The past year has been a rush; 31st of March 2008, I made the decision to quit 'work'. Not to quit working per se, but to quit the regular 'desk-job' type work that is. It was getting to me; i've worked in a bunch of different companies, moving up from one position to the next and getting more responsibility with each switch, and more money along with each. Shifted from Relationship Manager for a global bank, to a Branch Manager for a large bank here in Bahrain, to a Department Head for a telecom company, and a few more positions in between.
Money was great. Wasn't happy.
I guess over the 6 years or so since graduating from college, i've managed to achieve what most people take about twice as long to do. And I could see the career path; it was on it's way up, but I just wasn't enjoying it. I finally made the decision to quit, because I really wasn't getting much out of this whole 'job' thing (besides a big bank balance, which isn't bad but there was still something missing).
The next step was vague; I had no clue what I was about to do next, but to the outsider it seemed like a bit of a joke; the timing of me quitting seemed to coincide with the wifey flying to the UK for studies, and me buying an Xbox with a bunch of games.
Yes, my wife was out of the country, I bought an Xbox, and I quit working. I was a 17 year old bachelor kid again. Woohoow.
The next few steps are a bit of a blur now; it's been a little over a year, in which I decided to follow what I like best to see where that goes; my photography, which I started putting into online galleries, and soon got contacted by companies who wanted to buy images for their company websites, magazines, etc. I also started a little online magazine to cover things to do and places to go in Bahrain. I've always loved music, so I started BahrainTalent to promote all the local musicians in the country (who didn't have any sort of support otherwise), and through that got in touch with a big music company opening up in the region.
The magazine caught on very quickly, with readership increasing by the month, and with that came coverage of events, parties, advertising, sponsorships, and more. BahrainTalent caught on pretty quickly too, with lots of people applying to get featured on the site, and even more visiting just to check out who these musicians are and where they popped out from. Photography increased as I started getting invited to more events and social gatherings, and working with the music company to launch things in the country and region took a bigger role, and the Middle East sort of became my playground. Add into that everything from getting connections for big events (setting up Elham with AlDar for their island trip), to helping put together events (Axis of Evil and other shows), finding talent for events (DJ's for parties, live performers for clubs), to random other things here and there such as writing articles for some of the big publications here, filming and editing short videos, and setting up BIC with local talent for F1 themed songs, etc.
That's not even the half of it; a million other things in between meant that I was buuuhuuussssyyyy. Every day was a rush with one thing after another, never stopping to breathe.
It was great, but it was exhausting. I'm so far away from that desk job business now.
The whole thing started on April 1st 2008 with me sitting at home with that Xbox. Sometimes I wonder if this whole thing is just a big April's fool joke; it's been successful so far. But it got overwhelming, meetings, events, planning things, deadlines, last-minute flights, people calling all the time, millions of emails and messages back and forth, etc etc etc. Staying focused was near impossible.
A year after it all started, well, a year and 2 days to be exact (3rd Apr '09), I took off. Got on a plane and flew thousands of miles away to the UK, and for 2 weeks let the pressure subside. Forgot about everything for a while.
Green parks, beaches, new people and new places, good food, ice cream by the pool. It was great. Total disconnect.
I'm back now, and somehow even though though there are a million things to do, my mind feels clearer and a lot sharper. I've always figured I was focused, but now after this, I know I wasn't. Totally needed break. Guess sometimes you just need to hit that reset button.