I have an announcement, and, for me at least, it’s a pretty big one. My longest successful relationship (outside of my pup) has come to an end. We have been through a lot together: five years, three cities, two continents (and hemispheres), dozens upon dozens of intelligent, perceptive, gorgeous people. The company I work for and I have decided to part ways. As of today, I will no longer work for the ad agency I had signed on to five years ago with distant hopes of a transfer abroad.

In general in this industry, this is not news. People jump from agency to agency like they change shirts, ruthlessly climbing ever higher, seeking more money, new client challenges or different managers and teams. Loyalty is not something this industry is famous for. Much the opposite, actually (I’m lookin’ at you Don Draper). So when people look at five years on my resume, they whistle between their teeth and silently wonder how underpaid I am.

But I stuck it out, worked hard, achieved much, learned a lot, and it paid off in the realization of a distant hope when I first joined this company – I moved abroad. And, since life is funny sometimes, just like that, our relationship had run its course. Of course I was plunged into the emotional turmoil that accompanies the demise of any relationship, and hence the cryptic blogs about boxes and chess games and connect-the-dots. But the reasons are irrelevant, only the result: It was time to move on.

And so I have changed companies, traded one set of initials for another. I haven’t given up on Sydney and still firmly believe this is where I am meant to be right now, even if my means of coming here is no longer part of the picture. I still see the opportunity, maybe even more strongly than I did when I first arrived. I feel poised on the edge of something great, I am ready to dive in and not be swayed from building what I want to build. And, even if that fails, I have already picked up a few lifelong friends.

And I will always look back on this relationship with the fondness that can only be created with blood, sweat, and tears repeated in an endless loop year after year. I will always remember what I have gained from my experiences here, how I was ground out from an eager young graduate into a savvy, respected businesswoman. I wouldn’t have been able to do that entirely on my own, and I am forever indebted to this company for putting me onto a collision course with people who shaped my life in so many ways.

And now I will take a mini break, visit a foreign place for the first time, turn off my brain and focus on my senses, and return ready for another incredible five years.

Til next time, xoxo!