Sunday, December 21, 2008

Letter to a friend...

Ciao, Lisa!!

Wow. I know it has been a long time since we have emailed, and so much has happened! Diane told me that you are busy caring for Frits' father. I'm so sorry to hear about his illness. I know that you are probably missing your annual travel, and hope that you are all doing ok.

Things here are going very well. I'm not going to lie - I had a very stressful October and November. In October Diane and I realized that with everything that was going on with Grail and the challenges of the portfolio that it was better for me to look for another job. I was disappointed that things with Grail weren't going to work out, but other than that in pretty good spirits about it and launched into a full time job search. However, with the holiday season getting underway and the state of the economy, I wasn't having very much luck.

And then at the same time I had to deal with cleaning up the mess that my roommate left when she hightailed it back across the country! I spent a while searching for another roommate, and just didn't meet anyone that was going to work out. I finally decided to break the lease early and just find a place on my own. As luck would have it, I found an AMAZING little studio in Sausalito!! It's absolutely charming, with fantastic neighbors, plenty of room, and views of the Bay from literally every window. It is a dream. Getting out of the other lease was quite a hurdle, though, and right around that time she went MIA - literally refusing to respond to emails and skipping out on financial things that we had agreed to. So I ended up having to deal with the whole mess (including financial responsibilities) all by myself. Basically, she completely surprised me with her irresponsibility and horrible ethics. It was no fun, but I just got to the point where I released it, moved on, and the good news is that now it's over and I am settled into my new place and absolutely loving it! It is a dream.

In the meantime, I had taken a part time job at a store in Sausalito that is part boutique, part winery tasting room. It's a really unique little spot, I surprised myself with how much I loved the work, and the owner and I really hit it off. Then a few weeks ago she asked me to come on full time and manage the store! I thought about it for a few weeks. I was completely enjoying and loving it, and had a lot of ideas of things I could do if I went full time, but wasn't sure if that was really where I wanted my career to go. But I finally realized that it was too good of an opportunity to pass up, and accepted the job!

So that's where my life is now! I live in a great apartment in Sausalito, WALK to my delightful job (with a completely cush schedule - 10-6 Tuesday-Saturday - how great is that for retail?!), and am still dating the wonderful man and making new friends all the time. I am so excited to be here, and absolutely loving it.

I'm still in very close contact with Diane. I know that she is going through a rough time, but she seems to be keeping her spirits up. I think that soon a final solution with what to do with the company will be reached, and that she will find peace and be able to move on. She and Jim are having a New Year's Eve dinner party. The man and I are going. I can't wait. I think that it is so wonderfully appropos, after this year with all of the travel, the move, working with Grail, settling here in California, to ring in the New Year overlooking Napa Valley with my new California family. On Tuesday I'm heading home to VA for Christmas for a few days, which I'm looking forward to as well.

Wow, this is a LONG email! Please do write back when you can and catch me up on everything. 2008 has been such a life-changing and wonderful year, and I know that for ALL of us 2009 will be just as great.



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