There are moments in your life when you're caught in the hustle and bustle of a busy intersection.
Maybe there are several routes to pick from, only a few of them feel like a good choice. To add heat and pressure to this situation: you don't have the luxury of time or the comfort of space, so you have to make a decision quickly.
My safety net of accommodation is no longer available for my return to Wellington. So I'm going to have to source a spare couch or room from a friend, and then regrettably have to source a new rental property in a volatile, oppressive, and ruthless market while under the self-imposed time pressure to not lean on said friend.
I've been watching a series of videos of developing tiny, affordable, and bespoke homes. I think there's a part of me that wants to finally build a permanent home, especially after being away from all that feels normal. But this person is at odds with another, another that wants to uplift and relocate to somewhere closer to my grandfather's birthplace, in Norway, or maybe even Malmö / Copenhagen in Denmark.
Having my 3-year progress to Kiwi citizenship potentially reset by this contract in Madagascar has been deeply unsettling, and in a way, I feel a little lost.
It has been deeply fulfilling to guide ~20 students on their own journeys. It feels great to give back. So there's a sense of reluctance to return to work in Wellington if that work is just resorting to feeding the post-capitalist machine with my fuel.
On the contrary, I really like what Enspiral appear to be doing in the tech scene, and the draw to teaching is strong for me right now. But beyond Enspiral, it's a little more difficult to find an ethically-minded, diverse, and design/UX-lead organisation or co-op.
Being apart from my family is hard, but the past few years have felt liberating. Those years have given me perspective, and peaceful pause to pursue my perosnal plans. Still, I need to recenter.
Being in a similar time-zone to my brothers has been a boon, being able to hop on chat and talk shit has been something essential, and sorely lacking. They're going through some tough times right now, (like most of us are) so being available (to a degree) has been good.
My heart was in Wellington. That feeling is somewhat muddier now.
I recently got screwed over by kiwi.com for not reading the fine-print, to the tune of a return flight to NZ. They won't offer me a refund for the first carrier-cancelled booking, so they must be milking it for a booking site especially under the Coronavirus circumstances we find ourselves. The process that lead to me paying double for a flight feels deliberately designed to behave that way.
The return flight is going to be nerve-wracking, not solely because my chances of contracting Coronavirus are higher than normal, but also because:
- I will have to clear customs and check in at each of the 3 stops the trip calls for
- any of the 3 airlines could cancel again
On the plus side, it's less than 40 hours of commuting, and I'll get to see Addis Ababa, Hong Kong, and Nadi from the air.
I want to have a meaningful life, and I've been relying on work to provide the most stable source of meaning. This trip to Madagascar makes me think about alternative sources, but has also brought many life factors to the fore…
- Spending time with people that get you
- Building a home, growing a garden, feeling stable
- Doing good work for a good cause
- Finding and striving for balance
Before the existential dread overwhelms me, I'm reminded to take a deep breath.