And These Are The Days of Our Lives

So…I looked at a calendar…& saw that my contract is up in eight months.

And I was thinking…..that….eight months time is not enough.

First, it’s not enough to finish the job that I came here for (everything is behind….which is typical of a start up project), but it’s also not enough time for me to be done with my expat experience…. Specifically my MG experience.

I thought two years would be enough. The thought of siginging a three year contract was out.of.the.question.

But… that was well….over a year ago?? And…things have really changed. But just HOW have they changed….I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s hard to describe how living in another country changes you, but it does. At this point in my life, I don’t know how I would go back to living in Canada.

That sounds kind of messed up……I don’t know how I would live in Canada, where there are things like…health care, stable political situation, safe running water, any kind of fruit/vegetables, my family, my long-term friends, my house, my car, my…. life pre-MG.

And now… if I had to make the decision, today, whether I’d stay for another year, or return to Canada…. I’d choose….well … here. (Why is that so hard to say out loud??)

Even though….I have such a hard time here.

I miss my family a lot. I feel the missing of them a lot less when I don’t take my vacations in Canada, it seems just to be too much of a reminder of what I’m missing. And here, I’m sick ALL THE TIME. Like, I am freaking Princess Vomit here. Queen Vomit. I would win the “Most Times Vomited” trophy (and then proceed to probably puke in it...) I can count the number of weeks I haven’t puked on one hand, I’m sure. I am far more stressed here. I have far greater demands put on me here. My anxiety here, at times, is overwhelming. At the end of my six week rotation, I’m ecstatic to get off this island.

And then…a few days later, wherever I go off of the island, I start to wonder what’s going on back in MG…. I wonder what my friends are up to…. usually sending them an email or two by now…. I’m thinking of little gifts or things they need that I can bring back for them….I’m wondering what the political situation is like…and then….(usually) by the end of the three weeks’ vacation, I’m ready to go back. When I get off the airplane in Toamasina, I like what I hear and I like what I smell (which is really, really gross) and I’m so incredibly happy to see my driver standing on the other side of the glass after customs. There is even baggage guy that always helps me with my bags (I tip him too much so he remembers me) and I’m even happy to see his toothless smile. And the bumpy roads that I was cursing about three weeks ago feel comforting. And the traffic jams that were driving me bonkers are now calming and everything just feels like home. Okay. Now I really sound crazy.

Notice how I said “usually”?

There are some times, I don’t want to go back to MG. I’m away and I can notice the changes in me (although I just really still don’t know how to put it in words), and I notice that life has gone on without me, and things in my life will never, never, ever go back to the way that they were pre-MG, an that my once certain future is now a big question mark….and I don’t want to go back. I don’t feel any particular desire to stay in Canada either….it’s like I don’t know where to go.

Not this rotation, but the last rotation, I had a lot of mixed emotions coming back to MG. I didn’t want to. When I left, there were some strikes going on, and for the life of me, I just cannot seem to calm down around them. They make me so incredibly anxious, and sometimes, worried for my safety. Although the chances of anything actually happening to me are so slim, it’s just the…. the….unpredictability that gets me all crazy. Its part of life here and I’m well looked after, but I just can’t get over them.

Yet even with those uncertain times, the bad times, the times where I barely make it in the door of my house before I start crying (or worse, cry at my desk….it’s happened in front of someone and was mortifying…) I still don’t feel like I’m ready to end this MG deal. I want more time. Eight months….isn’t enough. I feel like I just got started here.

Recently, I spoke casually with my boss & my boss’s boss….and their opinions were pretty much the same. This position isn't quite over yet.

At first, I wasn’t sure if they would want me to stay…I mean, I think I do ok work, but does anyone ever really know? I’m not the most self confident person in the world and validation isn’t exactly a high ranking activity in the expat world. But I was... well...I kind of thought it was good news....

It IS what I feel is best for the position I’m in (me leaving in August is just too soon. Time like REALLY flies here...), but it is also what… well…I think…. okay, I’m pretty sure… ok, well, I’m sure for right now….what I want in my life.

A big reason I’m not done yet is there is more of the world for me to see. I have all my travels planned out until September 2011….so I’ll need at least another year to fit some more places in. Like…in my “real” life…I would NEVER have travelled. Last week I took trains to France and Belgium. Like who does that? Not some girl from St. Albert who doesn’t can’t even name all the continents. (Okay, I think I can… but I’d have to think hard and it would take me a few minutes)…

Another reason is of course, the boy. Monsieur Sergio. I’d be lying if I said that Sergio wasn’t part of this decision. Things are going great and I want to continue to have him in my life….but (and no offense, Sergio...) he's not the main reason I want more time here....

I want to….accomplish more. At work. For this project. And…for myself. To struggle less here. Or maybe to learn how to deal with the struggling. Or maybe I don’t even have a clue WHY it is I want to stay here longer….but…. the thought of leaving as soon as August of 2011… just doesn’t sit well with me.

I’m just not ready to even think about leaving yet. (And I guess I don't have to since August 2011 is still another eight months away...).

I’m trying not to plan the future too much, but what I know right now is….the thought of staying here another year….is definetly a good one.

*Disclaimer: nothing is written in stone about me staying on another year. Until I have a signed contract in my hands, who knows what the future holds. I’m not like….counting my chickens or whatever the saying is…***

1 comment:

  1. Stop self analizng already and just do whatever is going to work for you. We will all be here when your done and we're always here for you when you need us. Have fun and be happy, you hard working little stinker. Love You G&G xxoo