On Friday my phone will buzz with a message from my boyfriend. He will have left his meditation retreat and will probably have some idea about how he intends to spend his final couple of days in Dharamsala before heading down to Delhi to take his flight home, to Paris.
Sometimes it amazes me that we are compatible at all. In two days time he won’t be panicking about what the future holds while here I am, two days ahead of him, panicking since this morning.
In my dream last night I watched as an air hostess informed passengers on a plane about the severe turbulence we would encounter as we descended to make our landing attempt. I don’t usually go in for dream analysis but I think it is safe to assume that the turbulent events of the dream state pretty accurately mirror how I feel at the moment.
I had thought that in these seven days I would have figured out a plan for us. I had thought that one of the teaching jobs I applied for would have filled me with inspiration and determination. During this month I have applied for more international posts than in the last five years and ironically most of them have either gone unanswered or have come back positive, leaving me with a slight twist of disappointment in my stomach.
During the summer I was sitting at the top of our mountainside in Corsica and I felt determined to stop wasting my time and to start doing things that I wanted to. There is no other career in which you put yourself a definite last on the list like teaching. For so long I had felt as if I had put the pursuits and cares of others before myself and it was a feeling so strong that I decided right there to take a break from the world of education.
It is certainly not that I don’t enjoy being a teacher. I just realised that I enjoy so many other things too and that I have never given myself the chance to even entertain the idea that I might be not bad – dare I say good – at something other than what I graduated in.
I know it sounds entitled. Teachers have summers off; we have the opportunity to pursue whatever we like during this time and that is true. Yet during September, when I sat down to plan out what it is I would love to do, it happened with such ease. My novel spilled out of me (redraft is still a real bother mind you); seeing through my other ideas and wishes left me with a confidence that I have not felt in years. Coming back from a morning hike my boyfriend remarked: you are a much better person when you aren’t in school.
How right is he? For the most part I am not stressed and I feel in control of what I am doing. My day is a working day, my week a working week though one for which I am unpaid. I am lucky enough to have saved to make these months a reality and there is a certain pride in that. I am definitely more approachable, less grumpy and more inclined to openness.
And yet I think I will accept another job soon, perhaps as soon as January because I fear that not doing so will upturn my life. Where will I live if I continue as I am? Nobody can afford to rent in Dublin and I don’t have any specific place that I would like to live abroad. If I stay here how will it affect my relationship?
Working doesn’t bother me and I know once my savings reach the point that I have decided I will not dip under, I will need to return to work. The issue is that that point hasn’t arrived yet but I feel the pressure to sort something out, to resolve my decision – as if my decision is a wrong one in the first place.
There are so many variables in the future that I know it isn’t worth stressing about but I can’t help it sometimes. I’ve wondered often if someone offered me the chance to look into a crystal ball and see my life five years from now would I take it?
On days like today I don’t think I would because deep down somewhere I know what I would see and I know I wouldn’t like it.
P.s: on another note entirely, I see that I have reached 50 followers here and considering how one of my main worries in starting a blog was that I would be writing into a void, I’d like to say thank you!