23 Feb

Last week I connected with a colleague on the career networking site LinkedIn. When I saw her profile I did a double take. She was doing my job!

Of course I knew perfectly well that she had replaced me, because I spent several days with her taking her through the role before I left. But when I moved out to Bermuda, she was still working her notice in her old job, and there was no one in my post. And so, I suppose subconsciously my job that I loved was still that; mine.

I stopped munching my cereal and stared at the laptop screen. I’d spent all this time thinking that if Bermuda didn’t play out as we wanted, we could go back home. But, hang on a minute, what we would go back to? Someone else is doing my job now. There are strangers living in our home.

There is a disparity between going through the procedures of making things happen, and actually witnessing them happen. My husband and I spent weeks meeting letting agents and completing paperwork to enable us to get tenants into our home. And yet, if I were to knock on the door to my house and find a stranger on the other side, standing in front of a backdrop of foreign furniture, I’m sure I’d find it nightmarish; like the dreams you have where you’re in your house, but it’s not your house – it’s all different and wrong.

Normally when we move onwards from something, it is because we have moved to the next rung on the ladder. We leave old jobs to start new ones; move out of our homes to bigger and better ones. We’ve taken the next progressive step so we don’t look back. But it’s different when you leave a job to become unemployed, leave a home you own to rent someone else’s.

That morning, as I sat on the sofa in my pyjamas, clutching my bowl of Raisin Bran and my laptop, I realised that this is the bravest thing I have ever done. Compared to some people I know, it is nothing, but for me leaving my job, my home, my family, and my friends – such crucial factors to defining who I am – is a huge change.

It is like a boat carving its way through the sea. As it moves forward, the boat draws a deep line that breaks the surface and the water parts and ripples around it. When you are driving the boat you are looking forward, towards the horizon, and you only see the shapes you are making in the waves. But if you are a passenger on the boat you may also look back, and see that the ripples calm, the shapes blur, and the hole where the boat was is quickly filled in again by the water, as if it was never there.

Last week was a hard one because I was a passenger. This week I’ve made a promise to myself to stay at the front of the boat, eyes on the horizon, looking forward the whole time.


6 Responses to “Back”

  1. resa 23 February, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    The best of days are made more precious by our experiencing the not so good ones. Smile and someone will smile back at you xx

  2. suscatty 23 February, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Hi Resa

    Thanks for your wise words! It is certainly true that we need the downs to appreciate the ups. And also down days give us a great reason to go out and buy shoes, which is exactly what I did last week! 🙂 x

  3. Lucy 23 February, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    You can look ‘forward’ to dinner on Friday if you like 🙂

    I think my housemates GF, Sucha, and some of her friends are coming along too. I was thinking about going to Coconut Rock on Reid St, have you been there?


    • suscatty 24 February, 2011 at 9:31 am #

      Hi Lucy

      That sounds like a good thing to look forward to! I’ll send you a message to arrange 🙂 x

  4. Chris Cumbers 24 February, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Hi Su your blog made me shed a tear,but as you quite rightly say you need to stand at the front and only look forward. There is no doubt that this stage in your lives is going to have ups and downs but the love you two share will get you through. You are two very brave and wonderful people. xx

    • suscatty 24 February, 2011 at 9:50 am #

      Hi Chris

      Sorry to have made you grow misty-eyed! On the whole it’s been a fantastic experience so far and I know it will only get better as we get more settled. Thank you for your kind words xx

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