I'm back from a 3 week trip to Melbourne and Sydney, and after a whirlwind of catching up with people, several light bulb moments and a ridiculously long and drawn out trip back (including, but not limited to, an unscheduled 8-hour stopover in Dubai), London is doing it's darnedest to change my mind on at least one front. While I was away, the city has burst into full-blown Spring gorgeousness; the streets are strewn with white blossoms and the trees have exploded into stunning fresh greenness.
In no particular order, here are the highly personal lightning bolts delivered to my brain from the heavens while I was away:
1. I want to feel more emotionally settled in my life
...and that's not going to happen while I'm living away from home and family. Foolishly, I have been waiting for a man to provide me with this feeling of being emotionally "settled", and I now realise I have to be brave (hard for a scaredy-kitten like me) and create my own sense of stability. Now all I need to decide is, is it worth sacrificing another 12 months or so and qualifying for UK residency? Right now I feel like I could move home tomorrow without a backwards glance, but I am well aware that is not how I might feel in a year or two.
Answers on the back of a postcard, please.
2. I want a place I can call my own
Not exactly a revelation, but I am excited about the idea of buying my own place in Melbourne - probably a pitifully small one-bedder in a drug-infested neighbourhood what with house prices being as loopy as they are, but hey ho! It will be my pitifully small one-bedder in a drug-infested neighbourhood.
3. Moving back home does not have to spell the end of my adventures
I could always relocate to Sydney if I get bored of Melbourne (having outgrown my disdain for the unofficial capital of Australia). Or New Zealand, which I hear is gorgeous - and they have some seriously cute ambassadors. Or Japan. Or Beijing! They are crying out for Western designers over there. Now that would be an adventure, not to mention a proper culture shock compared to sedate old London. The point is, moving back is not the end of my life as I know it. It's just the beginning of a new chapter. And I can always come back to London to visit, on a tourist visa. Shudder.
4. I don't want to be a teacher
For a while I was thinking about a major career change. But it hit me with some force while I was away that - although I love spending one morning a week working with kids in the classroom - I am just not teacher material. Seriously, you need metric tons of energy to be a teacher, and you spend more time preparing lessons and trying to get the kids to sit down, shut up and listen than you spend actually teaching. It's an incredible job, but I'm just not up to it.
Hopefully my friend's gorgeous kids (and any future nieces and nephews) will provide all the kid-liness I am currently missing in my life.
Kids are just so much fun to be around, aren't they? And they are so easily impressed - I stunned a pair of hyperactive 3 year old twins into cross-legged silence simply by performing a forward flip on their trampoline. The power really is intoxicating. I guess that's why nature invented sleep deprivation - so that parents don't get too drunk on their own power and turn into complete ego-maniacs.
5. There's no point throwing my love into a void
'nuff said, really. Randomly, I was reading this article about watching a tigress on the hunt, who is foiled at the last minute by a busload of noisy tourists, and this observation struck a chord:
"The deer sprang away in alarm. The tigress relaxed, stood up and sauntered off. Success rates in hunts are never very high for tigers and they don't appear to waste energy on frustration. Unlike us."
After reading the tense build up to this moment, I felt a pang of frustration on the tigress' behalf, at not getting what you want. I admired her ability to move on immediately, without a moment wasted on frustration or regret - even though she was, according to the writer, very lean and obviously in dire need of a meal.
*sigh* I guess that's what you get for being human (especially of the female variety) and prone to stupid one-way love affairs.
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So the overall lesson here: this kitten needs to stop being distracted by balls of string and find her inner tigress.