Making the decision to leave Germany and come home for a little while wasn’t an easy one and was ultimately driven by two things; I was homesick and Weiden just wasn’t proving to be a town flush with employment opportunities for English teachers. Indeed the dispirited, lone woman who runs the English courses down at the community college has been doing it single-handedly for ten years because the level of demand calls for the labour of approximately one person. And of course, no work means a limited social network and a limited social network means minimal distractions and rather empty days which in turn results in an excessive focus on the glaring absences in one’s life and a complete lack of perspective to boot.
The way I saw it, was coming home would deal, solidly, with the homesickness thing which was growing wild and free, nourished by a general feeling of disconnectedness in a small town and I could work for some time, get back into the Sydney scene and just generally be able to clear my head in order to make all those big decisions like Germany Foreverrrrrrrr. Because some decisions should not, indeed cannot be made when one isn’t in as right a mind as possible. Like locking oneself into a country-swap for a long period of time. Such a decision should not be made, indeed even entertained, when extremely boring, German documentaries on Sydney-Perth train trips make you misty eyed.
But decisions must be made nevertheless and there was one I could make and I decided to come home.
I have been home two weeks today and since emerging from jet-lag’s clutches, I’ve renewed my driving licence, got behind the wheel of a car again, seen my GP, applied for a million jobs, cleaned out my wardrobe and donated three bags of old clothes, become highly asthmatic because that’s just what happens in an environment such as Australia’s, visited the beach, been to two job interviews and caught up with family and friends.
And questioned myself and whoever is sitting up in that big old sky, if I made the right decision in coming back.
In a matter of a week, I have had three emails of the variety I waited 5 months in Weiden to receive. The ‘we have classes for you, are you still available to work for us!’ emails from language schools I applied to back when I made the decision to move with SG down to Bavaria. Good. Thank you. But I have moved back home, now. And I did this because you got these classes just a little too late. But thank you anyway. Keep me in mind for when I return next year, full of renewed vigour and preparing to throw myself at the mercy of the Foreigner’s Office once more.
That’s the shitty thing about decisions, though, isn’t it – as soon as you make them, as soon as you choose your paddock and close the gate, the grass on the other side goes gangbusters. It’s just the way it goes. And it’s why I’m not sure I believe in the ‘everything happens for a reason’ thing anymore, because the older we get and the more complicated things become – some things more than others, like when you choose a partner from the other side of the world – things don’t just ‘happen’, like, ‘oops, look at that, I’ve wound up in Weiden! Now I’m in Sydney!’ They come about as a result of our choices and dealing with that is part and parcel of this grown-up malarkey. And I know that, arguably even the most accidental of things technically have a reason for occurring (like, you know, the reason you sprained your ankle running for the train is because your shoes are ill-fitting and you have an ungainly running style, or the reason you dropped that glass of water is because your fingers are slippery) so I suppose what I am saying is things don’t happen for a reason, they happen for the reason that you just happened to do a few things that directly and/or indirectly resulted in that thing happening. You have to pick a side and make it work. Then you have to drive things forward, work around them, fit them into new and old spaces. And when a fork appears in the road, you need to weigh things up, assess how you’re travelling and, you guessed it, pick a side and crack on. Repeat ad nauseum until you’re old enough to sit back with a huge glass of whiskey and a blanket on your bony knees.
So I picked my side and now I have to make it work for as long as the road is straight. And then this will happen all over again.
As I said, repeat ad nauseum.
Someone pass me the whiskey.