John left Bali yesterday. For good. Kadek cried all day. I stood, looking at all the junk he’d left for me to clear up, and scowled.
When I first heard that John had been offered a job in London my first thought was, well at least there’s Skype.
It was funny though because about three months before he received the job offer I had a conversation with a psychic that went like this:
Psychic: ‘I see you going back to London.’
Honestly, I laughed, while simultaneously thinking this woman is clearly the worst psychic EVER. There’s more chance of me moving to live in a hermit cave in the Urals with Russell Brand.
Then she added: ‘You’ll move before Christmas this year.’
At this point I rolled my eyes and considered asking for my money back.
It seems however that the psychic is actually psychic. Quite unexpected.
Once we had decided that John absolutely had to take the job, the next question was: do I come too with Alula or do we live apart until next July when John’s contract’s up?
Or, to pose it another way: do I give up sunshine, a great life, great friends, Alula’s place at Green School and lots of home help to move back to London in the dead of winter to live with my mother-in-law, do all the washing up, and send Alula to a local school where the only thing green is the uniform?
Are you freaking kidding me? That’s not a question. That’s the punch line to a joke.
In which case, I guess the joke is on me. Because today I made the decision to leave Bali at the end of November and not stick out the school year at Green School, thus ending five wonderful years here.
I’m trying to look at it in the spirit of adventure. It’s just for 7 months. After that the dream is to head to Canada for the summer and then head on to pastures new. A second round of Can We Live Here is in the pipeline.
And yet, just as happened the first time, when we quit our jobs in London and stepped off the ledge, following a vague dream that somewhere out there was a life that would be more fulfilling than the 9-5 and the constant battle to juggle parenting and work, I’m terrified. I’m waking in cold sweats. I feel almost permanently nauseous.
I try telling myself that we’ve done it once before, that we can do it again. I remind myself of the crazy swinging pendulum of feelings that hit me in the run up to quitting our lives five years ago, how I managed then and will manage now (by drinking lots of wine).
I’ve made myself a list of ‘the worst that can happen’ which includes: ‘falling out with my mother-in-law over the washing up’ and ‘driving the car into an oncoming truck thanks to my newly acquired Bali driving skills’ and ‘getting obesely fat because of all the chocolate and wine I will have to consume to get me through a UK winter’ and ‘getting depressed because I won’t see the sun for months’ and ‘spending all the money we are meant to be saving on thermal underwear’.
I have countered this list with a list of all the things I’m looking forward to. It took a very long time to compile this list. Here it is:
Friends and family
Smoked mackerel pate
Rack of Lamb
Konditor and Cook’s curly whirly cake.
M&S underwear and food
It’s funny that having done it once before doesn’t make it much easier. Stepping out of the known into the unknown is never going to be without risk. And taking risks requires courage (or just plain naivete). Dealing with uncertainty requires nerves of steel. I don’t have those. But John does. Luckily for me.
So, the journey continues. And the psychic tells me that we’ll be out of the UK by July. Too right we will. I’m booking those tickets before I even book the flight back.