It’s no secret that the past couple of months haven’t been the happiest for me. Normally I’ll put it down to the famed “I’ve just moved to a new country what the hell am I doing” dip. Sadly, I’ve been here for over 2 years now and I just don’t think that works any more.
(For the uninitiated, the “dip” generally occurs after 3 months in a new place. It can last anything from 3 – 9 months. Your first few months (1 – 3) are filled with the move and initial excitement of being in a new place and meeting new people. Months 3 – 6/9/12 is filled with the dip. You’re frustrated, angry, lonely and bored. You don’t know how things work (and, if you do, you don’t like the way they work). You don’t have a settled group of friends, merely acquaintances. You yearn for the routine and familiarity of your old life. You question all your decisions and wonder why you ever decided to move. Gradually, slowly, your mood lifts. You embrace the difference, you laugh at the quirks of your new home, you find your place in your new world. Or you don’t. Some people never get out the slump. Some people just hate their new life. More often, thankfully, the outcome is the former, not the latter).
Anyway, I digress. The moods have been attributed by a variety of people to a number of different things:
- repeated listening of “call me maybe”
- the weird behaviour of army boy
- giving up smoking
- a realisation that I’m not 20 anymore and therefore flirting with 20 year olds is probably frowned upon.
Personally I’m going to put it down to the two-year itch.
Having been bought up in a military family, my childhood consisted of moving into a house, settling in, making friends, packing up, moving into a new house, settling in, making friends etc etc ad infinitum. It was fantastic. I got to meet a host of new people, I experienced a number of different countries and I got to redecorate my room every two years.
This nomadic childhood has instilled me with a burning wanderlust. I need to travel, I need to try new things, I need to explore. My 7 years in London is probably the longest I have been in any one place (and even then, I seemed to be moving house pretty much every year). This need for the new and unexpected is part of who I am.
And so here we are. I’ve come to the point in my Swiss adventure that the yearning has started. I’m not enjoying work as much as I used to, I have an overwhelming ennui. An apathy. I have plenty to do and no inclination to do it (evidenced by the fact that I’m sitting here writing this blog post as opposed to doing what I’m supposed to be doing today). Weeks stretch ahead of me. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – yawning chasms of routine. Weekends, the beacon of light, the time I can get out and about and find new things.
Not one to just sit and complain (much) I have, of course, been doing my best to change my situation. Contacts have been contacted, feelers have been extended, clandestine emails have been sent. And so now the waiting starts.
And we all know how I feel about that.