There are days when the sun is shining, you’re maneuvering the roundabouts like a pro and parallel parking like it’s second nature. It seems the DJ has a list of all your favorite songs and you sing along in key (or at least there’s no one in the car to contradict you). You did a half-decent job at work and feel like you have a purpose in life.
And then there are the other days. Where the gray sky and fine drizzle are anything but romantic and the seventeenth century houses you pass on the way to the neighborhood grocery don’t inspire you at all. You wonder if you’ll ever have a job that’s stable and well-paid and related to anything you studied in school. And it takes ten minutes to park your tiny French car in a space that should accommodate an SUV.
I’ll join the bandwagon of other expats who are mood-swinging at the moment. I’m writing this on a good day, but the other day was a lousy one. A ten-minute conversation with a civil servant showed me that I might not get that tiny amount of government aid for this month where I’ve been working just mornings. Because my job has such a weird part-time status it might not be considered for this parental leave program. And I don’t know if I’ll get many hours in December as I’ve got this strange employment situation and I’m between two companies and just generally ARGHHH.
And I wonder if I really am fundamentally lazy. Should I go for training? To become what? And to be paid what? I just want someone to tell me what to do. That this is the right answer. But I know that we generally only see the decisions we’ve made as right or wrong way down the road. Part of me will always be jealous of my schoolmates who are doing what seem to be “fabulous” things. I think I just want to know that my next paycheck will be the same as the last one (or better). Can I really see myself doing this job, which can sometimes be rewarding, into my 60s? Will I be the boring fuddy-duddy English teacher recounting her glory days stories of America in the late 90s?
If someone out there has got a crystal ball, I’d like to borrow it for a year or two.