Women

In praise Of Changing Your Mind (Part 2)

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

“I quit the freelance dream and went back to my old job”

Miranda Bolter, 38, is a senior graphic designer at The Partners. She lives with her boyfriend Matt, 38, in London.

 “After leaving the office at 2am yet again and missing my brother’s birthday party, I knew something had to change. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my job as a senior graphic designer for a top design agency – it was great. I got such a buzz from coming up with ideas and my team felt more like best friends than colleagues. But I’d been working on a hideously stressful project for 18 months. It had become more about rules and pleasing the client, and less about being creative. I realised that it was the time to go freelance – I’d always longed to work when and I wanted. So, last June, I took the plunge and handed in my notice.

Description: Miranda Bolter

Miranda Bolter

The company threw me a huge send-off party with thoughtful speeches and lots of champagne. The next day, I woke up with a worrying sense of regret, but I brushed it off and signed up to recruitment agencies – the freelance offers came flooding in. At first, it was everything I’d hoped for. The hours were great – I loved having my evenings and weekends back – and I was earning more than $375 a day. But, after six weeks, the novelty wore off. One job could last three days while the next might be two weeks, and the reality of not knowing when- or even if – I’d have work was more unsetting than I had thought it would be. I felt like a stranger at every office and wasn’t comfortable joining in with after-work drinks. It was like constantly having new-job nerves. Four months in, my recruiter phoned to say I’d landed my most lucrative short-term contract to date, but I burst into tears. I didn’t care about the money, I realised I’d made a mistake and nothing would compare to my old job. I missed the camaraserie and sense of belonging.

Description: I didn’t care about the money, I realised I’d made a mistake and nothing would compare to my old job. I missed the camaraserie and sense of belonging.

I didn’t care about the money, I realised I’d made a mistake and nothing would compare to my old job. I missed the camaraserie and sense of belonging.

At that exact moment, by total coincidence, a text came through from my old boss, asking how I was getting on. It gave me the courage to ask to meet him for coffee the following week and, to my surprise, he offered me my old job back. A part of me was worried what people would think. I’d made such a fuss of leaving; it felt embarrassing to admit that I couldn’t handle the freelance lifestyle I’d always dreamed about. My first morning back was terrifying. I planned on keeping a low profile and snuck in early, but I needn’t have worried: as soon as the team spotted me back at my old desk, they cheered or ran over and gave me a hug. It was so reassuring to see people genuinely pleased with my decision and, after my first week, it was like I’d never been away.

Since returning last October, I’ve fallen in love with my job again. But I don’t regret leaving in the first place – I learned more about myself during those four months than I had in the ten previous years. The things I thought I wanted – more money, flexibility and time for myself – didn’t actually make me happy. I need to be part of a team and, as it turns out, I enjoy the adrenaline of being pushed.”

“I remarried my ex-husband”

Sarah Pittendrigh, 40, is founder of Simply Bows Chair Covers. She lives with her husband Stewart, 42, and their son William, 13.

 “When I married Stewart in 1995, it was a case of right husband, wrong time. I was 22 and, looking back, too young to know what I wanted in life. Stewart and I had known each other since we were children and got together when I was 17. When he proposed, I got carried away with the romance.

Description: Sarah Pittendrigh

Sarah Pittendrigh

When William was born four years later, the dynamics changed. We were new parents, paying a mortgage and juggling full-time jobs. We started arguing. I began to have doubts about our marriage and, as the months passed, the resentment grew. One morning in 2001, I woke up and realised we were trapped in the habit of being together. I told him I wanted a divorce. He was heartbroken but agreed it wasn’t fair on us, or William, to say together.

Description: At our wedding, some of our friends, who had been there the first time round, said we’d been crazy to break up.

At our wedding, some of our friends, who had been there the first time round, said we’d been crazy to break up.

Stewart and I stayed friends – I didn’t want a bitter divorce. Within six months we were casually dating other people, but I wasn’t interested in anything serious and decided to focus on my job. Then, in 2008, the company folded and I almost lost my house. The day I had to declare myself bankrupt, Stewart took me out for dinner. I was terrified, but he was so supportive.

Hitting rock bottom brought us closer together and I started to see him differently. He wanted to give ‘us’ another go, but I wasn’t sure I could trust my instinct to get back together. Then, when his parents fell ill and died within a year of each other, it tore him apart – I’ve never felt such physical pain for another people. I had a huge wake-up call at his mother’s funeral and realised I still loved him. We re-married in March – ten years after our divorce – and it was the most emotional day of my life. We invited over 100 guests. I wasn’t worried what people would think – I wanted to celebrate my change of heart and for it to show that the past was behind us.

At our wedding, some of our friends, who had been there the first time round, said we’d been crazy to break up. I guess they’re right. I don’t think I ever stopped loving Stewart, but we have more respect for each other now – we make an effort to talk and listen. I’m so happy I swallowed my pride and changed my mind. I’ll never underestimate the value of being with someone you can trust and rely on in your darkest hour. I can’t imagine life without him.”

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