It seems like only yesterday I was getting my first tour of the "new" Getty Villa, where I'd just accepted my dream job as Villa Exhibitions Coordinator. I was barely 30, eager to make a change professionally, and hardly able to believe my luck at getting a sweet job at the Villa right before it reopened to the public after years of renovation! I'd only visited once before, when I was eighteen, but it had always been my fantasy to work there one day, and then suddenly, this job basically fell in my lap, and it was the perfect example of that expression: luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
I was on cloud nine. Everyone was so impressed. Ooo, the Getty! That's really a step up. That's the kind of place everyone in the museum world aspires to be. Ooo, the Villa! It's so beautiful out there in Malibu. It's all antiquities all the time. You can see dolphins on the way to work! And it turned out to be just as dreamy as I'd imagined. Probably even better. I made many, many wonderful friends and colleagues. I worked on many, many wonderful exhibitions. I became part of a close-knit family of Villa people, sharing good times and bad, triumphs and controversy.
And now I'm leaving. Can it really be time to walk away from the dream so soon? The Villa is still wonderful, but some of the glory is gone, and that in itself is a hard thing to admit. Maybe the glory isn't gone so much as it's just changed. And that's a natural thing. Perhaps my Villa era has passed, and now it's time for something completely different. It better be, because I just jumped off the deep end and there's no turning back now!