Since moving to America, the main change I have struggled with is not being able to work. Not having the structure, discipline, direction, and routine that comes with holding down a job. As well as no longer having a title for ‘what you do’.
When meeting new people, the second question I am asked (after, ‘is that an Australian accent?’ Err, I WISH), is ‘what do you do for a living?’ After explaining my situation, more often than not they turn to me with a furrowed brow asking what I do all day.
And I get it, it kinda sounds like I’ve been given a free pass for a two year holiday. But when faced with this question, I feel defensive, and embarrassed, and sometimes even inferior to the person standing in front of me, and I draw a blank. Probably confirming their suspicions that I am watching Friends re-runs, and eating candy floss until Ian returns home.
Over the last few weeks, I have been pretty fed up with my ‘housewife’ status. There is no doubt that having the chance to live somewhere new has been fantastic, and not having to work and being able to spend my days as I wish, can be bloody marvellous. But there are also negatives that come with this.
At the moment I am really looking forward to moving back home. I can’t wait to work again, and to wear a sassy pencil skirt, earn my own money, and watch it dwindle away miserably on the monthly bills. I want to be able to drive my own car to Tesco at nine pm, to buy a six pack of Mr Kipling Bakewell Tart’s. I want to have a girls night out with my friends, where we DANCE, and talk about how annoying it is when boys leave wet towels on the bed. And I want to have a roast dinner at the most British pub I can find, followed by sticky toffee pudding and custard, and not have to tip twenty percent for terrible service.
And I want Sunday to roll round, and be able to complain about how exhausting working is, and wouldn’t it be great to not have to work again? BECAUSE I AM NEVER HAPPY.
And then I want the Friday feeling. And a dog. Because as much as I love my husband, washing his underwear just ain’t cutting it.
Last week, I broke the news to Ian (between sobs), that I had achieved nothing in the last eighteen months. That I’m lost in my endless days, and don’t know what to do about it. And that I was supposed to do better.
But the thing is, I have achieved many things. They might not be life changing, and I haven’t honed a skill that will make me the next Adele. But they’re still something to be proud of. Which I think is something we all forget at times.
Living in America hasn’t been the easiest for me, or for both of us. It hasn’t been simple, or plane sailing, and at times it’s been really flippin’ hard. But I have passed with flying colours, in many other ways.
Let me tell you, organising a move to another country ain’t an easy task. But my fifty four lists and seven spreadsheets served us well, and my relentless scrolling through Google found us somewhere to live. I resisted flying back home when we stayed in a hotel room in the middle of no where for the first month, whilst Ian got to grips with his new job. Even when a spider crawled across my face. And when we eventually moved into our flat, I spent weeks making sure this new, strange place felt like our home.
I learned to live three thousand miles away from my friends and family, whilst not having the constant of a job as a reason to leave the house. I motivated myself not to waste my day on Netflix, or stay in bed til noon. Instead I volunteered, I started writing, I joined classes and groups full of strangers who didn’t understand my accent. I organised a wedding, and instead of sitting on the sofa, I went to the gym, and can now do a two minute plank like a boss.
Guys, I even climbed this blummin’ 1500 foot rock.
In between these successes, there have been many fails. There have been many hours wasted on YouTube, and so many days missing the comforts of home. There have been consecutive days where the only human interaction I have had was Barry from the corner shop telling me to have a great day. Weeks have gone by when I have lost all self motivation, that Ian has had to give me specific instructions to leave the flat. And thankfully many days when we realise how bonkers it is we have had this amazing opportunity.
And the holidays help. Obv.
I am not writing this to complain, although I do really miss sticky toffee pudding. It is simply a reminder to myself that I have done OK. And so have you.
And I will re-read this the next time I am moping about the house at two in the afternoon, eating a cheese string, and watching YouTube clips of Loose Women.
It’s time to focus on the good. And the good is often in the little things.