At the end of 2012 I moved countries again, that made it it three countries and four cities within five years. That is a lot of big moves for two people. My partner, without whom none of this would have been possible has remained staunch in his support of me. It was not the first time that I left him to pack up a house and deal with our stuff while I left to take on a job, we were planning our wedding which would take place in Auckland a mere four months later, but the opportunity seemed to good to miss. I was deeply unhappy living and working in Wellington, and doing a job that did not have me cleaning out the fridge, wiping down rubbish bins and scrubbing the floor (not that these are bad things in and of themselves, but not really what I had signed up for) seemed like the only choice. It helped that the choice meant moving to KL a city that I love and have roots in, my grandmother lives here, I have aunts and uncles and cousins here. It would be nice to be a part of my extended family again for a while.
I thought I had found my dream job only to realise once I had been working there that it was the complete opposite. It made me really evaluate what I want to be doing with my life and what is important to me. I realised that the how is just as important as the what and that the what is not always what you think is when looking in from the outside. I have never shied away from doing what I think is right and this year was no exception. I took risks, fell hard and picked myself back up again. It was hard for me to make the decision to leave, I was tired of feeling like a quitter and a failure for not fitting in with my places of employment, but at the end of the day I knew there were things that were deeply wrong where I was. It wasn’t just a matter of my personal work, I had deep concerns with the structure and values of where I was and I knew that it was not OK. NGO’s don’t have great perks, or great pay, so when the principles of a place are compromised, what else remains? I knew I had to move on. Perhaps this is what being an adult is, making hard decisions and figuring out how to live with them.
I am full of hope for 2014, I feel like I have finally figured out how I can make a difference in the world without sacrificing myself. I have done a lot of thinking about the life I want to lead, I have always been chasing a dream of success that has never been my own and I know now that it is not what will bring me fulfillment. Perhaps the next chapter may not be all that I hope it to be either, but I’m OK with that. I am OK with my life not following a linear trajectory, I think it is something that I have finally come to terms with.
I am deeply grateful to my husband who has put his personal wishes on hold for me time and time and again. I hope that moving into the future I can be as much of a support to him as he has been to me.