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OVERSEAS
8 years.

I wonder if somewhere deep down inside myself I knew when I stepped on that plane that I might never be coming "home" again, at least not to live. I don't remember thinking about it, really, other than being excited about going back at last. It had been a dream of mine for 14 years to return to Europe, and finally it was coming true.

It's not that I have anything against moving back to the States, it's just that I feel I belong here. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Chicago and love it still and miss it like crazy, but I know that if I moved back there it wouldn't be the same. I wouldn't be single, 20-something, in my first real job. I LOVE Michigan, too, but I just don't think I want to live and work in America, at least not right now. The thought of leaving this house, for one, makes my throat tight.

Anders and I have always said we would like to move somewhere ELSE...somewhere where both of us can be "the foreigner" at the same time. Somewhere else in Europe perhaps (Holland! In a heartbeat), or Australia, or Canada. But we both think we would come back to Sweden and our home after a couple of years on an expat contract. And the stretch is getting longer and longer on the "indefinitely" answer I give when people ask how long I'm planning to live in Sweden.

Part of me really wants to give my kids the flexibility, the viewpoints, the adventure that moving around gave me as a child. Part of me wants to give them a place to escape from and a place to come home to.

I remember my dad, when he retired from the military say he was never moving again...he was through. Of course, he DID move. It's in the blood, I think. But I've moved 30 times in my life. I think that ought to hold me for a long while. 8 years I've been here, slowly growing roots, gaining a network, making friends, putting down the kind of layers that make me feel like this is home.

***

I received an email today from Company T...the position that I interviewed for and had sewn up before turning it down because it was a project job, is officially open again as a permanent position, and they're taking external applications. She hopes I'm interested and will call her. I'm just starting to feel that things are escalating and getting good at Axis. I don't think I want to jeopardize that. I don't know what I want to do or what I want to say or how I should respond.
 nostalgic
mood: nostalgic
music: Peter, Paul & Mary—Rolling Home


Comments

I'm glad you have a place that you feel so connected to, I have always felt it's better to go forward than backward. I love Chicago and Michigan too, and Hilton Head, but I wouldn't move back to any of those places. I tend to love the place I'm in when I'm in it. I was just thinking to myself that I can't believe I've been in Orlando for 5 years. I have plans to stay another 5 but that may change, you never really know what can lie around the next corner.

That's flattering that the other company is asking for you. I don't know how it is over there, job jumping here isn't as much of a no-no as it used to be, but I like to be someplace at least a year or 8 months or so. I don't really know all the facts but a Benjamin Franklin list always works for me when I'm trying to decide somthing.

Do you mean a pro/con list? I know what you mean about job-jumping. I've only been here 3 months and it's going really well...do I really want to jeopardize that?

Yea, that's what I meant, my mom calls it a Benjamin Franklin list. I'm glad you decided to stay where you are for now. :)

I'm just starting to feel that things are escalating and getting good at Axis. I don't think I want to jeopardize that. I don't know what I want to do or what I want to say or how I should respond.

If you absolutely know that you don't want to consider that other position right now, just say thanks for thinking of you but you're not available at this time and that you hope that they will keep you in mind for future openings.

If you want to explore that other position then let them know you're interested and see where talking/interviewing with them takes you. Even if they offer you the job, no one says you have to take it. And it's always good to get a little extra interviewing practice under your belt :)



I agree completely with Darci here. Unless you are definately not interested, you should at least show some interest. Besides, you don't have to take the job if they gave it to you. Think of it as the chance you wish you had before you quit Ericsson.

thanks :) It's so flattered to be wanted, but at the same time, it's bad timing...I've only been here for 3 months, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to switch for something that I'm not 100% sure about. Argh! I need to write a pro/con list.

It's interesting, the twists and turns that life takes us to. New places that we become connected to and put roots down in.
Flexibility is good, and so is stability, consistency.
It will be fun to watch what actually unfolds for you.
My friends C&E left nearly six years ago, to teach English in Japan for 2 years.

Tricky on the job thing. I would make it clear to them if you interview, that you are somewhat uncomfortable leaving a new situation that is going well, so soon. That would be to your advantage even if you end up taking it.
The pros and cons list is a good idea.

I had been in Athens, Georgia for fifteen years before I moved to Tifton with my husband (seven months ago). I found that moving helped me to be less afraid about things in general. Now that we are starting to plan another move, I feel very liberated and empowered. It's like I have control over my own destiny or something. I hope we do find a place that I consider to be "home." I am not afraid to put down roots somewhere. But then again, I really love knowing that I can move around as long as I need to!

Good luck on the job situation. That sounds pretty sticky...

(Anonymous)

This post made me all emotional. Although I never moved as a child, travelling to Europe for the first time was a revelation. After six months in London, living in New York felt empty to me, despite the fact that all my loved ones but one (Erik!) were there.

I meant to come here for a year but it's now 15 months and I have no plans of returning yet. I am totally comfortable here until I ask myself, "Will I never live in America again?" Then the panic sets in.

Oh, and I agree about showing interest in the job but making it clear that they would have to make you a spectacular offer for you to leave where you are.

-Amylou

We didn't really have any time frame in mind when we moved here, but the years are certainly flying by. zip zip zip! You don't need to panic, America isn't going anywhere. :)

That's a really tricky question on the job front. (Is it any sort of job that I might be a fit for? Not that I want to compete against you, but I'm just thinking out loud.)

Actually, I was thinking of you, but wasn't sure. I'm going to see if I can find the job ad...hang on.

Emailed you :)

What a lot to think about. I can imagine that your home would be very hard to leave - there is just so much of you invested in it. It is a beautiful house but much more than that - a real feeling of "home". But I also understand that restlessness and feeling that there is so much out there still to be discovered. You guys would fit in anywhere in the world if you put your minds to it. Australia would be a wonderful experience, though beware of Sydney as I hear that really strange people live there :)

What dreadful timing on the job opportunity. It's a really hard call as you don't want to let down this company that had faith in you and also now the work is getting interesting. On the other hand, that TEMPTATION and the "What ifs..." are there. I think Darci had a good idea that let them know you are open at a later date, but you have made a committment to this company and you need to fufill that. I think it gives you an exit without comprmising your integrity.

Good luck with the decision.

Thanks! I think that is the strategy I'm going to go with.

Moving. I didn't move anywhere near as much as you did, and never to anywhere exciting, but I acquired a taste for it. The first big move our family made when I was almost 16 was a big shift for me and it made me want to move again, move away from what we had moved to. From then until now, I never spent more than 3 (well 4 for college) years in the same place. I would just get antsy and feel like if I didn't move, something stultifying was going to happen.

Now we've been here nearly five years. I wouldn't mind staying but I wouldn't mind moving. And I feel the same way you do about wanting Ingrid to have other experiences. I also think I read somewhere that if she never lives in Sweden before she turns 22, she'll lose her Swedish citizenship. Granted I read that in Swedish and I might have read it wrong, but I desperately don't want that to happen to her. She's too young to know now but I would hate for her to be 27 and dying to live in Europe and have lost her right to do so easily.

Contrast my interests in moving with G, who only ever lived in Malmö until he met me. He traveled but he never lived anywhere else. His whole family was all right there, no one moved away, ever. I don't think he's eager to change things although he talks about it as if he were, I don't see that desire in him to start all over.

Anders said once that he wasn't interested in moving back and forth and back and forth between the two, and I can certainly understand that. I think a home in each place would be ideal, but for now at least the logistics defeat me :)

Yes, a summer home in Maine, one in Skanör, though where to live out the other seasons always throws me for a loop. I like the climate in the south but not some of the other things one would live with down there (including those of nature, snakes, bigger insects).

I wouldn't be keen on perpetually hoping back and forth either. But I'd be just fine with living there long enough for me to acquire citizenship and then the world (or all of Europe at least) would be our oyster.

Did you ever NOT feel connected to Sweden? Or did you feel connected without ever trying? I wonder almost every day if there's something wrong with ME. I have some connection--but only because I've made a few friends, and Tobey of course. But it really has nothing to do with Sweden itself.

It's not so much that I have BAD feelings (though for a few people, especially my university teacher, I very much do)...just, well, blah feelings. If that makes sense. It probably doesn't. But this is one area where I really feel like I'm all alone. Or is this just homesickness that I will eventually get over?

The thing is, I read this, and others...and everyone seems to just have felt "at home" immediately. I don't have that--I wish I did. I feel at home back where my home was.

Well, I feel at home when I'm in the States to a certain extent, too, but I've lived 14 years of my life in Europe, so it feels very much like "home" as well. I had a rough time the first few years, even though I loved being here, and I still have bouts of homesickness that literally floor me. I don't think there is anything wrong with you, to be honest. Everyone's experience is different, and our circumstances may make a huge difference in how we perceive our connection here (or anywhere).

You HAVE to come down and meet me and get involved. :)

I totally want to come down and meet you. Man,do I sound like I'm from Cali or what? And I promise...only good vibes. I promise to be in better spirits soon!

Quit that damn class, dammit! That oughta help :D

(Anonymous)

Boy, can I relate to this post. It sounds as if you have a really good feeling about being in Sweden. I've wanted to leave where I am from almost the moment I got here (of course, I didn't want to come in the first place). It's a beautiful place--and many think I have some sort of stress-free dreamy life (and I suppose I do, in some ways)--but I've always felt like an outsider here. My problem is that the places that used to feel like home don't hold the same draw for me now. Nice to visit...but to live there again?...I don't think so. "Home" will always be my little hometown in the northwest corner of California...but "home" as an adult? Don't have a clue right now. The good news is, that feeling compels me to leave my options open to just about everywhere! Never know when you might end up somewhere that will suddenly feel just right... :) ~Marilyn, Island Fever

Why didn't you want to move there? And if so, why DID you? (I know you're going to tell me to go read your archives, aren't you?? :D)

I know what you mean about places that used to feel like home not feeling right anymore.

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