Start spreading the news… I’m leaving today (or in August!) (cue: Frank Sinatra)
I am so, so excited to share that I’ll be embarking on my next adventure in the States by taking on a new role at Facebook… in New York City!
I’ll be joining our wonderful News team as a Product Marketing Manger – focusing on consumers and how we can rebuild trust in our platform and help people (like you!) have the best news experience possible on Facebook while ultimately connecting people around the world together through news. As a former journalism student, News on Facebook has been of huge interest to me since I joined the company, and given the news cycle the last six months and the state of world affairs over the last two years – this year really marks a pivotal time in our company’s life to join this team and help my colleagues define the future of News on Facebook. Too good an opportunity to pass up and I’m thrilled to be given this opportunity.
But wait, what about London? In my most recent post last November (marking perhaps my longest time ever between posting – sorry 😦 ) I said I was hoping to move to London this year as I needed a fresh start in a new city. As much as I utterly adore London (and I’m sure I’ll get there at some point in my life!), the last six months have shown me that I’m not quite done with America just yet (despite my ongoing love/hate relationship with this country ha!) and over the many trips I’ve been privileged to take to New York over the last three years, I’ve fallen more and more in love with the city. I love the history of New York, exploring the many diverse neighbourhoods across the boroughs, seeing musicals on Broadway, fresh snow, all the matcha cafes and of course the endless list of rooftop bars. I truly feel like I come alive each time I’m in this city and I cannot wait to move there and call it my home for this next chapter.
Just some of my favourite things I’m looking forward to experiencing below…
All this said, I want to acknowledge the last six months that have passed and why I’ve been so absent from writing. I have always loved social media (if my current career path doesn’t prove that I don’t know what will!) but hated the way our behind closed door selves don’t get featured very often. I think it can be important to remain quiet in these times to allow yourself to heal, but I’m also a big believer in sharing the messy, broken stuff too – because even if we’re not sharing it, most of us are experiencing it and if sharing this can help just one person feel like they’re not alone in their mess, that’s good enough for me.
Ending a 10 year relationship and figuring out who I am again has been the most challenging and heartbreaking rollercoaster ride. I’ve experienced tremendous highs as I’ve discovered new things about myself, made new friends and reconnected with old ones, and found joy in traveling to new places, but during this time I also hit total rock bottom. I’ve cried and cried and cried until it felt like I’d need to build myself an ark, I’ve withdrawn from relationships and been a terrible daughter, sister, friend and colleague at times, and I’ve tried to fill my time with fleeting things that may bring short-term joy but ultimately brought me a lot of pain. In late March I found myself on my bathroom floor crying tears I didn’t even know I had left in me, reaching out to my parents to tell them I needed help. I’m so blessed that they had the ability and means to drop everything for two weeks and come be with me in California as I begun this long healing process. It’s through these weeks that I learned once again the huge importance of reaching out for help when you need it – for whatever reason – and before you reach rock bottom. Whether that’s to your parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, pastor, manager – it’s so important to have that one person you can call or text. Promise me you’ll figure that out today if you don’t have that person in mind already (and I am always here for you if you do need to reach out).
The last 6 months are what I’ve continually described as a desert – I felt so lost without a clear escape route or at least a mirage in sight. I was suddenly 27 and single and trying to piece together my identity again – no longer a wife or a companion, a role that has truly made up 100% of who I am for the last 5 years. I’ve felt lost with work, unsure of where I’d land location wise and just generally stuck in this vortex of not feeling like I had a place or purpose anymore. And though this new job and exciting new city are definitely the next step out of the desert, I was challenged by a friend last night to not see New York as the shiny escape route that will miraculously bring meaning and purpose back into my life, but as a place for a fresh start with a whole lot more learning coming my way.
Truthfully, I think New York will be desert pt 2 for me – I’m stripping away all the comforts I’ve held close in San Francisco – the incredible friends I’ve made, the job I’ve known inside out and the home I’ve called mine for almost 4 years. But I think it’s in those deserts, without all our comforts, where the greatest growth, learning and true joy can be found. I may no longer be someone’s wife but I haven’t lost the essence of who I am and I’m so excited to discover what makes me happy, brings me peace and gives me purpose on my own. I can’t wait to meet and find people, places and experiences to love again.
I’ll be moving to New York in the first week of August, and can’t wait to bring you on this next chapter with me. Would love your prayers, advice and tips if you’ve ever moved to or lived in New York – I couldn’t be on this journey without your support! Now taking recommendations for a new hashtag (no more #californicaitlin!) and reservations for a spot on my couch 🙂
Giving you a big squeeze, particularly if you’re in the midst of a desert – I’m right there with you and we’ve totally got this! 🙂