Category Archives: switzerland

Freedom

A prompted post, idea originally from Please Don’t Eat With Your Mouth Open, taken up by Blonde (as prompted by one of her friends), and then shamelessly stolen by me. So sue me. “Write about the best gifts you’ve ever been given”

The alarm went off shockingly early. Another day, another dollar. I had to get to work and, although he had a day off, that meant he had to get up early too. I hit snooze for the third time (I have a five snooze limit) and rolled over, ready to surrender to that lovely dozy feeling that comes with waking up. But something was stopping me drifting back into the cocoon of unconsciousness.

Light. More specifically, bright sunshine pouring in through the window straight onto my face.

For the first time in ages a) it was light when I woke up and b) it was actually sunny. Will wonders never cease? And so, it was because of that simple ray of sunshine, that I ended up here:

Just because I could.The last few months have been something of a revelation.

The last few months have been something of a revelation. I have spent the 12 years in the corporate world being told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it by. I always had a boss. Who had a boss. Who had expectations, and objectives, and targets. I worked in the same office, day after day. I was surrounded by the same people, all dealing with the same problems as me. The time sped by in a gloriously monotonous fashion whereby I knew that no matter what happened (barring a firing!) I would go home at the end of the month with my paycheck, thank you very much. Sometimes I was promoted. Sometimes I got to travel. Sometimes there were shards of excitement – some juicy gossip, some chocolates from someone’s holiday – to break up the day.

And now it’s all changed.

I decide what to do, how to do it, when to do it by. If I don’t meet my own expectations, achieve my objectives, hit my targets, it’s my own fault. I’m the one who suffers. I’m the one who doesn’t get paid. I’m the one who worries about how to pay rent. Does it sound stressful? You’re right, it is. It’s the most stressed I’ve been in a long time but, at the same time, it’s the most liberated I think I’ve ever been. The stress I’m under now isn’t dependent on other people. It’s not about internal politics and getting a promotion and a boss who’s unreasonable. This stress is about me learning every day, about balancing budgets and bills, about finding new clients, about dealing with massive rejection.

All of these things I’ve given myself in the last 6 months.

I have given myself the gift of freedom.

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Settling

“You’re settling”, he said (reminding me of this post from Jo, with good reason)

“You’re settling because he’s there and because there’s no reason not to settle.”

“You’re settling because you’re leaving (Read about it here! Sponsor me here!) and you know he likes you so it’s just easier for you to keep seeing him.”

Is he right? Am I settling? Am I stringing this guy along because I can. Because he’s there and because he doesn’t seem to mind.

“He’s an adult”, she said.

“Whose fault is it if he allows himself to get into these situations?”

“If he hasn’t clarified what you want, then he only has himself to blame.”

Is she right? Should he have taken the lead and put a name on this whatever-it-is? Or is that something I, also an adult, should do?

It started out so simply (as it always does). We “met” through some dating site, we talked on Whatsapp, we exchanged information, pictures (not that type! Dirty!) ideas on the world, anecdotes about our day. We fell out of touch.

And then I got bored. As I searched through my archived chats looking for someone to talk to, I came across him. I looked at the photos again.

“Did you ever fix your cupboard?” I asked.

On our first date, I was high on drugs. A week into a sinus infection and I had finally decided that a trip to the doctors was in order. I couldn’t talk properly, couldn’t hear out of one ear, and had that dazed look of someone who’s not quite sure where they are, sort of knows that they’re supposed to be there, but doesn’t know what they have to do. We kissed.

Our second date was at a place I’d never been to, in an area of the city I’d never explored. Our third date was a Sunday. We ate pizza at home and watched old Bond films. Our fourth date involved a bottle of wine and then a desire to do nothing. So we went and did nothing together. Our fifth date wasn’t really a date. It was late on Sunday, I’d just come back from a wedding, I was tired. He was coming back from work and popped in to say hi. He left on Monday morning after driving me to work. Our sixth date is tonight.

And I’m unsure. I can’t hide that I’m unsure. I’ve been unsure the whole way through. What am I unsure about though? I’m not sure about that either.

Do I like him? Do I just like the attention? Am I just using him? Could I imagine introducing him to my friends? Would I be embarrassed to be seen out with him? Should I break it off now before he gets more involved? Should I just let it peter out while I’m away? Am I just so thrilled that I’ve met someone kind, who likes me, and wants to spend time with me, that I’m letting it drift along? Is it my own insecurities (of which there are many, dear reader) that I’m projecting onto him?

I have so many questions and so few answers.

I do, however, know one thing (well a couple of things, actually).

1. Although I’ve wanted a relationship for a while, now is not the time for one. Now is about having a little time for myself outside of the stresses of work and routine. Now is about figuring out who I am. Now is about being a little selfish.

2. Tonight I have to be the adult and find out what it is he’s looking for. And I have to be clear on what I am looking for. If he wants to continue what we have with no expectations, fine. If he’s too invested and it’s not what he wants, also fine. But we need to have an answer.

And I have to be happy with the outcome. It’s too easy for me to settle. It’s what I’ve been doing in my job for the last 3 years. It’s what I did before I moved to Switzerland. And yes, it’s what I did with N. I settled.

Now is not the time to revisit old mistakes. Now is the time for new beginnings.

And possibilities.

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