January 16, 2011 by jessperriam
Welcome to week one of UK 2.0. The version where I attempt to get a job, find a place to live and make some awesome friends. Not a tall order, right? Right?
As I’ve explained before (hey I might just link you up this time. Yep. There we go.) I have a panic / anxiety problem – I refuse to call it a disorder – surrounding change, or more specifically moving away.
It’s a fear that I have to face head on simply because I want to live life.
I want to live outside of Australia long enough to lose my home-grown tall poppy syndrome and broaden my horizons.
I want to live for a while in the UK so I can become an afficianado of all things British comedy and television and culture.
I want to live in New Zealand once but leave before I start sounding like Jermaine and Brett from Flight of the Conchords.
I want to live in North America once but leave before it affects my sensibility. And my waistline.
And most importantly, I want to live in the country again. I don’t say it much, but I miss Orange terribly.
Will I live in all of those places?
While I still have half a century ahead of me, I’m a firm believer in John Lennon’s ‘life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans’ theory. Future husband and future children (or failing that, future brood of cats) will probably stand in the way of at least some of that.
So I force myself into these situations. Not because I’m a masochist. Although if I were a masochist, I’d like to think I’d be a friendly one. But rather because things get better after a week or so. And because what happens after that week is usually good and worth the week of self-induced insanity,
Every time I force myself into these situations, the less extreme my reactions tend to be. That was all thanks to some sessions with my psychologist (God bless Medicare for subsidised psychology to help people overcome hurdles) and the epic support of family and friends when the most severe reactions happened.
But even so the first week entails a manic fight or flight sequence in my head. A pro-con list weighing heavily in favour of whatever mood I happen to be in at the time.
And while in more recent times the flight response (the reaction of choice) hasn’t manifested itself in such a crazy way, it’s turned into this odd bargaining situation. It goes something along the lines of: “Oh well, if it doesn’t work out here, I can…. go on an epic road trip around Australia!”
“Oh well, if it doesn’t work out here, I can… go back to Orange and become a coffee apprentice.”
“Oh well, if it doesn’t work out here, I can… go back to uni and do more study – Masters in History, anyone? Perhaps a Master in Creative Writing?”
And on and on and on it goes which is a great paradigm shift from being absolutely devestated if I screwed up, but it’s not so good for focusing on the task at hand.
The temporary crazy also means that things that would usually only mildly annoy me get amplified tenfold. Here are today’s gripes:
- What’s with the generous use of the word ‘bespoke’ here in the UK?Every second item for sale is touted as being bespoke. And that, my friends, is not bespoke.
- Coffee or rather it’s lack of quality. I haven’t had a decent, fulfilling coffee for a long time (or what seems like it). I suspect coffee will be a deal breaker in where I live.
- My fellow hostelgoers this time around are not so brilliant. I am officially starved of conversation. Hostel friends of Summer ’10, you are dearly missed and deeply cherished.
The best thing? This feeling will pass, it’s already starting to – I actually wrote this post by hand yesterday and things have become better already.