Time for a cool change

By now, many of you might have heard that I’m no longer with RecruitingBlogs.com and have found a new professional home at Galavanting Productions. Those of you who follow me closely will know that CEO Kim Mance and I are longtime friends and fierce collaborators and have been for at least 7 years now.

Galavanting Productions owns several properties including TravelBlogExchange.com, GoGalavanting.com and Galavanting.tv. I’ll be overseeing all marketing strategy for everyone of these projects, including the TBEX conferences (here’s the next one TBEX ’10) and our newest project TBEX Connect. I’ll also begin reviewing hotels for GoGalavanting.com, an online travel magazine for women as well as continuing to co-host Galavanting.tv with Kim and Courtney.

It’s a really exciting time and as someone who has been with the company from nearly the beginning, I can’t wait to see what will happen. I’m honestly wondering what will happen when Kim and I work together full time. It could get scary (good scary that is).

Speaking of scary, all this great stuff comes with a flip side, as things in life often do. To fully pursue the opportunities open to me, I have to say some goodbyes. In order to receive something your hand must be open, not a closed fist, still holding tightly to something that is no longer yours.

I have to leave an industry that has been my home for the last three years. I have to say goodbye to friends and colleagues who have been my “family on the road” and to professionals that opened their arms to a complete newcomer. I have to leave a job I know I am good at and a company I know I made better with my presence. I have to leave co-workers with whom I have inside jokes and a seamless integration of personalities. I need to remove myself from the daily conversations about recruiting and HR because my new role is in a different industry. I’ll have to say goodbye to a schedule I was used to and tasks I had gotten comfortable doing. I’d built my social hierarchy within a certain world and now I have to do it all over again.

I’m scared. And I feel alone.

Not because I’m not joining the coolest team ever or because the travel industry hasn’t welcomed me with open arms. But because I am actually quite a timid person and my mom told me 30 was going to be my toughest year and doggone it, I SO didn’t want her to be right. I’ve spent quite a few days thinking about all I’ll be missing. How RecruitFest! will be without me, about my friends heading to SHRM, about plans for RecruitingBlogs that I won’t be around to see come to fruition. And let’s be honest, that just blows.

So…I’m still scared and then I remembered (please indulge me):

I left home and moved out on my own at 16.

I dropped out of high school and went on to graduate college with honors.

I ate the worm.

I got pregnant with my son at 19 and found myself abandoned. I went on to marry a wonderful man who adopted our son.

I climbed a wall of ice even though I was scared to death.

I put an 8 ft long python around my neck to conquer my fear of snakes.

I put my head through a windshield and never lost consciousness.

I traveled across the Adriatic Sea through Rome with a double lung infection, pneumonia and pleurisy.

I took care of abandoned Roma babies and listened to children cry and confess things that should never happen to children.

I delivered three children with no pain medication.

I watched a business my family put its heart, soul and savings into fail, miserably.

I auditioned for American Idol (oh YES, I did)

I walked headfirst into an industry I knew nothing about and learned what I could and served where I could and for three years was proud to call that industry my professional home. I can do it again.

What, exactly, do I have to be scared of? Right.

So I’ll say bye to the people I have to and keep those friendships I cherish and conquer this next big thing:

Love,

Maren

PS- I promise not every post will be this self-involved or maudlin. Stay tuned…if you want.