The Beginning of the End
January marked nine years that my husband has worked for the same company. I think he got a watch or something. Nine is his favorite number; his number of completion. He called it a sign, a confirmation.
For the past few years, he’s contemplated walking away from Corporate America to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. He’s started companies, (www.madalihair.com), invested, researched franchising. He even quit his job months after our first child was born citing his discontent with the monotony and lack of growth; a faithful <<insert terrifying>> move that proved to be rewarding. The company brought him back in a global role thirty days later, which eventually led us to our wonderful life here in Singapore.
Luck of the Irish
Like clockwork, when our son was born last October, he once again expressed the same discontent and desire to leave. Something about having another mouth to feed and greater expenses ironically makes him want to quit his job. This time, the company offered him a new, but vague position in Europe. Once our stint in Singapore is over in early summer, we could pack up and move to Ireland so that he could start an undefined role.
Let’s just say that doesn’t sit well with either of us. It isn’t the prospect of moving from the never-ending tropical weather of SE Asia to the bleak and wintry days of Dublin. (Well, it’s partly that for this Southern girl.) It isn’t just that we’d be leaving the first community we’ve felt a part of since we’ve been married, or the idea of not having anyone to help us with our daily tasks. Though, those are huge factors. But, it’s more the idea of being asked to blindly trust the company to create a position that will be equally challenging and fulfilling for a man whose ambition has always been greater than any fear or even logic at times.
P.S., I’m Out!
It’s hard to work for someone else when you have your own dreams and you’re not afraid to pursue them. Both of us have felt this way, but his desire to learn all he could from his corporate experience and to be in a stable position to provide for his family has kept the man I love punching the proverbial clock for nearly a decade. Through every transition, from Rochester, to Clearwater, to Tampa, to Singapore, I’ve encouraged his commitment and made some sacrifices. Yet, I couldn’t hold my “World’s Greatest Wife” Award and watch him agree to take on a role they couldn’t even define for him in a country we’ve only seen in movies.
Though the lush green rolling hills of Ireland made me weep for romance in P.S., I Love You, they aren’t enough to uproot our family knowing that he’ll be discontent with the company as soon as we land. The plan to work towards a way out was implemented last quarter. He tried to be mediocre, a feat he couldn’t master. Dean Mobley just didn’t train us that way. He tried to hint at the idea of saving the company money by leaving and they dismissed everyone else on his team. The lone ranger was offered new projects and positions instead of means to leave. The company was just not speaking exit strategy… at first.
“The bird has left the nest!” The text was as cryptic as it was unexpected. He sent the message while at dinner with his regional president. With a baby nursing on one side and a toddler pulling on the other, I had no idea what he meant…at first.
As of the end of Spring, my husband will no longer work for the company! For the first time since he graduated, he is free to completely chart his own course and decide whether he’ll answer to anyone other than himself (and me). We have had the desire to just go anywhere we want in this world and see what happens. And, now we have the freedom to do it.