• Laura

A tale of two furloughs: part II

For some reason this has been a hard topic for me to commit to write about. It has required me to really dig deep, open up and come to terms with the finality and sense of purgatory that comes with being furloughed. This story represents the beginning of my next chapter and the start of our new brand. It's essentially the entire reason I’m honored to even have this platform to share my voice, yet I haven't been able to just sit down and write. Odd right?

I'd say I was fairly fired up (or let's be honest, feisty) when I got the call that I was furloughed and forced to start my next adventure.


There was embarrassment, self-doubt, pressure, stress, devastation and a whole lot of fear. It’s been a roller coaster to say the least, however like many things, sometimes you have to just let the cycle of emotions run its course. What I've learned though, is that this concept in itself is purely a mentality and the process is easier said than done.


I remember the day I got that call and how caught off guard I was to be on the receiving end of a message that felt so personal, so hurtful, and in many ways so FINAL… and this was just the furlough phase.


I’d given over 10 years with the same company and of course in my mind had given my blood, sweat and tears, not to mention I had sacrificed so much of my family time and

physical/mental well-being for a property, a company, my clients, and most importantly… my team. My relationship with my husband started just prior to joining this company; and I later went through two pregnancies while there. Our life felt very personally connected to my place of work; and the people within the building, I guess as it so easily does for those in hospitality. However, in one phone call it seemed none of that mattered.


I’d been benched.


As the weeks progressed I came to terms with the decision that had been made, especially after realizing that the majority of my peers on my same level had also received the same furlough call. While I felt horrible for them as well, I guess in a way there was some comfort in knowing it was not just me.


It was easier to process knowing that maybe it wasn’t personal, because at the time the Covid-19 pandemic was really starting to ramp up and I finally started to understand the true reality of this pandemic overall.


And then, as Gladi described (in A tale of two furloughs: part I), she got HER call. Selfishly, it almost felt better, or maybe helped me heal, to know my best friend was in the same boat professionally, and could also relate to my mindset on a personal level. We were in this together. How unique for two best friends with the exact same job title to find themselves in a professional hardship at the exact same time, from the exact same company.


Only us. So typical.


This makes Gladi my Frestie. Think about it…. You got it… yes, my furloughed bestie. FRESTIE ;) Welcome to H&F, this is basically how we roll so get used to it, ha!


Anyways, the hospitality business was falling apart, and for Orlando, this has truly felt like the twilight zone. As a girl that risked it all so many years ago to leave the Midwest after high school and bounce her way to Orlando, Florida, the mecca of hospitality, never in my wildest dreams did it ever occur to me that some global virus would be shutting down my dream industry.


Is this real life? What was the point?


I’ve asked myself those questions so many times over these last six months... usually as an applesauce pouch or fruit loop is being launched at my face, quarantine life is HARD with little ones, #personalgrowth.


I’ll tell you the point though. It was my calling to be here. It was my calling to leave everything I had known and that I was comfortable with since the age of five years old to follow my dreams and curiosities. I took a risk to see what type of life I could create for myself, on my own. I always had that burning desire to want to figure that out. So what did I find out? I discovered that I could do anything I put my mind to and intentionally mold myself into a person that commands excellence, yet can flex with any situation.


Now, as a mother of two beautiful, intelligent and curious little boys, ages 4 and 2 (yes it’s chaos;) I see that the life lessons I’ve had will turn into teachable moments for my little guys. There is growth and reflection for myself every day, but the important work is with them. The important work is instilling the values I've developed from my seasons of adversity into their minds and souls. One day I hope to look back at this experience and know that my strength and knowledge provided them with the tools to navigate life's ups and downs such as being furloughed.


These boys of mine, call my business partner “Auntie Gladi” because that’s what she means to our family. As friends and family, this new venture together is so meaningful to us, and we hope we can make it meaningful to you as well. Our passion is genuinely about supporting our peers and being the biggest cheerleaders you/they could ask for.


Join us on this journey as we celebrate our Showcase Innovators, our consulting successes, and a general theme of lighthearted and motivational discussion that hopefully inspires you to REDEFINE your circumstances and create your own tales of renewal.


I’m “Hart,” she's “Faith.”


We are Hart & Faith.