Its been a week now since I learned I won't need to bother getting up in the mornings to do my show, Carmen & Fitzi on radio anymore. Our contracts, my co-host and I were told in our East Perth studios, are not being renewed.
I can’t say much more about that process than what you’ve just read. You know, contracts and stuff. But I have been thinking a lot about these moments in life, and how they bring about change. Or as Bowie sang; Ch..ch..changes.
Now is my time to turn and face the strange.
Change used to my best friend. I loved how easily I could change my look, home or job to create a new way to be viewed by the world.
I made these changes for many reasons. To make myself happier, to get away from a boss or a colleague I didn't like all that much, or to end a relationship without the icky break up chat.
Then, as part of yet another change, I returned to my home city of Perth. Things back home became super comfy super quickly.
But this time, it wasn’t because I was in love with my job. This time, and for the first time: I was in love with a man. And if he was in Perth I was going to be in Perth. It was the first time that when things got weird at work, I couldn’t go back to my old friend, change.
And you know what? It was good. Sure, there were shows that didn’t work, there were decisions made that I didn't enjoy, and there was the kinda crappy thing that happened on Monday, but on the whole – I grew.
I became a better broadcaster, I took opportunities that wouldn’t have come my way without that job, and probably most importantly I grew as a person.
I learned that change for the sake of change – the kind I was used to making when the going gets tough isn’t always the best solution.
Now that the job has come to an end, I’m realising how much I did love it, and that as much as I once loved to bring about change, there was no way I would have ever pulled the trigger myself.
This time I’m facing a change that was not of my own making, and I'm getting through by focussing on how re-vitalising change can be.
I’ve been waking each morning to discover a whole new world that exists outside of a radio station: my husband’s morning routine with my teenage stepson, even small things like sharing breakfast together, making lunches and seeing that rush out the door are like “firsts” to me.
I’m taking the time to catch up with friends and colleagues I haven’t spoken with in years and spending time with my extended family.
I’ve had people reach out to me just to say “hey, I like what you do”, And “sorry about your job”. Hearing those things has made it so much easier to get through such a public thing as finishing up a radio show. I imagine losing any other job could make a person feel much more alone in the world, so for that I’m truly grateful.
It might surprise you and maybe the moment I fall in a crying heap is still in my future, but I actually feel amazing. I’ve reverted back to that “change space” where possibilities are endless and the decision about what I'll do next is back where it belongs, in my hands.
At 16 years old, I remember my dad coming home one day with bad news. The company he’d spent most of his career working for had been placed in the hands of recievers. It was a decision made by over-seas owners with very little connection to him or the dozens of staff he had working for him. That day was the first time I’d seen my typical Aussie male father, cry.
It was my mother who said: “It’s not the end of the world”.
And it wasn’t. In the months that followed they teamed up with a couple of partners to land a franchise contract and form a new company of their own. Today the profit turned by that company is funding my parents’ retirement.
I’m pretty sure that’s where my life-long love-affair with change began.
I can't tell you where my journey will take me next, but I know that for now I'll be relishing the chance to share more here, so keep an eye out for new posts.
I'm looking forward to exploring a few things here that aren't tied to a radio or TV show. A space to keep in touch and connect with people who like what they've heard, read or seen of what I do, and really come to terms with my own identity outside of radio.
Thanks to everyone who's offered support this week, I'll never forget this time.