Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My So-Called Life

I have been giving it some thought. I considering going offline, at least as far as Facebook and my blog are concerned. Not that I don't enjoy them, I do. It's just that I am going through a time in life when everything I considered my "life" is falling apart and I don't want a global audience. I don't want anyone bearing witness to my unraveling. I also don't have the energy to gloss over the things, attempt to make them funny or even put them out there for public consumption. Maybe I will change my mind. I don't know.

"I don't know" seems to be my theme right now. Everything is so confusing I have no idea what I am doing or what I should do next. Perhaps it isn't about what I "should" do next, it's about what I am even able to do next. My biggest fear seems to be looking back at me and laughing. I can't make it stop. I can't sleep. I don't want to eat. I don't want to get out of bed. I wonder if I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown and am doing whatever I can to keep it at bay. I don't know how I got here. In six weeks I have nothing left. No home. No job. No income. Unless something works out in six weeks, I will be living my worst fears. Yes, I have some savings, but they aren't going to hold me over for very long, and I need to go somewhere, anywhere, as my visa expires.

I lay awake at night thinking about my things in storage in Amsterdam and now I wonder if I should pay the bill or save the money. Twelve years of my life are in that little space. It seems odd that twelve years can fit into a little room. I arrived in Amsterdam in 1994 with two suitcases and built everything up from nothing. I didn't even speak the language. Three years later I was a director at a France Telecom company. I was thirty. That storage space is filled with paintings from Nepal, and various items from Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Iceland, China and everywhere else I went. My photographs are in there, even the ones on CD. My state of the art, computerized diving gear, my Nitro Storm snowboard, my rock climbing gear. The gifts from friends. My dad's watch. All my books. Hundreds, perhaps over a thousand of them, all read, are there. Twenty years of Vanity Fair magazines. And last night I debated if I should just let it all go.

The last fourteen years of globe-trotting, champagne, Paris, private jets, five-star hotels, Prada shoes, designer clothes and fantastic restaurants came flooding back. I don't know if they are over or just on pause. I try not to think of those things. I am trying to find the positives, but can't really come up with any. I just keep thinking "No home. No income." I try to block it out, but it keeps coming through loud and clear like a car alarm right outside the window at 3am.

Manuel seems to be taking this all very well. He sleeps and doesn't seem phased by the fact that he too will be without a roof over his head. He finally got himself a paying job. Timing is everything. The only problem is that the pay is basically nothing, less than 10% what I normally make. We can live with a pay cut, but not of over 90%. After one and a half years of supporting Manuel, he is on his own now. I can't help him. Maybe I sound selfish. Maybe I am.

Two weeks ago I was giving television interviews about the effect the economy was having on my life. I sounded positive. I was upbeat. I was ready to take on the world. Now I feel like an idiot. It was the shiny moment before the disaster. I am supposed to be writing an article for a magazine whose next issue is themed "Life's a Beach" and I have no inspiration at all. I just want to bury my head in the sand until this all gets sorted out.

So there you have it, and as I said, I am not sure if I will be blogging anymore anytime soon. Yes, writing is my release, my way out, but some things are perhaps just better left unknown and undistributed. If you suddenly don't hear from me for awhile, you know why.


  1. hey,
    Just went thru ur blog and just got to know so much of you, I guess that is part point of having a blog, letting go a part of yourself and sharing it with everyone.Things do seem rough right now Rob, but from the journey i travelled reading your blog, one thing sure did come out. You seem to have an amazin quality of making most of what life shoves at you. whether it be Amsterdam, whether it be travellin across seas. Its a good life you've lead , beaten the odds , Director of a company at 30.. man thats wicked (in a good way!! if u get my drift)
    Honestly I wouldn laugh when i look back at all you have done and continue to do so, i'm sure it was'nt all roses all the way , but man "WHAT A WAY" ...
    Yeah! no job, no income, aint exactly the inspiration one would look for for a story titled "Life is a BEACH" but hey why not travel back in time (within ur own life) to search for that very inspiration..I dunno Rob..i have a gut feelin you gonna come outta this one too shining, its just another corner you have to turn and i have a gut feeling YOU WILL!! with flying colours..

  2. Robb,

    Knowing you for so many years has taught me one thing, nothing and no one can hold Robb down! Yes life sucks at times. But it's in life it's not how well you fall that matters it's how quickly you get back up and back into the fight.

    You have done amazing things in your life and career. you have marketing talent beyond compare and any organization on this globe will be lucky to have you. You simply need to craft that amazing CV of your to focus on the various highlights you have acheived thus far in life.

    This is a tough time for the global economy but as my Grandmother and Mother have always said, "This shall pass".

    (HUGGGGGGGGG) I think you need a good hug from someone who loves you. (HUGGGGGGGGGGGGG) There's two for good measure.

    For job search help check out this site:


    Or this job search tool:

    I love indeed.com. They search numerous job boards and post their findings for you. It really speeds up the process of searching.

    Stay tough and call me whenever you would like to talk or IM if it's easier.

    Love lots.


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  4. Robb ~

    You should know that we read your blog not just because you have an amazing way with words and bringing stories to life, but because we care about you!! So if you need to disappear from blogging or hell, go online and totally let loose, ripping everyone & everything a 'new one', then you do it!

    We are hear to listen, and to support you but as your friends above me already said, you WILL come through this (and with crazy, amazing stories, I'm sure) and GREAT things will happen for you!

    So go be miserable as everyone has that right to do so, but come back and b*tch, whine, whatever you want as we are still all here for you.

    And I still think a trip to Denver to refresh, relax a bit would help :)

  5. Oh good lord, did I really type "hear" instead of "here". I deserve to be beaten for that one.