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On welcoming 2013

Sunset in Paris

If there is one certainty in life, it is that life is uncertain.

This time three years ago – 2010, that is – I was at the brink of finishing my thesis and completely ignorant of how the year would unfold. In my stressed-out mind, there was only one thing to focus on: hand in the thesis already! I figured once that was out of the way, I can take a deep breath, have a much-needed break, start job-hunting, and we’d see how things would go.

That would be too simple, wouldn’t it?

Instead, a few days following submission, I took on a couple of part-time jobs (that kept me busy until the summer), applied for a couple of positions (and got hired for the one I’m currently contracted on), defended my years of toil (with plenty of support from D & D – one my friend, another my advisor), celebrated my grandparents’ 80th birthday (and then lost my grandfather to cancer a few months later), and freelanced on a legal case for the second half of the year (and beyond) while simultaneously organising paperworks to work in France. The last job even overlapped with my new position, so it was work galore while moving and settling in a new city!

I never got the break I was hoping for.

Fast forward to 2013. In a few weeks, my current contract is coming to an end. I am, once again, standing at a crossroad. This time, I am not making decision just for myself. I have built a life in Paris and I have a significant other to share it with. Unlike in 2010, I cannot just up and leave wherever my position leads me – a common hazard in my field – so I need to try to fit all the pieces somehow that incorporate our lives together.

I am also growing restless. Something has captured my attention and I am excited about it, even if it has nothing to do whatsoever with what I have been doing. I am scared too at the thought of stepping into this uncharted territory, but it’s more of a good kind of anxiety; one that leaves butterflies in my stomach.

With time, I know better what brings out my best ability and skills, and I recognise that I am not shining within my current career path. It is not an error of selection, nor the fault of the job. We have simply diverged along the way. It is best that I do not try to cling on the trodden path by sheer stubbornness (which I own in abundance), even when there are some who told me “it is such a waste to spend all the years of study just to do something else now”.

Errrm, no. It is NOT a “waste”.

A “waste” would be to not listen to my inner self.

The subject I studied may have been rather specific, but the skills and other lessons I’ve learned are transferable, adaptable, reuseable. I have taken up jobs in the past which I wasn’t qualified for and did them as well, if not better, than those who have the relevant paper certificates. If anything, D & D taught me I can (and I should) believe in my own ability to handle all that I wish to tackle. “Just don’t organise a French army to invade Ireland though!” – I know, terrible joke ;)

The main thing I need to do now is to convince the French authority that I am serious about staying here beyond the end of my contract and I am worth keeping around somehow. Without a renewed carte de séjour, my current projected plan A (and potential plan B) cannot take place. Not only that, F and I will also need brand new plan for both of us, and that will be ever more complicated…

On the other hand, I will finally get my years-delayed sanity break?

Hello 2013 in any case, and let us ride through this round of rollercoaster together, hopefully with much thrills and highs. And to all who drops by: thank you for staying around and Happy New Year/Bonne année!

Category: Musing

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6 scribbles & notes

  1. Sarah says:

    I know the feeling!

    Happy New Year and best of luck for whatever path you decide to take! :)

  2. med says:

    Splendid photo for the first entry into 2013 ;) and the only constant in life is change so yeah hehehe

    Totally agree with you on the “not a waste” part. It is never a waste as the skills and knowledge will always reside within us and how we apply it in different fields is what makes it interesting and exciting….unless we prefer to stay in the comfy and safe zone hmmm

    Happy new year lil :) best wishes to all for 2013!!!

    • Lil says:

      thanks med! a teeny tiny part of me would like to have a safety net somewhere, but this time, it’s pretty much freefall! wheeeeee….

  3. Chloé says:

    can’t agree more with the previous comments! (and your own post too)
    i know the feeling too and i’m totally confident you’ll not waste your talents at all. now, i’m a wee bit more uncertain about the break: i’ve always known you to have many things always on the move… there is an art to taking a break and gosh, it’s not easy! (or maybe i’m just really bad? see also not being good at sitting around :P ) so good luck with that and be careful ;)

    • Lil says:

      lol… am i really that bad with taking break? maybe :p

      you can remind me if i am not taking my rest seriously!

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