Stuck. The feeling that life is passing you by as you wait for something to happen. Instead of living in the moment and enjoying what you have, you inevitably weigh each day by the progress (or lack of) towards that distant goal. You strive to kindle motivation only for it to be quenched by the sheer weight of not knowing how long is left of things as they now are. You flounder in a quagmire of in-between. Despite all attempts to just focus on right now there’s a cloud of uncertainty following you around whenever you glance up.
We’ve been living in limbo for a long time trying to figure out what our plans are for the future – or at least the next couple of years. We were stuck in one place waiting on bad tenants to leave our house. Then waiting again as we tried to sell that house and buy another – which didn’t work out in this crazy Irish property market. Let’s not forget the 42 weeks of waiting for Boo to finally be born last year either. We were sick of putting things on hold and waiting. It was time to start living again. Which meant a new plan. And like most plans, more waiting was required for it to come to fruition. Doh!
That’s not to say that we’ve been idle over the last few years. There have been job changes for Brodie. I began a business venture which has been picking up momentum recently and is still flexible to the needs of having young children. By the end of last year Baby number two had arrived and started to settle into the family and the property market was still heading nowhere good. We were done with waiting on that. The timing was right to switch focus to Brodie’s career instead. He embarked on the ultimate job search trying to find something he felt excited about that was compatible with our family life. We’ve often talked of experiencing life in another country, but weren’t sure if it would ever really come to pass. As it happens, career prospects in Brodie’s industry go hand-in-hand with the necessity to work outside of Ireland. Six months ago we stopped wondering which side of the city we’d be living on. Instead we’ve been wondering which country. It’s been a crazy, stressful, long road which felt like it might meander on forever. But we’re finally at the end of it, almost ready to start down the road less travelled.
It’s really happening. Contracts are signed. Visas are being processed and soon flights will be booked. After months of waiting and wondering, we’re finally unstuck. This family is frantically packing and preparing for a move to the other side of the Atlantic. We’ve always said we would like to try living abroad, and now we’re going to do it. It’s as good a time as any for uprooting our children. Boo is still very young and there’s been a big question mark about if or where the unbaptised Rascal would start in the Irish education system when his preschool year ended. Unschooling has been a serious option for next September, and the move means he has an extra year to see how that might work for us.
Up until very recently we were preparing for a possible move to the USA. A possibility that has dragged on and on thanks to the excruciating visa application process. Apart from waiting to see if and when we would move, there were quite a few concerns to think about. Firstly an Amercian spouse visa would prohibit me from working at all. Even though I would be working remotely for Irish clients – not taking any American jobs. I could expect to be waiting a minimum of 18 months at best before I might be allowed. And then there was Trump. Where to start? With the moral issues? Or the questions about whether a visa would be worth the paper it was written on by the time we went over? It’s been a nerve-wracking wait with potentially months to go before any resolution.
Eventually after more searching in the new year, there was another serious contender. No visa issues. A better career move for Brodie. No restrictions on my work (other than caring for two children full time). No Trump! There really wasn’t any question at all about taking it… until the universe laughed at us and that elusive American visa required for job one surprised everyone by arriving in the inbox mere hours after the second job offer. You know what they say about buses… And then, suddenly, there was a big decision to make.
We spent an agonising couple of days deliberating the pros and cons of each option. It’s hard to compare different jobs in different countries. Despite the Trump factor, both were amazing opportunities in their own way. Neither would be a wrong choice for us. How to make a decision? Each led to a totally new life and future for ourselves and our children. It was hard to dismiss either without due consideration. In the end there was only one way to break the stalemate. After quite a lot of thought we selected what seemed to be the easier but less suitable option, and pretended that the decision was made. Then we waited (ironically) to see if enough doubts crept in to change the decision. They did. We switched to the other job. It felt more right. No doubts surfaced that were strong enough to swing the pendulum back.
Decision made, for better or worse. We won’t dwell on that other life we might have made anymore. We’re looking forward to making the most of whatever lies ahead on the journey we chose. And so it is.. we’re going back to the start. Literally. Back to the start of this blog. In a few short weeks we’ll be on our way to a brand new life in Montréal. There’s excitement. There’s a little fear of the unknown. Overwhelmingly though, there’s immense relief that there’s an end to the waiting. Unstuck. Moving on. Who knows what will happen next? The constant is that we will all be together. We’ll figure the rest out as we go along.