Sometimes you feel you have lost something really important in your life but in the end it provided the motivation to change. I remember a time in my life when I had moved to Honolulu to be with a new partner. “The man” and I had met the previous year and he had made several trips to Colorado to entice me to move to Hawaii.
My daughters were freshman and junior in High School. My older daughter had just returned from being an exchange student in Denmark. I discussed at length with my daughters the possibility of moving to Hawaii. We talked about the pros and cons. I told them to let me know what their decision was. I emphasized that if they did not want to make that move, we would not. The next morning they told me, they were good to go.
We left Colorado on a snow swirling December morning. When we arrived in Honolulu, it was 80 degrees fahrenheit.
I was able to buy a car soon so my next project was to get a job. Easier said than done. I was told, most companies do not hire anyone who has lived in the Islands less than one year. I needed to support myself and my daughters. What to do?
Then I was contacted by a major airline to be considered for the position of Sales Representative. Subsequently I had several phone interviews about that position. I assumed they thought that I would be a good fit for the job as I had previously worked for an airline and also for travel agencies.
I was thrilled to be invited to Chicago for the interview. In Chicago, I met a number of the other applicants who had previous experience as Sales Reps for drug companies or insurance companies. I thought that because of my “inside experience” I would be the better candidate.
But no, I was not chosen. I did not get that word until a week after my return to Honolulu. I was disappointed. I was quite intrigued by the job description requiring Sales Representatives to be willing to move every 2 to 3 years. I thought I was qualified for that as I had already lived in San Francisco Bay area, Colorado Springs and in the environs of Paris, France.
I was disappointed but I kept saying to myself that something else even better would happen in my life. I looked at myself in the mirror and made an evaluation. Not bad looking, not movie actress material, but I had a fresh look and a positive disposition. I shook my finger at myself in the mirror and said:
“Watch out world, you may have given me this strike but I will break out one of these days and do something extraordinary.”
What I did decide was that my current relationship was going nowhere, so why stay? Why stay in a place that was so limited in cultural things like great museums, concert venues, an active group of artists. If these things existed there, I had not found them.
As my current partner liked to lie on the couch and watch game shows, that was no life for me. I walked the beaches for hours each day. I had the most fantastic tan you can imagine. Also my teenage daughters were not overly happy there either. They were attending a public high school where for the first time in their lives they were in the minority. The three of us were a family unit. I really wanted our life to be more meaningful.
So after the “We had so many fine applicants for this position, but unfortunately you were not one of them.” (Or words to that effect) That letter, that rejection letter motivated me to make a change for the better. I decided to move back to the San Francisco Bay Area which I had always considered home.
The four month stint in Honolulu was a learning experience for all three of us. When we arrived back in the Bay area, I gave myself two weeks to find a car, a job and a place to live. I wanted to find a good high school with excellent standards for my daughters who were quite bright. They both had been in “gifted programs” previously.
We landed at SFO (San Francisco International Airport) and we were off and running. I got the car right away. I had job offers from a travel agency in San Mateo and a travel agency in Marin County. There were good schools in both areas. In the end I chose the job in Marin County where I had lived before. I found an affordable apartment in Kentfield. Redwood High School in Larkspur had a very good reputation.
Finally, we were settled. Or were we?