11 months + 9 days: More big changes

I’m going to type this as fast as I can, because I feel like every minute these days is so precious. The big news: Phil is changing jobs again. I feel I can blast this out to the ether, since his drunken colleague announced his leaving to the entire company during a sloppy karaoke afternoon. Yes – afternoon, not night. Gotta love working in tech. There’s numerous reasons for him changing and I won’t go into the why except to say that he is really excited by what the new company is up to and they really went above and beyond to recruit him. 6 months is a short time to be at a company and Phil has felt all sorts of guilt about leaving. Ultimately, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope it’s the right decision. His current company is still happy with him too and would love for him to stay. So all in all, it’s gone much better than either of us could have anticipated. The new company is a startup in the financial industry and is up to some pretty cool stuff. They big time want to disrupt the banking world and who can argue with that? It could use a bit of a shake up.

My job is ticking along nicely. I’m definitely into it now after having 3 weeks being full time. I got to pitch with a couple of others for what could be our biggest project to date in the office. I have mixed feeling about actually working on the project though, since the program is estimated to be 2 years. That’s a long time to work on 1 project. And I love working on the residential projects and this one would fall into the commercial side of things. We’ll see what happens. I should also mention that I have now had 3 full days to myself and it has been life changing. I still did chores and stuff around the house, but it was so amazing to just look after myself.

On to more interesting items – Little K! Gosh, since my last post, she has changed dramatically every day. She’s had a couple of weird weeks in the sleep department and it’s hard to pinpoint whether it comes down to teething, being sick, developmental leaps, nightmares or any combination. Phil and I are pretty exhausted though. She’s been inseparable from her stuffed bunny lately (thanks Kathryn!) and takes it everywhere. She’s pulling herself up onto anything that she can. She’s started doing a “butt-in-the-air” crawl, which we’re told means she would like to walk. She is a full on chatter box. Nursery describes Keira as “always having something to say.” We had a 4 week review (8 weeks in) and they say Keira is great. They say she is very independent, but likes to play with the other babies. She loves to paint, which I still can’t picture without cringing about the mess. Nursery has been great for her and let’s her experience things that she wouldn’t get to do otherwise.

As for the house (side note: I love how our lives are so compartmentalized – Keira, jobs, house, and somewhere down the line – marriage), we fixed the damp in the front reception room (fancy British word for living room). The gutters have been fixed, which left a mess of the front facade. One job seems to turn into 10 others. Now we have to focus on getting rid of the chimney that is floating upstairs. We’re finding that having shared walls with our neighbours makes everything a bit more complicated. Our neighbours are great though, so no complaints. I’m supposed to be working on a planning application for us to extend into our back garden. When I will have the chance to do that – who knows? It is a priority though. I can already see how we’re getting more and more comfortable in our house. You might read that as a good thing. That scares the crap out of me. I don’t want to be complacent in our house and having it be livable. I want a beautiful space that I’m proud of and can enjoy. So maybe I should wrap this up and go work on the planning application.

One last note, for those that know, my dad had a heart attack at the beginning of September. He is doing so amazingly well. I think we’re all a little in shock. I need to see for myself though, so we’ll be back for a visit at Christmas. We’ve decided to keep this visit just for immediate family, since last time it was so completely chaotic, so please, please, please don’t be offended if we don’t see you. We hadn’t planned on coming back again so soon, but our perspective changed dramatically that week and I’m just super grateful to have a Dad (and everyone else!) to go visit. It was pretty bad and my Dad’s wife, Laura is truly a super hero. She did CPR in the middle of nowhere for 20 minutes and had no cell phone reception or support. The biggest gold star of the year goes to Laura! Can’t wait to see the rest of your smiling mugs at Christmas too and for you to spoil Baby K rotten. Remember – we do have to fly back though and carrying gargantuan suitcases is not our idea of a good time with a 1-year-old in tow.

 

Angel wings always help

Angel wings always help

"I can't smile in my new, designer coat. That's not very Victoria Beckham, come on!"

“I can’t smile in my new, designer coat. That’s not very Victoria Beckham, come on!”

This moring at Tina's. She was a total crazy person at home and a total ham at the restaurant. So from now on, we'll definitely be here on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

This moring at Tina’s. She was a total crazy person at home and a total ham at the restaurant. So from now on, we’ll definitely be here on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

First art piece courtesy of nursery

First art piece courtesy of nursery

Fall is here

Fall is here

Besties

Besties

Always cutest when they're sleeping

Always cutest when they’re sleeping

"Ya, sure, a side of avocado would be delightful. Is it too late to request some porridge?"

“Ya, sure, a side of avocado would be delightful. Is it too late to request some porridge?”

Mama, papa and baby bear boots.

Mama, papa and baby bear boots.

"Thank you Mr. Blueberry. You are so delicious and I think I will eat you."

“Thank you Mr. Blueberry. You are so delicious and I think I will eat you.”

Cannot get enough of this face

Cannot get enough of this face

Phil's DIY skills. Believe me - all the safety equipment is definitely necessary.

Phil’s DIY skills. Believe me – all the safety equipment is definitely necessary.

Come on - those views!

Come on – those views!

The views from a project I'm working on. I may have had a "London moment" and completely lost any sort of cool factor I had.

The views from a project I’m working on. I may have had a “London moment” and completely lost any sort of cool factor I had.

"This outfit is absurd." The toque is adorable though - thanks Grandma Freeman!

“This outfit is absurd.” The toque is adorable though – thanks Grandma Freeman!

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Thanks for the shoes Deb!! And great-grandma's knitted toque still fits! Yeah! We just got matching booties in the post too!

Thanks for the shoes Deb!! And great-grandma’s knitted toque still fits! Yeah! We just got matching booties in the post too!

Keep meaning to mention that we have been making the most delicious meals with our Riverford Recipe Boxes. Phil mostly complains about how long they take to make and how many dishes they create. They are really delicious though.

Keep meaning to mention that we have been making the most delicious meals with our Riverford Recipe Boxes. Phil mostly complains about how long they take to make and how many dishes they create. They are really delicious though.

Day to myself, Reading out in the park - check. Coffee & almond croissant - check.

Day to myself, Reading out in the park – check. Coffee & almond croissant – check.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to nursery we go. The boots look cool, but are purely for decoration so far and may be on the large size.

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to nursery we go. The boots look cool, but are purely for decoration so far and may be on the large size.

Yes - daddy still does the majority of the nappy changes and I've got the picture to prove it.

Yes – daddy still does the majority of the nappy changes and I’ve got the picture to prove it.

This face just has to be trouble

This face just has to be trouble

I couldn't help it.

I couldn’t help it.

Can't quite manage to keep food just in the mouth.

Can’t quite manage to keep food just in the mouth.

 

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So we moved, I started work, Keira started nursery

We have officially moved. I feel like we’ve lived here for months already. It is 3 weeks today. It was not quite smooth sailing. The night before we moved, Phil had a stack of boxes fall on his head in the middle of the night. He seems pretty okay. Then Keira got sick, then Phil got sick. And not just normal sick, but foot, mouth & hand disease. Basically it kicks off with a fever and then your mouth swells inside with soars making it impossible to eat and you develop a rash on your hands and feet. Are you feeling itchy yet?

The first days in the new house we thought, “Oh man, we’ve made a horrible mistake.” The stress of getting the keys (which only happened the day after we exchanged contracts, which was 4 days away from us being homeless, and in this country, that happens) overtook any thoughts we had about actually living in the house. And it needs quite a bit of work. The biggest concern is the damp, so we’re trying to get that dealt with right away.

However, WE OWN A HOUSE IN LONDON! That fact can not be overshadowed. We’re on the ladder in one of the most difficult places to buy a home. After just 2 years in the UK, we made one of our biggest dreams – home ownership – a reality. And it is going to be FUN designing our space. We’ve already spent hours thinking through the floorplan, and, if you’re interested, I’ll share the details on the blog.

Less than a week after moving, I had my first day of work in 9.5 months. And Phil had his first day with Keira all to himself, which unfortunately coincided with her first day of fever. I’m not going to lie – going to work was awesome. Thinking things through, chatting with people in the office, having a coffee by myself while it was still warm. I will be 3 days a week until middle of October and I think the transition is healthy for all of us. Keira loves going to nursery, which has made this whole change so much easier. The people at nursery say she is a joy to have. She doesn’t have a panic attack when Phil drops her off. She’s always happily playing when I pick her up. There’s a few minor tweaks that we’re trying to make at nursery, so that it’s in line with our parenting and what’s important to us: 1) her diet – vegetarian & organic when possible, 2) using nappies and wipes that aren’t full of chemicals and 3) getting time outside. We’re lucky that nursery provides food. I just wish it was of a bit higher standard, which I understand that they have budgets, so the onus is on us to provide food we believe to be nutritious.

Also, I did pretty well in a client presentation, which has boosted my confidence. I’ve really been thrown in. There’s no, “Oh, let’s ease in the woman whose been on mat leave.” I could have handled a day or 2 of that. But I love where I work and it’s great to be in the office.

Keira is an awesome little person. I can’t help but gush. She is changing so rapidly these days. This week the crawling has really started. She has been a mattress and soft landings crawler until now. Can’t blame her. And she still prefers to walk while we hold her hands, which has made my legs feel like seizing up at any moment. She chats up a storm. At nursery, they say she is quite happy to sit and play and chat. She does a really strange, deep grumble that is a bit disconcerting. She claps when you say “Clap.” Good monkey! And waves at people. When we’re on public transit, she’ll actually lean over to get people’s attention and then beam at them. She even connected with a late teens/early 20’s guy that was doing his best to ignore her, but eventually she won him over. And I’m not just saying that as one of those annoying mother types who just thinks her daughter is the cutest. Or wait, maybe that’s exactly what I am. Every tiny morsel she attempts to put in her mouth. So far she’s eaten a wide variety of things that live on the floor.

The biggest thing that’s happening right now, I’m not sure I’m allowed to discuss. And I can’t not mention anything because it has literally consumed us. There was a major health scare and it’s made being so far away really crappy. It’s made everything else that we worry about seem so irrelevant. Sorry for the mysteriousness. I hope it gives some context as to why updating the blog over the last while has been at the bottom of my to-do list. I do think it’s super important though. I love looking back at the old stories and what was happening.

And lastly, it’s my mumsy’s birthday tomorrow, so I will give a big, squishy virtual hug!!! Love you!!

Happy birthday Nanny!!

Happy birthday Nanny!!

We got another date night while Gaby was here! It was so great!

We got another date night while Gaby was here! It was so great!

Right before the sand went directly into her mouth

Right before the sand went directly into her mouth

Swings are awesome

Swings are awesome

Ahhh... watch out for the walking ones.

Ahhh… watch out for the walking ones.

Highbury Fields - we'll miss you

Highbury Fields – we’ll miss you

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But we will not miss you transit. Actually we will. The overground has A/C

The day we got keys! Keira on the overground

The day we got keys!

Move day - breakfast at Ottolenghi

Move day – breakfast at Ottolenghi

Our new kitchen Keira doesn't seem to mind that it's a disaster.

Our new kitchen Keira doesn’t seem to mind that it’s a disaster.

We still spend lots of time out for coffee or a pint.

We still spend lots of time out for coffee or a pint.

Favourite toy - the iPad

Favourite toy – the iPad

First day of work

First day of work

At the office selfie

At the office selfie

New pub and it was quite good

New pub and it was quite good

These 2 are the cutest

These 2 are the cutest

Congrats Keira on your first week at nursery!!

Congrats Keira on your first week at nursery!!

The park by our house on a beautiful day.

The park by our house on a beautiful day.

Those chubby legs kill me. I just want to eat them. That would be a very bad vegetarian.

Those chubby legs kill me. I just want to eat them. That would be a very bad vegetarian.

Phil’s New Job

Just when we start to settle in, we shake things up again. Phil has taken a new job and has tendered his resignation to his current company. It’s all happened really quickly – 1 week to be exact. Phil was with PayByPhone for over 3 years and it is now time to move on to other things. The industry in London is insane. Phil gets contacted daily by recruiters and until recently he has resisted the urge to jump ship and has – for the most part – really enjoyed where he was working.

A week ago Friday, he received 2 job offers and we spent the majority of that weekend weighing the pro’s and con’s of both. With us, instinct always wins and logic loses. He went with the smaller company that offered less money and a job title that isn’t as fancy. I’ve made it sound really glamorous, haven’t I? In fact, the new company (according to Phil – I know nothing about tech) is doing things the”right” way and is implementing things with adequate budgets and cutting edge technology. The company itself is a little dull in my mind – they compare broadband pricing; however, if Phil is excited and sees it as a huge opportunity to learn and grow, then I am so on board. I want to take a moment to say how incredibly proud of him I am. 3 years ago Phil took a job as a Junior Programmer with a steep cut in salary to follow his passion. At the time, I was making questionable income running my own business, so it was a big risk that we took and a bit of a shock to our system. To be offered these types of jobs now that require years and years of experience (the one he turned down was 9 years of programming and 3 years of team lead) is a testament to how brilliant Phil is at what he does. He’s in his sweet spot and doing what he loves and an inspiration to me to continuously learn and hone what you love.

When we moved to London, we had no idea the kinds of opportunities that would come our way. To think that a year ago we almost moved back. Our experience would have been so different. Both of us are excited by the work we are doing and have grown more than we ever could have in Vancouver. And of course I can’t forget to mention the biggest change over the last year – our gorgeous little girl.

I can’t discuss all this without talking about the elephant in the room. We’re not coming back to BC. Our original plan was to spend a maximum of 2 years in the UK and move back at the end of Phil’s contract. We have fallen in love with London and the possibilities of work and travel are amazing. The cost of moving ahead with our careers and life in London is that we are so far away from our family and friends back in Canada. It’s gut wrenching some/most days being far away. There’s just no easy way to have it all at this given moment.

I do allow myself to dream. What if we could create a life where we spent part of the year here and part of the year in BC? Why not? In fact, I’m going to start creating this through visioning and gratitude. The first thing I’m grateful for is that I will have 6 glorious weeks in BC this summer. It almost makes up for being a 9.5 hour flight away the rest of the year. If there’s one thing Phil and I have learned is that you really can create anything in this life.

P.S. The new job starts at the end of the month.

Team Canada

Team Canada

Team England

Team England

A new job!

I’m am giddy with excitement. I have a new job as an Interior Designer at Originate Architecture in London.

The company works on amazing projects on both the residential and commercial side of the business, and I can’t wait to get started! They contacted me out of the blue last week because they are overwhelmed with work and the timing could not have been better (because I am losing my mind!).

I was introduced to the firm by my mentor/teacher/friend in Vancouver (thank you – you know who you are!!). One of the owners of the firm is originally from Vancouver, and one of the other designers also went to BCIT. I ended up bringing them in at my last position for the projects we were working on. Fortunately for me, those projects fell through, so there was no conflict of interest in them hiring me now.

Yippee!!!! I have dreamed of this moment of just being a full-time Interior Designer for so long. Not having to do the accounting, the sales, the marketing (Heather – you know what I’m talking about!). It has been a long road following my passion and it feels like it’s all paying off now. And being in London is like the icing on the cake. Being in East London is the sprinkles on the icing on the cake – only 30 minutes of commuting.

This was us pre-celebrating in 16 degree weather yesterday. Nice enough for a pint outside!!

This was us pre-celebrating in 16 degree weather yesterday. Nice enough for a pint outside!!

30 and unemployed

*note that this post was written almost a week ago. I just didn’t want the online world to know we were away.

Uplifting words for the start of a new year, don’t you think? Since my last post, so much has happened. I have barely had 2 seconds to string thoughts together.

Last week, I had the opportunity to leave my job on a high note and with amazing references. Although, to go from feeling like an all star to feeling like the only option is to leave your job is not pleasant. I have beat myself up and wondered what I could have done differently. I have also signed something saying I won’t rock the boat, so if I sound vague, that is why.

Leaving a job that you actually really enjoy and where 99.9% of the people you work with are amazingly wonderful people is heart wrenching. The people are what makes the difference. I had the most amazingly caring boss and a team that I loved going for a pint with. I would show up every day genuinely excited to be in the office.

The work part is the area that just didn’t work out. And there really is nothing I could have done differently. Which is not the same thing as saying I haven’t learned and grown and in the future have a new tool set on which to draw.

In my time there, I got to be a part of photo shoots with our marketing team. I helped put on an event at the Saatchi Gallery where we released a new collection and attended the event as a representative of the company. I designed new areas of the showroom and helped style and merchandise. I oversaw the demolition of half of a building that would eventually become our warehouse and sourced trades and materials. I found a team of architects, quantity surveyors and project managers to oversee the design and build of our future headquarters. I found such a good team that I worked myself out of work.

I worked hard, and I learned a tonne. I have no regrets and I hold no ill will. And I failed. Right now I feel like there is power in failing. We all are afraid to fail at something and once you do fail, you realize that failure really isn’t that bad. It hurts and is painful, but I’m not dead and I will continue to do what I love and take chances and learn and grow. That’s the risk I’m willing to take.

For all this to happen the week before Christmas and 2 days before my 30th birthday seemed unfair. And I so badly want to stay in a place of anger and resentment. But as my dad so kindly reminded me, anger is the one emotion that is unsustainable. So I have to look at what is and stop having a conversation with myself about what could have been.

My dad came for a 9 day visit, and it’s a big reason why I feel so calm about everything. He was here for my birthday and Christmas and it was exactly what I needed – time with family. And I got a couple of extra days off to enjoy with him, which worked out famously.

So as I write this, on a flight to Marrakech, I have the ability to look at what my options are and be excited rather than sad. 2014 holds all sorts of possibilities. In 2013, we closed the doors to our life in Vancouver and flew to London to start a new, unknown life. Phil started his new job within the company he works with, and I found my job. We visited Cornwall, Paris, Stockholm, Berlin and now Marrakech. We’ve explored London and done so many things we could never have imagined.

So I may be doing more posts again as Phil and I gear up for another year of adventure and a lot of unknown territory.

Going to miss these smiling faces every day!

Going to miss these smiling faces every day!

Work XMas party with a couple of my beautiful friends

Work XMas party with a couple of my beautiful friends – outside on a boat cruise – not good for hair

Work Christmas party - such a good time!

Work Christmas party – such a good time!

At The Gate for my bday dinner. The most delicious food and completely veggie friendly!

At The Gate for my bday dinner. The most delicious food and completely veggie friendly!

Dad and I outside the V&A and the Natural History Museum

Dad and I outside the V&A and the Natural History Museum

The XMas skating rink at the Natural History Museum

The XMas skating rink at the Natural History Museum. How perfect at Christmas!

A Weekend in Paris

I don’t know why anyone complains about this whole working thing. I have worked for about a week and gotten paid for two days during my absence – one being a day in Paris and the other being a bank holiday in the UK. My new job is fab. I have now signed a contract and that contract says I’m not really supposed to discuss the things that happen at work, so unfortunately, this blog may get very dull. I will let you know that I have an official title now – Project Manager. And I have been thrust into that position at break-neck speed. I have been meeting with architects, the owner of the company and learning about the business. I now have a task list a mile long that I am actually eager to jump back into tomorrow. For today, I will enjoy the last couple hours of my bank holiday and fill you in on our weekend in Paris. However, Tamara – you would be proud – parts of my French came back to me from our days in Nice. Unfortunately, it was just as bad as when I was living in Nice, but it was something.

Firstly, I am so glad we are in London as our new(ish), permanent home. Sometimes, it takes a trip elsewhere to help you realize what you already have. London is clean, full of activities every day of the week, the parks are amazing, the homeless are better taken care of and generally, people speak English and are polite. I’m not complaining – being a 2 hour train ride from Paris is fantastic, and I’m glad we went. I just couldn’t picture living in Paris.

The first day was sunshine – the perfect weather to be outside exploring. Unfortunately, days 2 and 3 didn’t cooperate quite so readily. You can’t control the weather though, so as the British say, “Get on with it.” We tried to balance touristy things with just being in Paris and enjoying. Usually, my best memories are of the times you just spend wandering the streets and taking  a long lunch. The food in Paris was rather disappointing. This, I know, is a bold statement. Our neighbourhood had little in the way of restaurants and we had to go hunting for a patisserie. We gave up and had Pain Quotidien, which is a chain and a Starbucks coffee (which cost 8 euro!). And it wasn’t like we were on the outskirts of town. This is a (supposedly) 5-star hotel within short walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. We did our part – we sampled pain-au-chocolat after pain-au-chocolat and all were disappointing. It was also a chore to find food that cost less than 40 euro per person. Phil and I are sort of foodie types, but we’re cheap foodies. We like finding a great food cart or a small, little place that is tucked away down a quiet street. And we don’t eat huge portions, so more than 1 course is usually way more than enough and in Paris it is expected that you order a starter, main and dessert at the very least. God – I sound like an ungrateful you-know-what. These are definitely 1st World problems. On a positive note, we got to know some other people in the hotel when the fire alarm went off at 6:30am. I didn’t know what was happening. I thought someone had accidentally set the alarm clock, but then Phil informed me that it could actually be an emergency and that we should get up and out. So we did. And then I thought, “We really should have grabbed our passports.” Apparently, I’m not quite the morning person that I think I am.

For the rest of our trip, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

The Eurostar at 7am

The Eurostar at 7am

Phil's trippy photography skills

Phil’s trippy photography skills

Pinky's up! Cafe on rue Cler

Pinky’s up! Cafe on rue Cler

This is Parisian living - sunshine, wine and outdoor seating

This is Parisian living – sunshine, wine and outdoor seating

A very kind lady took the pic, but forgot to remove her finger. I think the whole fact that a phone can take a picture was a bit much for her.

A very kind lady took the pic, but forgot to remove her finger. I think the whole fact that a phone can take a picture was a bit much for her.

Our hotel room at the Renaissance Paris Hotel Le Parc Trocadero

Our hotel room at the Renaissance Paris Hotel Le Parc Trocadero

Loved this mirror - the framed area didn't fog up. And the shower was so great. Normal hair again!

Loved this mirror – the framed area didn’t fog up. And the shower was so great. Normal hair again!

The Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe #2

Arc de Triomphe #2

Really - no explanation needed. Although, the Eiffel Tower was a 5 minute walk from our hotel, which was quite fantastic.

Really – no explanation needed. Although, the Eiffel Tower was a 5 minute walk from our hotel, which was quite fantastic.

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This is not breakfast. This is the snack before breakfast.

This is not breakfast. This is the snack before breakfast.

Napoleon III's apartment at the Louvre.

Napoleon III’s apartment at the Louvre.

Me photo bombing Napoleon's throne. It would be better if he were on it.

Me photo bombing Napoleon’s throne. It would be better if he were on it.

Napoleon liked his animal figures on furniture and I should really just stay out of pictures.

Napoleon liked his animal figures on furniture and I should really just stay out of pictures.

Lucky Cat goes to see the Mona Lisa.

Lucky Cat goes to see the Mona Lisa.

Resemblance?

Resemblance?

So many people - we left and headed for a cafe shortly after we were in this section.

So many people – we left and headed for a cafe shortly after we were in this section.

Yummy cappuccino's.

Yummy cappuccino’s.

Can a lemon meringue pie get any bigger than this? We shared it - don't worry.

Can a lemon meringue pie get any bigger than this? We shared it – don’t worry.

Yup - there it is - the Notre Dame.

Yup – there it is – the Notre Dame.

Notre Dame #2

Notre Dame #2

Notre Dame #3

Notre Dame #3

The Grand Palais. I so wish this was open when we were there! It is an amazing feat in Beaux Arts style in 1900. The space was inspired by London's Crystal Palace - now I must go check that out.

The Grand Palais. I so wish this was open when we were there! It is an amazing feat in Beaux Arts style in 1900. The space was inspired by London’s Crystal Palace – now I must go check that out.

A peak inside the Grand Palais.

A peak inside the Grand Palais.

The doors to the Petit Palais across the street from the Grand Palais.

The doors to the Petit Palais across the street from the Grand Palais.

The exterior of the Petit Palais.

The exterior of the Petit Palais.

What an amazing interior! The Petit Palais.

What an amazing interior! The Petit Palais.

Petit Palais #2

Petit Palais #2

The home and design of architect and decorator, Hector Guimard, who was a big name in the era of Art Nouveau in France. He also designed the iconic, shelter-like structures of cast iron and glass for the Paris Metro.

The home and design of architect and decorator, Hector Guimard, who was a big name in the era of Art Nouveau in France. He also designed the iconic, shelter-like structures of cast iron and glass for the Paris Metro.

More eating - this one wasn't great unfortunately.

More eating – this one wasn’t great unfortunately.

A panorama of the Louvre.

A panorama of the Louvre.

First day at new job

I can now really say that I am employed. Well, unless if you require documentation like a contract or known facts like number of vacation days. I had my first day today. So much rides on the first day. It’s your first impression to the majority of the people in the company. You want to look intelligent, put together and like you fit in, when really you’re feeling nervous, overwhelmed and a little bit excited. It is also the day that changes the trajectory of your life. I know that sounds dramatic, but think about how where you work influences your life. You meet new people. You gain new experiences. You have different routines. You never know what path a job will take you down. In previous jobs, I have met amazing friends. I have met future business partners. I have met life altering mentors. I have also met cruel power trippers, snotty gossipers and nasty commission thieves. I will now imagine all of the latter group have undergone immense changes and are now amazing people. In summary, starting a new job is not just simply starting a new job. Your whole life takes on a new dimension and path that you cannot predict. I think it’s all rather exciting.

This week, of course, is supposed to beautiful and sunny, but I can’t complain. I just had 3 months off. My new team took me out for lunch. I think they were all slightly horrified at working with a vegetarian, but I quickly put them at ease. I promised not to berate them with thoughts of animal cruelty and global warming. They are a terrific group that I can’t wait to get to know better.

I love my new job. Today, I worked very closely with another merchandiser to pick the perfect wallpaper for a new room that we are converting to look like a boutique hotel room. Very intense! My new boss looks like he walked out of a GQ catalogue. I’m pretty sure he’s gay, so Phil has nothing to worry about. I am going to have to up the wardrobe. I asked what the dress code is and the response I got was “Anything you want.” Fantastic! But somehow, I still think looking the part of the successful, Interior Designer is important. However, it is great that I can wear jeans whenever I feel like it.

The thing I’m most excited about is having a routine. God, I can hear the groans from here. I’m quite serious. I get to wake up at the same time everyday, catch the train to work and home from work at the same time everyday and have some structure in my life that I have not had, well, ever. For those of you who have had this for a long time, you might not be jumping for joy about your routine, and I’m sure I may get there at some point. For those that have worked for themselves, you know that every day is different, that you can work bizarre hours, you can stress about not putting in enough hours, and that your income can change dramatically depending on the month or time of year. None of those things are inherently bad. I’m just so looking forward to having the opposite. I can’t wait for the head space it frees up to just have a job that you go to every day. I’m sure there will be stress that comes up. I’m not completely naive to what having a job is all about. I’m just really looking forward to the change. Change is good!

How's the outfit for day 1? Ignore the glazed-over weird look in my eyes and the bad hair (there's honestly nothing I can do with it).

How’s the outfit for day 1? Ignore the glazed-over weird look in my eyes and the bad hair (there’s honestly nothing I can do with it).