Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A small update...

Aw crap. I'm not even going to do that obnoxious blogger thing where I apologize and list all the reasons why I haven't updated in 6 months. Just gonna keep on truckin'. 

Updates and happenings since the last post: 

I started, and stopped, esthetic school where I was. It was a horrendous and unprofessional program, not up to my standards. I decided to withdraw (after a very candid conversation with the school's owner) and am starting at a school with a much better reputation and higher quality curriculum in February.

The downside to this is that it has pushed my move timeline back. Luckily I am able to do the full-time program at this new school (The Salon Professional Academy, or TSPA) which will have me done in just under 6 months. So, this means school 9am - 5pm Tuesday - Friday with work at the spa 6:30pm - 9pm Tuesday - Thursday and 9 - 6 Saturday and Sunday. Good thing I don't have that much of a social life! My anticipated graduation date is the very beginning of August 2012, and my targeted move date is now early October 2012. 

Honestly, this didn't greatly upset me. TSPA will provide me with waaaaay better training and more in-depth education, and the extra time here in the States helps with planning and saving for the move. I'm on no one's timeline but my own, so whether I was there in March or October doesn't really matter. One way or another, I'll be there!

In August I was promoted to manager at my day spa. I was thrilled and honored that Jenni had that kind of faith in me and was willing to hand me further responsibility even though I'll be leaving next fall. I'm loving my new position and leading my beloved team, and I'm really really proud of the spa and all that we've achieved. We had a very successful anniversary party a few weeks back, more team members are meeting their goals on a regular basis, retail sales are doing better, and my girls seem to think I'm an ok manager. I'm grateful that I am getting the added experience of a managerial position to help boost my resume and add tools to my belt. Somedays I do want to tear my hair out. I figure that's to be expected. As a dear friend of mine told me shortly after I took the position, "Heavy is the crown." Ha. No kidding.
Coming in to the West End ferry terminal

And finally, in October I finally went on my trip to the British Virgin Islands! It was, truthfully, the best week of my life. I stepped off the ferry in Tortola and knew that I belonged there. There was that little shred of doubt in the months leading up to my trip in the event that I didn't like the Caribbean, but after being there less than 24 hours I was certain that it would be my new home. 

I swam. I slept. I ate. I read. I sat on the beach with my toes in the sand. I hiked. I talked to friendly strangers. I had meals in restaurants by myself. I drank Painkillers and watched the sun set over the water. I journaled (a LOT). I prayed. I cried. I laughed. I relaxed. It was a glorious week of sunshine and happiness. Countless times I caught myself with a giant grin on my face, and would think to myself, "People actually LIVE here. And I am going to be one of those people!" while looking out over the pristine blue water and lush greenery. I felt comfortable there. I felt at home.

On the beach at Cane Garden Bay
I will detail my trip in some upcoming posts and break it down day-by-day, but the piece de resistance to this whole shebang was my meeting with Toni, the owner of Sole' Spa. We had been corresponding via email for a few months and planned to get together one of the days I was staying in Road Town. That day came along, and after my INCREDIBLE massage with one of the therapists, Toni and I had lunch and a nice, long chat. I am excited to say that I have a position with my name on it and waiting for me next fall! I loved Sole'. It will be like working at MY Solei, only in Tortola. Toni and I got along just swimmingly. I am so thrilled that this opportunity has come my way and that she feels that I will be a good addition to her team. We discussed the position, moving, getting set up, the work permit process, how to move pets, island time, life as an expat, and all sorts of other things. Toni said we'll start the work permitting process in late July, so as to have everything cleared and ready by early October. I'll finish esthetics in August which gives me 2 months to get my license and all my loose ends tied up. The trip, and my meeting at Sole', could not have gone better. I left feeling 110% confident that I will be moving there next fall. It's scary and exciting and crazy all at once, but life is too short not to take big risks. 

I just wish my dad were around to see me do this. I know he would be so proud of and excited for me. He was always my biggest supporter, even when everyone else thought I was making stupid decisions. Before I left on my trip, a very dear friend and guest of mine at the spa told me that my dad is in every beautiful thing I see. That thought was with me throughout my trip in the BVI, as everywhere I turned was beautiful. I felt so close to Dad and took the opportunity to talk to him often, and I'm certain he was with me. 

So, in less than a year I'll be making the big move. BVI, here I come!