I woke up feeling so much better. It took a couple of long phonecalls with close friends, a long chat with my mother, and mainly a very supportive and proud for me husband.
The difficult part was accepting and admitting things I chose not to see, not to admit and not to accept.
Friendship is a "used" words nowadays. I am not sure why we all do this. Why we distinguish friends by adding adjectives to the word. I myself just did it in the beginning of this post. I just realised that I wrote "close friends". My mother was right (ouch it is always hard to admit this ;o) when she used to tell me I had to learn to distinguish between friends and aquintances. I had to learn to distinguish between people I met and had fun with and friends. She used to tell me that friends are the ones for the hard times. I used to tell her shes over cautious.
I met my partner in 1993. She was the PR manager of a local festival, and I was the PR manager of a radio station back then. We did some cooperations, and through them we appreciated each other and became "friends". We would meet twice a year and call each other occasionally through all these years, but each time it will feel as if we were together the day before. As if time has not passed. She called me when her husband asked for a divorce. I called her when I met that woman.
When she proposed to me to start a company together, I hesitated. I told her that we should not mix business with our friendship. She said I was silly. Our first 3 months were fantastic. Then one day, one of her oldest clients called, she picked up the phone, he said hello's and how are you's to her, and then he asked for me. She said puzzled, why do you want Argyro? and he said, I want to talk to her about a project I have thought.
She changed from that moment. What was reffered to as "our company" our clients" "our bank account" suddenly became "my company" "my clients" "my bank account". I had a long talk with her and I realised she did not even acknowledge it. What we do not acknowledge we cannot change. So I took then a very conscious decision to let her be the "boss". Because of the madness of the business we are and the people we deal with daily, and between constant arguments arising from silly power games and a low profile, I chosed the latter.
After all she was my friend. She was 10 older, had the business longer, is a woman who has fought all her life to reach her current business status, a woman I admired, and she felt threatened from the youngster coming in. Understandable.
Things got great and we finally had a pleasant working environment and a renewed sense of being a team.
Then she left to give birth and was away for 3 months. Same three months my mother went through chemo etc. So when she came back to the office, she got all these compliments from clients about how hard I worked, how well I dealt with things, etc. And the power game begun again. However because I did not follow it, it stopped sooner than before.
I did not expect her to be happy for me. I expected her to tell me that we are so busy it is impossible for me to let her in such a busy season. In the meantime, on Monday evening I met the woman who offered me the position, and worked out with her ways to keep my company too. I was ready to give my partner an alternative. I would stay here till Nov. 15, when all our theatres would have finished their openings, in the meantime we would hire another assistant. I would train her. She would get paid out of my profit share and not the company's expenses budget. The remaining of my share would go to my partner. I would not get paid any share unless things got a lot better financially. After all I was going to get a good salary. I had dreams about me getting tons of new connections in the new position
and sending tons of projects "our" way. I had dreams about helping our existing clients do more productions through this organisation.
I never got the chance to tell her any of this.
The woman who offered me the position, had offered a similar one to my partner a year and a half ago, when she was in the middle of her pregnancy. She accepted the position and just came and announced it to me. However, there was a personal conflict between the two women and at the end the offer was taken back.
Apparently her hatred towards that woman is a lot more important and strong than any friendship she had for me. Otherwise her last words would not have been "I have been always a lady. Now you will go work for a whore".
Accepting and admitting all these were hard. Really very hard. Because twice during the last year and a half I have been offered a very good position in one of the ministries of greece as the minister's PR consultant. The minister is married to my oldest friend and I know and have been friends with for more than 10 years. He offered me the position once, I declined immediately. He asked me a second time telling me he needs me as someone he can trust. I declined again. Neither my gf nor her husband told me that our personal relationship will never be the same. Mind you, the money were better than what I have been offered now. And I told my partner both times. I told her I would not go somewhere to do alone the same job we were doing together. And this is also the reason I gave to my friends when I declined the offers.
I am really getting this new job because it involves production and production is what I am superb at and production is also a job that makes my heart really sing. I have done this for more than half my professional life and this is perhaps the greater opportunity I will ever get to re-enter this field. I told my partner this yesterday. I told her I declined my best friend's offer twice. An offer with lotsa zeros in the annual paycheck. If she cannot understand it is fields I am changing and not persons to work with, it is not my problem.
And I decided that should she comes for a second discussion, I will not tell her all the plans I made the night before so we could stay together. Because what one can not acknowledge one cannot understand nor change. And it will sound as if I was making excuses for myself to show I am nice and think of her. I have nothing to apologise for. Because in my decision process her well being took a major factor. Till yesterday.
And yes, there is still sadness inside my heart. But now there is also anger. Which is healthier. And there is also slowly appearing joy for the new opportunity, the new start.
Thank you so much for the supportive comments you left yesterday. You made my morning black coffee extremely sweet :)