Monday, December 17, 2012

Built of living light

I realised today that I haven’t even been home a month yet. It feels so much longer. And I know that makes what I’m now going to say sound completely nuts but, well, I’ve decided to go back to London.

For weeks before I left I was wavering over whether or not coming home was the right move for me – I had panic attacks, the whole lot. Even the day before I got on the plane, I still wasn’t sold. But I missed summer, and my family, my friends, and my dog – so I told myself it’d be fine. It was an amazing career opportunity and I couldn’t just turn it down because I was having a good time…so I left.

The problem is, no matter how great an opportunity it is, I cannot for a moment say that I find any satisfaction in the job. I’ve been desperately unhappy. And it’s not just the relentless stress of editorial work – I’ve actually managed to get a decent hand on the work involved in being an editor – it’s just the whole culture of the industry. I know what this type of work involves, I’ve done it before and I was utterly miserable. I don’t know why I thought it would be different this time, but I’d hoped. Sadly, it wasn’t the case though. I’ve already been working extra hours, getting in at 8am, taking work home with me, working through lunch. And you know what? I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be stressed all the time, and work extra hours and constantly be pushed beyond my limit. I don’t want to wake up in the mornings dreading the day, and spend every moment counting down to a moment when I can escape. I don't want to live like this if I don’t have to.

Surely there comes a point where you have to ask yourself if an opportunity is worth what it will cost you. And then suddenly I heard there was a position going on the team I worked for in London and my first thought was ‘oh thank god, I can go back.’ Thankfully, it turned out that they’d have me back. It all happened over two days, which I know seems very quick, but I did put a lot of thought into it. I canvassed opinion. I was afraid I was being crazy. But my instincts told me to do it, and so I did. After all, my visa will only last one more year. If I don’t do it now, I won’t have the opportunity again.

I must admit that I’ve been surprised by the response I’ve gotten. Most people actually seem to think I’m doing the right thing…I just assumed people would think I’m nuts, but hey. Apparently some people even think it’s a very mature thing to do. What. Even. The worst prospect was telling my team and handing in my notice. I thought for sure I’d be run out of town after putting them through this – but everyone has been so incredibly accommodating.

The thing is, I made a mistake. It’s as simple as that. I wasn’t ready to come home. I wasn’t ready to take on a job that would cost me my life, not when I had just started to finally have one. I love Sydney, obviously, and I love my friends and family, but I just need to do this.

This morning as I left for work my dad said to me that I was so much happier now that I’d decided to go back. And it’s true. After I handed in my notice, it was like a weight had been lifted from me and everything just made sense again. As dad pointed out, I will have to come back eventually. But by then, hopefully, I’ll be ready.

Music: The house that heaven built - Japandroids

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