By Diane Ako
Three and a half: that's exactly how many years I spent at my hotel job before making the difficult decision to leave earlier this month. It's about finding better balance in my life. I feel really good about this.
I have things going on in my personal life and appreciate now having the time to attend to that, including being a more active and participating mother to my six year old.
It was a great job. I learned an incredible amount about the industry as well as myself. I believe I bring a whole new skill set to the employment table, for when that time comes.
The job also made me a better traveler! I will never look at the hotel experience in the same way. Not after I've been allowed to stay in two $7,000 per night suites. I'm spoiled, ha ha.
I liked the job and I liked the people I worked with, both in the hotels and outside of it. I am very grateful for what was a wonderful experience. I have lovely friendships I take with me and fond memories of two beautiful properties.
As much as I was looking forward to the freedom of housewife status again, I was bummed for a few days after I left. It was not about losing my identity or having regret. My low-energy state surprised me for a while until I realized I need to process this transition the way one needs to acknowledge the end of any major chapter in life.
The day that mood lifted, I was walking on the street in downtown Honolulu. A beautiful monarch butterfly appeared in front of me and dive-bombed me. Having anything fly directly at me surprised me, and I actually raised my arm in front of my face and stepped sideways.
When I looked again, it had landed on my sleeve! I was surprised and pleased. I moved my arm to look at it closer, and it flew away. It was just there for a moment, but I felt touched and special.
A butterfly has never landed on me before. I decided to look at it as a good omen that the day, which had started out terrific, would continue to be great. It was.
Later, my friends Ed, Lori, and Mark pointed out that butterflies are a symbol of new beginnings, of the grace and beauty that change can bring, and a reminder to have faith in life's greater plan. I think that is a beautiful sentiment, and will carry that forward as I write the next chapter.
Here's to metamorphosis!