Career life Relocating

Time For Change

the state itself becomes a super whatnot
Credit: flickr / anafuentes

At the end of last week, I wrote that it had been “a mixed week“. And then on Monday, things went and got crazier. I’m still waiting for the dust to settle so that I can figure out what is actually going on.

A friend is in town for a while. Last time I saw him, he told me of his plan to get rid of all his belongings – after living out of a suitcase for a couple of months he’d released he didn’t need most of them. So we catch up, and he’s done it. Everything he owns fits in two suitcases, apparently. He has achieved the minimalist dream. I told him he should blog about it, but he said, no, it was boring because it was easy.

So I ask him, when is he going to move? His response is what I find fascinating, and what I think he should blog about… he tells me that he got rid of all his stuff, and that was easy, but he’s not emotionally ready to leave.

The stuff was just stuff, I guess. Purging yourself of it might change you, but – my friend is proof – that is may not.

When I moved, I got rid of a lot of stuff. And when I arrived, I got rid of more. I got rid of stuff because I was ready to leave, and disposing of it made that easier. He was working backwards, if I get rid of stuff I’ll feel ready to leave.

I think there are key points where it’s easier to move. On graduation, is often the example. You know the people who stay immediately after graduation, often seem to stay for a lot longer. After a breakup can be a good time to move, you’re unattached and making other changes in your life.

My plan, for a while, has been to move back to Europe next year, maybe the year after. And recent events have made me see that a transition point is going to approach earlier than I thought – at the end of this year, even, in one scenario. I’m going to be doing a lot more travel, and it’s a question of, how long am I willing to do this for? How long will this be sustainable? In the scenarios that are visible, middle of next year is the latest for another transition point.

I could stay here. But I know what I want my life to look like – and it’s an international adventure story. I’m looking out for transition points, because they are natural breaks, where it’s easier than usual to go and start a new adventure. It is hard to pack up your life. It is hard to hit reset and start over with everything. I know – I did it when I went to boarding school, when I moved to Scotland for university, in each stop in my time as an international hobo, when I moved to Ottawa, when I moved to KW. Picking a time when stuff is changing anyway makes it possible. Leaving when everything is settled and “fine” (even if not great) is more difficult because you know exactly what you are comparing to when you’re less than delighted to be living in a strange place and don’t know anyone.

I suspect my next adventure may be set in Paris. I want to be closer to my family, and I want to speak fluent, and flawlessly accented French. That is not something that will happen in the middle of Ontario. Hell, I became more fluent in Ottawa but good things did not happen to my accent. But – I don’t know. I just see a transition point coming. When it is depends on what happens tomorrow, what happens in the next couple of weeks, and what happens in October. We’ll see.


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