When you pack up your life, rent out your house, sell most of your belongings and shift to another country, people are curious to know why. Most anticipate that we have made the move for career reasons, or perhaps for the higher income levels that Australia promises. While these things are attractive, for us, it was simply (and totally) about a need for change – a change of scene, a change of pace, a change of priorities, in other words, some kind of new life.
At a time when most of our friends are settling down in a house in the suburbs, having their first, second or third baby, we uprooted ourselves, had a life-changing trip around Asia, and have now rented an apartment in Brisbane and had a couple of flatmates move in. Almost everything about our lives feels new.
And now I have a job – finally. I have spent many anxious weeks worrying about the distinct lack of job opportunities for me here in Brisbane. I’m relieved to have a job, and pleased that it’s not just any job, but one that I am feeling quite excited about. After six months without earning a penny, I am already anticipating the lightness of being that my first pay cheque will bring. But…having a job means that I actually have to work again.
Over the past two and a half months since we arrived in Australia, my time has been spent in ways that that were almost unknown before. While staying with our friends, I went to yoga class up to six times per week. I caught up on all my personal emails and completed the revisions of a journal article. I blogged, took photographs, went on long walks around the neighbourhood, and poured over recipe books. Since moving into our apartment, I’ve easily filled my days with unpacking and arranging our new home, changing addresses and setting up bill payments, daily workouts at the gym, and long walks around the city.
What I want to know is: just where is eight hours of work and 1+ hours of commuting (not to mention the extra time needed to look presentable) going to fit into the pleasurable little routines that I have tenuously constructed?
Sighhh (or, *whine*, depending on how you want to interpret it).
Sure, trawling through job advertisements, emailing potential contacts, and preparing job applications is a time-consuming daily task, of which I am more than happy to see the end. And despite my enjoyment of a more leisurely life, I have definitely been craving the stimulation of challenging work and interesting colleagues. I like what I do and I need the busy, creative, and difficult nature of my work to fulfill a big part of myself. But I don’t always need the treadmill of long hours and too much to ever get done that has often been a feature of my recent working life.
I guess that this is it; this is crunch time for “the new life”, life being one of those things, after all, that is always in the making.
Googling “what is a new life” will tell you that it could be:
- Various forms of religious or spiritual awakening (not really the life for me)
- A facial treatment that feels like a refreshing massage (I would love that new life)
- The ability to slip into a new dress after taking a natural supplement, enjoying greater sex appeal, increased self confidence and a true sense of pride and satisfaction (I’d buy this life in a heartbeat if I thought a pill could indeed achieve this)
- “A soft fluttering of butterfly wings. A tiny heartbeat growing stronger. A seed blooming under soft snow” (zzzzz…..)
- Being in “a new house, and in a new town, with a new boyfriend” (well, I got two out of three)
- FemaleModel5001 from the dating site “Plenty of Fish” (somehow, despite obvious temptations, not the new life for me)
There really is more than one way to make a new life. Feeling slightly overwhelmed by such expansive choices, this afternoon, I chose to spend a few of my precious remaining unemployed hours at home to make pizza; kneading bread dough and reducing tomatoes to a thick sauce, all the while deeply pondering on the ability of that supplement to turn me into that sex goddess I know is hiding in there somewhere…