Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Opportunity comes a-knockin'!!!

Yesterday, I arrived in New York. It's my first trip here after over two years so I'm very excited about being back. I have always been in love with this city, long before I moved here, during my time living here and ever since I left. For years after I moved from New York to London, I used to wish that I could get a job in New York, to find an employer that would sponsor my work permit, so that I could pursue my American dream. It seemed like such an impossible dream. Last night, my wish almost came true but it may be too late.

I have a friend named Chloe who moved to America about five months ago. Chloe is very special to me. She is my former boss and the person who recruited me to join her team and the finance department at our company back in 2011. If it wasn't for her taking a chance on me, I wouldn't be on the career trajectory that I am on. She moved to America to manage the internal audit team she was running back in the UK; the same one that I was a part of before I was promoted and got my own team to run. At dinner last night, she told me that she is recruiting for her team here in the US and asked me if I was interested. We discussed it and it was certainly an attractive prospect. I would get to live and work in the US doing a job that I know how to do very well and there would be a lot travel around the country, which is certainly appealing since the company has stores in many cities that I have never been to, including Las Vegas, Chicago and Miami.

However, I knew that it wasn't right for me...I have my life in the UK and I value it very much. My niece is there and I want to watch her grow. I am more than halfway through my accountancy qualification in the UK and if I were to move countries, it would make it almost impossible to continue my qualification. Finishing my qualification and becoming a chartered, certified accountant is my priority. This job prospect in the US is the right opportunity but at the wrong time and timing is everything. Your goals, priorities and dreams change over time; they change with the circumstances of your life. My life has changed in many significant ways in the six and a half years since I moved home to the United Kingdom. It is nice to be able to reflect on this and know that I'm growing and my life is moving in positive directions that will most definitely defy my current expectations of the future.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The show that changed my life!

On February 22nd, 2004, the very last episode of 'Sex and the City' aired on HBO. Not that there is anything wrong with being a late comer to the party but I was a fan of this iconic, eye-opening, life-affirming series right from the start, all the way back in the 90s! It wasn't just about the glamour and allure of life in Manhattan when you have a decent amount of disposable income and no obligations to anyone else but yourself. For me, the true appeal of the show was the way it portrayed four very different characters (some may say they were archetypes but I would argue that by the time the show ended after six amazing seasons, these characters well and truly transcended any archetypes) living their lives unapologetically and pursuing happiness on their own terms, sometimes failing and other times succeeding.

Personally, a lot has happened in the past ten years and I have to say that 'Sex and the City' was truly my bible through this period. In fact, because of what I have been through in the past decade, the show probably resonates even more deeply now than it did when I was younger. The show helped me to navigate and find my way in that awkward period of transitioning into adulthood. I moved to New York in the fall of 2004 and lived there for three years so there were times when I found myself at the same places where the show took place, including city landmarks, like Lincoln Centre and Bryant Park, and hotspots, like Chelsea's Cafeteria and Williamsburg's Sea, thinking that my life was imitating the show. More importantly, in this period, I accepted and embraced who I was and proceeded to lead an open life that was fulfilling and meaningful. I fell in love for the first and only time (thus far!) and had my heart broken. I've met some lovely (and some not so lovely) men along the way. All along, I had the support of family, work colleagues and most importantly, good friends, just like Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha.

Critics and even some fans say that the legacy of the show was diminished by the two movies, especially the second one, which was deemed by many viewers as being culturally ignorant. I am not sure if I could even disagree with that notion. Nonetheless, for me, the show lives on as a beacon of aspirational contemporary lifestyle and values; a guide for young urbanites still figuring out their identities and their place in the world.  Sure, the show was superficial and frivolous at times but why shouldn't it be? It was supposed to be entertainment, after all. However, if that was all the show had to offer, I seriously doubt that it would still have millions of fans around the glob, even ten years after it finished its run. 'Sex and the City' had a big heart and that's why I fell in love with it all those years ago and remain in love a decade later. Thus, I shall close this post with a clip from one of my favourite episodes to illustrate the ability of the show to move its audience and to celebrate the power of love, hope and friendship in this fast-paced, precarious and cynical world that we live in.