Retro-Fear. I made that up, I think. Naiveté often looks like fearlessness. Or, “If I knew then what I know now, I might not have (insert act of fearlessness.)”
It all began with a lie, the decision to leave Atlantic City and move to New York City (NYC).
My boss sat on the other side of his desk and lied to my face. Unaware I knew the truth about the possibility of moving from the training department to the marketing department, he told me the job was a demotion and paid less money.
I’d met with the Vice-President of Merchandising beforehand to work out the details. Writing marketing copy seemed much more interesting than writing training manuals.
My boss lied to me. I was sick to my stomach. I pressed my lips together and took a deep breath.
Asking my boss to inquire about the job opening was a courtesy and the politically correct thing to do. Calling him on his lie would have been political suicide for me and put others in harm’s way. So I held my tongue.
Back at my desk, fuming on the inside, steam coming out my ears, I vowed to be gone in thirty days.
My college roommate lived in NYC. I called to find out if she knew anyone needing a roommate. She was looking for a new apartment and needed a roommate. We hatched a plan.
I used vacation time and weekends to look for an apartment and look for a job. At the end of the month I had both. I borrowed the company van and moved my belongings to New York.
Three important bits of self-knowledge came from that move.
- Personal integrity is important to me and a vital quality in the people I surround myself with.
- Like Frank Sinatra sang so eloquently, “If you can make it there you can make it anywhere.” New York offers a lot, but is not an easy place to live. After that, nothing scares me, much.
- Big cities are not for me. I am a small-town girl through and through.
I wouldn’t even consider moving to NYC today. Is it retro-fear or knowledge and experience?
Every decision takes us down one path instead of another. No telling where I might be today if I had stayed in my job and not taken the path to the Big Apple.