I love you.
I'm leaving you.
Don't leave me.
You're my friend.
Please, help me.
I am pregnant.
You're not pregnant.
Please call me.
You're my everything.
Get well soon.
Come back safe.
Words can hurt.
Safe and sound.
I trust you.
You are welcome.
Got your back.
You are family.
Let it go.
See you soon.
All of the three-simple-words above (and on the link) conjur up different memories and emotions for all of us; being told someone loves you or you're pregnant can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on circumstances. What's you're favourite? Which one makes you want to run away?
I've been trained over the years to be very wary of 'Can We Talk'. An ex-boyfriend who didn't really want to be in a relationship was always saying 'can we talk' and being young and (I thought) in love, i listened, we discussed the topic and continued on our odd-way together. Then one day, out of the blue it was me saying 'Can We Talk' and I told him 'I am leaving' which is what he wanted all along but just didn't have the guts to say.
However, and yes, I'm going to play the expat card here; when the main income earner of the household comes home and says 'can we talk' you know instantly that it's either:
- My contract's been extended.
- For how much longer?
- Do we want to stay?
- Do we leave?
- Is it a good time to stay/go re: kids schooling?
- My Contracts been cancelled/not being renewed.
- Where do we go?
- When do we leave?
- They want me to go local.
- Can we afford to?
- Do we want to live here permanently?
- Can kids stay at their school or do we have to move them?
- I've had a job offer.
- Who with?
- To do what?
- You considering it?
- When would we leave?
I should probably also include I'm leaving you (which happens more often than you realise)
Changing jobs when you're settled isn't a big deal, usually. You tend to stay put in your home, the kids don't change school, you might have to work out a different route to work, or a change in hours.
Changing jobs as an expat is a HUGE deal more often than not. It can mean moving countries for starters. Sometimes, the need for change is not yours and therefore a total surprise, sending shockwaves thru the community (think GFC and friends in banking and finance who literally disappeared within weeks, or the aftermath of the earthquake/tsunami in Japan); you can have a niggling feeling that somethings up, but not quite sure what/when; the difference between thinking you know what might happen and actually knowing is when the definitive happens and you have to react.
Several friends have had the 'My contracts been cancelled/not renewed/they want me to go local' talk of the past few months/weeks. Of course, with school age kids, the closer one gets to the end of the school term the more nervous one becomes in terms of contracts rolling over, or not. You kinda live on the edge, sort of aware that maybe you might need to start thinking about the next move. Mind you, this happens regardless of when the contract date is, but most expats tend to move over summer to start school in September, or move over Christmas to start school in January - it's a global dominos effect.
Of the two 'they want me to go local' only one has said yes. The other one decided while they love living in Dublin, it's not there forever home. I totally understand that. While we've not lived in Sydney for nearly 10 years, we haven't left it to live permanently somewhere else.
The others are all leaving over summer. Some have new adventures in new cities which is exciting/scary while others have decided to repatriate 'home', which is also exciting/scary in different ways. They are all making the most of Ireland/Europe and have taken off for lots of short breaks seeing the things they thought they had more time to see. There's a few farewell parties, but nothing like we experienced in Japan with Sayonara parties - they are unique and so special.
The one's moving onto new adventures are on various forms of over-drive. As one friend said, been-there-done-that-different-city-same-shit.
- There's housing to be found.
- Schools to be researched.
- Packing dates to be confirmed.
- Inventory sheets to be completed.
- Cupboards to be purged.
- Household items to be sold or given way.
- Cars to be sold.
- Various utilities, loyalty cards, subscriptions etc to be cancelled or forwarded to the new unknown address.
- Farewell parties to be organised.
All this happens (mostly) while the employee is often travelling between the 'current' job they are winding down or handing over, with the new job they are getting familiar with.
So, to all of you who've had to make, or are making life changing decisions BEST OF LUCK.
Remember, this too shall pass. We all end up where we need to be, even tho at times we have no frigging idea where that is, or why.
The world is a small place, you're sure to meet up with friends again, and if not, there's Facebook, and of course, here. A great place to catch up and chat.