The difficulty in moving with your job as a single person is in compartmentalising. When something happens, it affects all facets of life. So when a work visa doesn’t come through, or your temp apartment floods, it isn’t just a delay at your job – it is an unsolicited, uncomfortable pause in life. It changes where you live, what you do each day, who you see, if you make money, where/if you can travel.
My challenge lately has been just this, as turmoil in my professional world spills over to the hours I spend in this little Woluwe flat. It has been 2.5 months since I arrived in Europe, and I’m still sharing the space with boxes waiting to ship to Australia. Despite my enthusiasm to ship them off tomorrow (Monday), I received word on Friday that maybe those plans will be changing, and to wait for Monday to find out if I will still board a plane in 4 days. And now, when all I want to do is be angry and annoyed and frustrated, I am reminded of my last blog post about things I thought I learned. The universe is so funny-not-funny.
When I was a kid my dad had a brass polisher and he used to shine the rocks I’d bring home. An image of it comes to mind when I think about WTF I’m doing here, back in Belgium, maybe/maybe not moving to Australia, missing natural light and spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about actual vs chargeable freight weight. It’s an odd reminder that this is the time where I actually have to practice my list, and in the process of getting tossed around, I’ll become smooth, polished, shiny. If I dig a bit deeper, I can actually find quite a bit of gratitude for this limbo that is squeezing me into something new, keeping in mind most people suffer these moments without option, and endure situations without the freedom of knowing if they can get by without that job, person, paycheque, etc. They don’t have the choice of being the Brad Pitt version of Tyler Durden, but have to settle for the Ikea-loving Edward Norton.
It’s also a huge opportunity to reframe what’s happening. I’ve been frustrated by constant interruptions and not feeling heard as three very different cultures and world views take each other on. It hit me like a truck when I realised that these situations will only make me a better communicator. They will only push me to become more articulate, more succinct, more patient. Those are good things. It’s also a time to borrow the shoulders of friends as my mentors step forward (Karl, Edwin, Jim), and tell me all the things I don’t want to hear, then bring me around with smelling salts or a quick slap, and send me on my way. That #15, about having more than you need even when you think you don’t, is super true.