Life is a rollercoaster I know, and the ups and downs, twist and turns are amplified as an expat. I feel the change in season has been a bumpy ride this year.
It started on a downhill slope with some workplace woes. These mainly involved some self realisations post a Myers Briggs workshop with the work team. Sitting in the workshop I saw how I’ve changed; adapted to my surroundings somewhat. Yet I also identified some strong kiwi traits that haven’t been lost I.e. just bloody getting things done, and sometimes just simply saying it as it is…no bush beating involved. With the workshop done and each member pondering their category, I then moved on to, inadvertently, offend a work colleague with said kiwi traits 🙄. The reaction to this pissed me off no end. However, as per usual, I moved on and carried on with the job at hand…another kiwi trait.
Following this was yet another birthday involving my dear old dad baking a sponge cake and me blowing it out virtually via Skype. A little tradition we’ve developed for each birthday. I love it but it also makes me a bit sad….
I soon cheered up with a visit from some kiwi tourists. I thrive on these visits and think of ways I can kidnap them and hide them in my house. It was so so lovely catching up with my mums old work colleague. As much as I love these visits they can also make me a little apprehensive. There is usually the dreaded question about when will I be coming home? And the other questioning why I’m actually still here in the UK. I loathe those questions as I can’t reply with a simple answer. This visit was more of a pleasant experience than usual. No prodding questions. All positive comments on what a great time they’d had here in the UK, how lovely it was and how they can see why I was here, and how they would love to live here. I felt so relieved. It was finally so nice to have someone say that to me.
Autumn was looking good….until a message from a friend told me of a pending date for her nuptials. My heart just sunk! Such a special friend. Such a special time. Such a distance to travel. If I had the money I would, naturally, be there in a heartbeat. Now all I can do is ask for updates on plans, photos on the day and have a drink on the day….I think it coincides with a work Christmas function so a good excuse to celebrate over here. Developing Teleportation is definitely on my to-do list!
What perked me up from this slump was finally getting round to reading The Book of Dust by Philip Pulman. Set in an alternative Oxford, the scenes and context are all so tangible. I know exactly where Malcolm’s pub is and the river he goes down and where he visits the academics. I love the fact that whilst reading a book of fiction the scene is so real in my mind….the beauty of living amongst the Dreaming Spires. Reading also offered a form of escapism from other aspects of life.
So October ended on a kind of high but with an email I’m not sure what to do with. A chance for travel, work collaboration and maybe that opportunity to head home…for a bit anyway….