Before we moved I was constantly fending off questions like “so what will you DO in Sweden?”.
I became determined to get a job before I came home in December so that I would be able to answer those questions in a way that didn’t make me feel terrible about myself.
For a moment recently I thought I had a chance of succeeding in that fairly ambitious goal. I tried to hold myself back from believing it too much, but there was a part of me that saw myself having those conversations at Christmas, holding my head up high, certain of myself, smug, even.
Instead, after a heart-sinking email, I am picturing the scene differently and I find myself thinking – as I very rarely do – about what it means to have traded in my old life for my new one. What I have given up.
Lots of people have told me that what I am doing is “brave”. Yes, moving to a foreign country with no job lined up is brave. It is brave because it is crazy. It means taking your career in your hands and offering it up to the fall of the dice. As if it is something you don’t care about at all.
As someone who does care about my career rather a lot, this is proving troublesome.
On a day like today, it means taking stock of where I’m at and where the dice have fallen, and thinking about approaching the “career problem” from a different direction. Figuring out what I really want to DO in Sweden. Ripping it up and starting again.
When I’m back in the UK later this month, I hope admitting that I don’t have a job yet won’t cause people to act like I’ve made a huge mistake in coming here. And if it does, well – I hope to god I’m not as dumb as you make out…