I've kind of been MIA for the last few months and I'm truly sorry for that. I promise, I haven't given up on the blog, it's just been a very strenuous season of life and I've taken a much needed mental break. I normally don't write about many personal life details, but in this case I feel like I owe it to my awesome readers to explain what's been going on. If this is your first time visiting, Welcome! and feel free to skip this section so you can get to the important travel nuggets you came here for. If you are one of the fabulous people who have been following me along this blogger journey, here's a peak into my life as a real person beyond the travel website...
At the end of September, I left/was laid off from my full time job after 8 years. It was a job I loved doing, with people who I considered family, for a company I haven't respected for a long time. I am grateful for the experience and opportunities I was blessed with while there, but it was on my heart that my time had come and it was ultimately time to go. It's actually a long story, so if you want to hear it, message me. It was a hard decision and while I wouldn't change it for anything, I'm heartbroken and missing that part of my life. It's amazing how much of your identity can be wrapped up in your job and your title... I find myself being scared of what to tell people when they ask what I do for a living. For so long I took pride in my work because I had an important role and an impressive title, but now what? Am I a travel writer (I guess so)? Do I slyly say that I am in-between things at the moment (maybe)? Should I advertise myself as a business professional with a proven track record seeking a new opportunity (hell no)? It's also completely messed up my routine, where before I would work 40 hours a week and come home and work 20-40 hours a week on the blog, somehow finding time for it all. But now, when I have all the time in the world, I can't seem to get myself to do much of anything. It's strange, like the world as I knew it has completely changed and I don't know where I fit in it anymore.
Luckily, in October, my husband and I left for Europe for the next month so I really didn't have time to have to think about it. We had an incredible journey through Scotland, Ireland and Italy, giving me time to ignore what was really going on back at home. Shameless Plug: Please be sure to check back as I'll be posting so many fun travel tips to these parts of Europe that you won't want to miss!
We got back mid November with less than 2 weeks to Thanksgiving so I distracted myself with that. Then, the day after Thanksgiving, I packed up my car and drove to San Francisco (about an 8 hour drive) to wait for my best friend to have her first baby. That was intense... she was due the day after I arrived, which was a Saturday, but he wasn't ready to come out just yet. So we hung out, took walks, ate spicy foods and by Thursday he still showed no signs of being ready. I had a wedding in LA to attend, so since she seemed fine and I would be back Saturday morning I decided to go. I drove 7 hours to LA on Thursday morning and on Friday I attended the wedding, got a call at 9pm that night that she was having contractions and I needed to come back. So I drove from 10:30pm to 4:30am... let's just say, it was a rough night. I met her and her husband at the hospital and about 12 hours later I became a very proud auntie to the sweetest baby boy I ever did see.
In the midst of all that, I got a call from one of my team members from my old job. He said, check your email and call me back right away... Here's what the email said:
I am writing to you all today to inform you that out of an incredible number of submissions, Aimee Slade has been selected for the 2015 Multiplier of the Year Award short list! Thank you for your nomination.
This means that Aimee, along with 4 others in the Business category, will be up for the final round of peer voting for the 2015 Multiplier of the Year Award!
I called him back and he said that a little while back, him and the rest of my team secretly sent in submissions nominating me for the Multiplier of the Year Award, an honor awarded to the best and most influential leaders in business. I was shocked, humbled, dazed and overwhelmed - so much so I cried on and off uncontrollably for the next 3 days. It's truly a surreal feeling to be nationally recognized for your leadership skills alongside some of the biggest names and titles in business, yet, you are technically unemployed. Talk about a parallel universe. So now the winner is based on a public vote, so PLEASE VOTE! I've got some very stiff competition, including a VP from AT&T (yikes), so every vote counts. You can vote multiple times, but it has to be a unique email address AND a unique IP address... so you can vote with one email address on your home computer and vote with a different email address on your phone. Be sure to vote for both a business nominee and an educator nominee so that your submission counts. Here's the link and a shot of the nomination you'll find on the site.
So, at the current moment I'm spending another week in Santa Cruz with one of my very closest friends and her husband, relaxing and figuring out life before heading back home to San Diego. I wish I had an ending that said something like, "and I've found my path and I'm ready to follow it" or "you know, I'm totally at peace with where I am in life and whatever comes will come" or "screw it all, I'm going to PARTY!", but I don't have an ending just yet. For now I'm going to enjoy the holidays, spend as much time as I can on the blog, travel, spoil the new little man in my life, try not to eat too much junk, hope that I win that award and be thankful that I get to go home to a husband who supports and encourages me and a mom who has confidence in me and has instilled an unwavering sense of self that no job (or lack there of) can take away. Thanks for listening... I promise you'll start seeing much more of me very soon!