be more thankful!

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