balence, career break, travel, work

Same, same, but different

I start a new job next week. Yes! After a soul destroying four month search having come back from traveling for almost a year, I have a job. But there’s been a strange feeling rising in me. I feel the same, but different. Slightly, “same, same but different” – as they say in South East Asia.  

Anyhow, I wrote the below two days before we got back and it’s all I keep thinking about before I start my career again. Will I be the same doing the job I love?  Only time will tell.

_______________________________

3rd October 2016

I’m sitting in Port Elizabeth airport, in South Africa. We’ve spent the last week road tripping the Garden Route. It’s been a blast. I’m waiting for my penultimate flight before I head back to London following a year long honeymoon across 11 different countries. It’s almost over and I’m already thinking about life back home and what it can be. 

Next to me is a lady who’s in my sort of industry by the sounds of things. She’s on the phone talking  about ‘change requests’ to ‘incorporate the newest client requirements’. What they’re doing will improve the customer experience and will increase functionality. All the words are so familiar. But there’s something jarring me. 

It’s not because I haven’t worked in months, or that I’m not curious about the project. Believe me, I eavesdropped long enough to try and find out what the project was or who the client was! No, it’s something else that’s making me feel strange. 

It’s the urgency in her. A familiar urgency. An all consuming urgency. An urgency that makes my heart  beat faster, gets my adrenaline pumping and fires up my passion. 

The only thing is, I realised what it’s like to be outside of the all consuming work bubble which I loved. I realise, as I sit and hear the familiar tone of stress, the fast paced conversations and the urgency of it all, that this project is a big deal. But only really to the people involved. To anyone outside, the world has continued to move in the way it always has. 

I now understand an old boss’s advice. I’m not a heart surgeon and if things go wrong, no one will die. It will all be fine. I want to tell this woman  that. I want to tell her to stop and breath. But deep down I know this woman so well, that I even know the reaction I would get. 

“You don’t get it. You don’t care enough. Well excuse me for wanting to do my best.”

I’m sitting here wondering how I’m going to be when I go home and get back to the career I love. Will that urgent women be the voice in my head, a reminder of all I don’t want to be again? Or will I simply go back to being my version of her. 

I want balance when I’m home. I want to love what I do, without putting so much pressure on myself that I kneel over. I want a life and a career. I want to be kinder to myself and celebrate what I achieve and enjoy the ride. Not just focus on the bits I couldn’t do and what’s next. 

I think I know what my heart is saying, my biggest goal now is making it happen.

Wish me luck.

Mojo&Me xx

emotion

Homesick and stuff

I’m not one for stuff. If anything, I have an aversion to the stuff-culture. You know, the culture that says, let me buy one of these things that I don’t really need so I can have stuff. But going to my storage unit yesterday, I felt an strange feeling of belonging to, well, my belongings. I felt homesick.

It’s been 17months since I moved out of my home. The one I bought to feel safe in. The one my partner moved into and made a home with me (even though me and a cat would have struggled in such a small space). We made it work. We made memories, bought storage, fought in Ikea, killed pot plants and dealt with burst water pipes and breezy corridors.

On the day we moved out, I took a moment of mindfulness to thank my flat for all it had given me. A home. A haven. Security. Serenity. I had an attachment to this tiny place in South London that I found hard to articulate.

You see, I was ready for this next chapter – travelling for a year. My stuff being in storage was a relief to me. A part of me wanted to chuck it all out and free myself from anything attached to this old life.

But my stuff wasn’t what I was fond of. It was the bricks and mortar that made our home – the space we had created, the one I started off single in and left married. The one I bought three months before I was made redundant. The one where I entertained friends but could also lock my self away. The one I bought on a whim knowing I couldn’t continue where I was. It was a place no one could take from me. Until, of course I sold it!

I felt a twang in my tummy as we left. My throat felt like it was closing in on itself. I felt stupid. I don’t believe in owning stuff to make you happy and surely my flat is the biggest ‘stuff’ I owned. But what was this twag I felt? I realised, it was loss. It was the closing of a chapter that I knew I had finished, but wanted to keep close to my heart.

Going to the storage unit yesterday, I actually looked at my stuff and remembered things. It had all lived in our home. The stuff I had wanted freedom from, suddenly crowded my mind as it came to life. Pictures on tables, books on shelves, candles lit, artwork hanging. They were reminders of the chapter I had finished and had wanted so badly to move on from.

In the place I now call home, I now feel strangely displaced. We’re living with my in-laws as we get back on our feet having just come back from our travelling adventure.  It’s not that I hate living here, I just suddenly feel that sense of loss all over again. And longing.

I feel nostalgia for the place I once called home. The one I drive past now and see the new owner has taken down my blinds and has a pot plant. Wow. He hasn’t killed the pot plant. I’m envious of the place that still looks like a hovel from the outside, has cracks in the walls inside and a damn patch that could blow the electrics when it rained. I miss the way I felt when I was inside that flat, looking out at it with pride that I did this. I had built a home. I had escaped the life I was living and built a new one. No, it wasn’t perfect (the flat or my life). But it was mine.

I think about all that stuff in storage and want to send a note.

Dear stuff,

You know how I feel about you and your type. I sometimes feel our lives are surrounded by messages that tell us we need you to feel content and happy. Not having bought into that philosophy, I want to tell you something…

Having you in my life did actually make me happy. When I see you now, I remember what you represent and that alone puts a smile on my face.

I can’t guarantee that you will be with me forever but I can promise you this. I will make another home one day that is filled with laughter and love. I will invite you to be part of it. Not as a focal point but as things that will help create the life I want. And as a reminder of where we once were.

I can’t wait to be reunited with you when we can build this next set of memories, together.

Until then, I’m going to remember the fun we had and imagine my future, free from the burden of wanting to run away from you again. For now anyway 🙂

Take care in storage. You’ll be free before you know it.

Mojo&Me xx