Relocating meant not only moving continents, but giving up my job. Although my visa legally allowed me to work, I would require a work permit and said work permit could take up to 90 days to process.
That’s three months.
Three months of law enforced no work.
When I informed people about this back home, the responses ranged from mild to intense jealously. Three months of being a ‘kept’ woman, how wonderful they exclaimed! Just think of the lie-ins.
Personally though I couldn’t think of anything worse. Not wanting to seem ungrateful about having my foreseeable days free, I would smile and nod, relinquishing claims that I would be taking pottery classes, life drawing lessons and that the Husband would be returning to a home cooked meal every night (its been two weeks, still yet to transpire).
But secretly, deep down, I was scared s***less. It wasn’t so much the fact that I would have no income to call my own, I’d been living in London for five years; I was used to being permanently broke, but more that my days would seemingly have no purpose.
I’d always loved being part of a big team, even when my personal life was falling apart, at work I knew what the objective was and what we had to do to achieve it. Together. Laughing, crying, kicking and screaming. Instead now I would have to figure out what the goal was not for the team, the brand or the customer, but for me. And similarly I would be pursuing it it alone.
Perhaps more worryingly I also felt that by not having a job, I would have no purpose. After years of determinedly working my way into a job and company I was exceptionally proud of, it felt like my job was an instinctive part of who I was. The Husband once asked me who I was, I replied by listing my job title – only for him to exclaim this wasn’t who I was, this was just what I did. Who I was as a person was something entirely different.
Added on top of that, with everyone wishfully reminding me how lucky I was to have my days free of the daily grind, I felt an added pressure to have something to show for it. Three days in I would find myself feeling guilty watching Netflix – I should be doing something more productive. Like solving the worldwide energy crisis.
The very thought of the next few months is still overwhelming and crippling me. Buts it’s also mixed with excitement because I’m not going to give in. I’m determined to find something which gives me a feeling of purpose and self worth which isn’t job related. Even if it is just cooking dinner.