Getting Closer

Today is day three of my adventure in Chicago and the luster is beginning to wear off.  The people are great and I have been learning, but I just feel at certain moments I am in a little over my head, not because I am not capable of being here, but because of the limited exposure I have had to certain things as my boss is so hands on he won’t let me in on his secrets.  On one hand, I feel this is an incredibly valuable experience, but on the other hand, I fear I will return home and it will all just be that, an experience with no action taken.  I want to have more responsibilities and I want to feel like I have gained a fair amount of knowledge by coming here, but what good is it if I can’t put any of it into practice?  The unfortunate truth is that in order for me to truly progress beyond my current position, I will have to find another employer.  Now, to be fair, while I have worked for my boss for 18 years and he has treated me well, he had to have seen this coming, especially now that I have gone so far in the management training.  It would be foolish of him to think that after all of this, I will be content to continue on with my terrible weekly schedule and a position as the fry guy during lunch rush.  I am better than that, he knows it, and now I know it.  So many things have changed for me over the past 16 or 17 months and I am no longer content to sit idly by and watch my life flutter away so he can utilize me as his manager.  I am not angry, as it is my own fault for not moving sooner, but here I am, ready to advance and the only one holding me back now is me.

I have been planning since returning from Spain to use my completion of these classes as a resume builder in the hopes of landing a job in Spain similar or better than the one I currently have.  Certainly there are restaurants in need of a store manager in Spain.  The question is, would they consider me qualified to take on such a position?  Being bilingual is obviously my selling point, which means I need to really push myself, especially now that I am not in Spain or surrounded completely by Spanish speakers.  If I can prove that I am not only competent as a store manager, but also that I can communicate effectively with a huge number of people, I become a huge value to almost any location.  My one barrier now, I believe, is simply time of experience.  I want to find a new job by April of 2016, which is only about nine months from now.  Nine months as a store manager isn’t a tremendous amount of time, however it might be a selling point to them as I would be eager to learn and grow on the job.  I need to move fast, as my plans of being in Spain aren’t going to change regardless of my employment, however it would make things much easier if I knew going there that I had a job lined up.

That being said, I should point out a few things going on between Veronica and I.  She was unhappy about me going to Chicago for a number of reasons, although I have to say she still supported me coming here as she knew it was for our benefit.  The fact that we would not have an opportunity to talk much was a big concern of hers, but we have found that I get out of bed around the time she goes on her lunch break, giving us time to talk a little before I am off to my classes.  She was a little down the last few days and this morning she told me she did not sleep well due to some nightmares.  I felt awful as there is little I can do from Chicago to comfort her, but I decided to tell her about a plan I had for her visit here.  All along, she has wanted to see New York, and I have always intended on taking her to Central Park.  We’re going to take the train into the city and spend Monday walking up Fifth Ave. and hopefully catching a horse and buggy ride in the park.  I am a little nervous, only because I haven’t spent a lot of time in NY, but I think this is a rather simple way to see the city.  In any case, the next idea I had was to find a nice “autumn” type place to visit and stay the night.  Thanks to a suggestion from my best friend, I made a reservation for a room at an inn in Massachusetts for Tuesday night.  It’s in a quiet town and hopefully that time of year will reflect a traditional New England autumn.  She saw the pictures of the location and loved and and was much happier throughout the day.  We even talked a bit after my classes before she went to bed and I have to say, I just feel closer to her each and every day.  We’re not perfect, I have said it time and time again, and I can see that we will have our moments, but just to know I was able to make her happy today made my day as well.  Maybe it’s sappy, romantic crap, but I really love her and want the two of us to be happy.  Hell, this week together will not be cheap for me, and given my usual anxiety over money, this should show how serious I am about this woman.  There are only 99 days until she comes here and I can’t wait.  The big question after that is, what happens next?  Just the fact that I am taking the week off is a bit controversial, as I don’t know how my boss is going to react, but quite honestly, I am not too worried, otherwise I wouldn’t have made the reservation.  He would be a fool to try to do anything to punish me, as I would easily find employment with another restaurant very quickly.  I am not trying to take advantage of him in any way, but I need to live my life for once, as it has been too long that I have lived my life for my job.

Back to the question of what happens next.  Obviously, I am planning to have a wonderful time with Veronica during that week, but clearly it will be difficult to let her go.  Neither she nor I will want her to leave and the next few months will be difficult.  She has said she may be able to return for Christmas, but I would feel bad if this upset her family.  Ideally, we will have many holidays to spend together, so I don’t know if this year is a good idea or not.  Don’t get me wrong, I want her to be with me as much as possible, but I don’t want to ruffle her family’s feathers before I even meet them in person.  Once the new year rolls around, things need to get serious.  I need to already be in contact with stores in Madrid and I need names of important people to contact.  I need to make it very clear how serious I am about a job, and I need to start figuring out what I need to do to move across the ocean.  I don’t have a great deal of personal belongings to take with me, but I will have to find a way to get rid of the things I don’t need before I leave.  I’ll have to sell my car, which hopefully will provide me with the money I need to cover my expenses, such as a plane ticket.  Hopefully, Veronica may be able to help me out with that.  She has already said she will help me find contacts in Madrid as far as work is concerned, which is great, as I will have someone already in the country to help me.

It’s all coming together, slowly but surely.  As crazy and possibly as complicated as it may be, I have a plan and I think it’s all going to work out.  I have no doubt that I want to be with her, and the fact that I now have the confidence to say this out loud and the means by which to make it happen make me feel like all is going to turn out right in the end.

All right, I have to go find something to eat, but we’ll talk more soon.

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~ by James on July 15, 2015.

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