2018: How’s it going for you?
I’ve got to say, so far 2018 has been a struggle. Moving home after 5 years is not easy. But neither is job hunting, living with your parents, and trying to figure it all out. I keep being asked where I see myself in 5 years time and this question poses two problems. Firstly, I don't know where I see myself in 5 weeks! Being unemployed feels like an endless chasm; you know there's an end to it at some point but it's hard to believe right now. Secondly, while I cannot answer this question, it's not to say I don’t constantly think about it.
Is it just me who feels constantly torn between wanting no plan, to be free to jump at the next adventure, whilst simultaneously wanting to know where I’ll be living, what job I’ll be doing and how it’s going to all pan out? I both love the not-knowing, and crave a little bit of future assurance… Surely I can’t be the only one!
So why move home? That’s another question I keep being asked. We decided it was time; while we met in Australia, we’re both English and had always seen ourselves returning one day. As our Canadian working visas came to an end with no easy option to extend them, we had to decide what our next step was. After jumping between a few different ideas, we decided it was time to move home. But while we look forward to settling in England with jobs, a house, a family etc. those things are a million miles away from the reality of actually moving back.
To the outside looking in, I imagine there’s very little sympathy! We’ve been swanning around the world for 5 years and now we’re back to face reality. But of course, we’ve not just been swanning - we’ve been working, building a life, making friends, settling. If it weren’t for friends and family, we probably would have never returned. So to move home and suddenly be jobless and homeless, to say goodbye to the independence you’ve known and the excitement of discovering new places is a pretty odd situation. We’re mourning the adventure and trying to readjust to life in England. And readjusting takes time.
I don’t always feel present, I don’t always feel motivated, I don’t always feel like myself. If anyone has spent months job hunting, you’ll know how draining it is. But to couple that with moving back after years of new adventures is a pretty tough pill to swallow. I tell myself it’s temporary and something we have to get through but that doesn’t ease the daily reality.
I’ve already written about the pros and cons of moving home and while so far this blog might sound like it’s full of the cons! There are positives too. James is hoping to start a PGCE in September to become a primary school teacher, something he first mentioned to me in 2013. And as I write this, I’m about to start the dream job, hopefully inching forward in the right direction. My second niece/nephew is due in two months, I get to see my current favourite little family member every few weeks and have actually been around for birthdays for the first time in forever.
I’m hoping 2018 is soon going to turn around. I hope I haven’t painted too bleak a picture. But for the friends who wonder if I’m happy to be home - I know I will be in the long term, but I still need a little time. For the readers who might also be struggling through 2018 - we are not alone. For the future me, who will hopefully look back on this blog one day from a much better place - I struggled to be you.