On Needles and Pins and Expats
The waiting has started. We've just sailed right past the two-year mark on this contract, leaving behind stability, security, and knowing what the future holds. Now is the season of anticipation and of speculation. Ears pressed firmly to the ground, listening for murmurs of rumors, suggestions of what might come next. Eyes glaze, and wild fancy takes over, painting a thousand and one imaginary tales of boxes and apartments and new cities and new countries and new foods and new languages and new friends and and and. We're looking forward with vigour, but we don't know to what. Or when. Or how. Or where.
I suppose that as an serial expat, one never really know what the future holds, but cognitive dissonance allows one to overlook the gaping black hole in the imagined future. The expat starts a contract with an image of life progressing on a linear path of two or three years, and then suddenly: nothing. No concept, no daydreams, no mental construct with which to understand what lies ahead. The serial expat can successfully ignore this reality, happily marching along with time, until she is suddenly standing right on the edge of this gaping hole, with no idea what will fill it.
Thus, grasping for unknowable answers to the question "what next" is consuming about 98 percent of my consciousness.
Oh, and did I ever tell you about the time when we had to pack up a house and leave a country with 24 hours notice? That scene is currently headlining in my imagination.
The uncertainty is thrilling, but also, quite frankly, unnerving. We know that a move is on the horizon. There are rumblings and unofficial promises. Vague assurances of "soon" and "gateway city" and "more exposure" offer hope, yet that hope is awfully slippery when we face the present reality of an incredibly stressful work environment, a poor to non-existent support network, and a country which, although it offers many pleasures, is just a poor fit for us.
Also: it appears as though our much anticipated October European Vacation Extravaganza will be canceled. We already have the tickets. Plans had been made. Concert tickets bought. The aforementioned work stress is a symptom of endemic organizational issues: they are deep. And Wide. And require attention.
Suffice to say: doom spirals over at Expatria, Baby. Come join the fun.