Sunday, 19 May 2013

Another year, sure why not?

So, for quite a while I had been contemplating whether to renew my contract for another year or not. If I'm to be honest, I've been thinking about this since last October but, as most of you know, I am the worst decision maker in the world. I'm indecisive to the point that I will ignore anything that involves the repercussions of said decision and hope that someone decides for me! I'm afraid that I will change my mine, I'm afraid that circumstances will change, I'm afraid that decision I make will change the path of the rest of my life. (Me? Dramatic? Never!) As such, even if I have made a decision, I keep it to myself in case things fall apart, or I change my mind (as has been known to happen) and as such I spend a lot of time thinking of the "What ifs".

At the same time there were things that were stopping me finally making my decision. Certain aspects of working here are unbelievably frustrating. We are the only all-female department. Add to that that we are all expats and quite young and it can be very difficult to get people to take us seriously. Then you have our bosses in South Africa who only seem to contact us when they have a problem with something we are doing (even when we ask for help). And then you add the whole being in Africa thing. I miss my friends and family, I miss cheese and wine and chats over coffee.

Where to?
And then certain things cross my mind. There are so many countries in the world I want to visit. I want to spend time travelling Asia, I want to go back and explore Argentina in depth, I want to visit New Zealand and I want to stand in front of Victoria falls. I want to visit Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Rome and Munich. I want to watch the ball drop in Times Square for New Years and I want to see the Great Wall of China. I want to live in London and in Asia somewhere. The only problem is I have these grand plans but not the time to do everything.

 I know I am only 26 but at the back of my mind is that I want to get married at some point. How am I supposed to meet the love of my life if I'm moving around the world constantly. I have spoken to friends about this and "society" means we should settle down, get a permanent, sensible job, start a pension and get married. And obviously I want that (and in the case of the pension, NEED that) but there are so many other things that I want to do and see before I stay in one place. This was something that was at the back of my mind while I was debating what to do with my life! (Again, dramatic much).

After many evenings thinking of my options and making pros and cons lists, I kept coming back to one thing, I like my life here. I really like teaching, I have a good group of friends here and I get to spend at least half of my weekends at the lake. Sometimes life can be isolating and there is no doubt that, as a mzungu, you can't do as much as sneeze without the whole of Mzuzu knowing but at the end of the day, I'm settled here. As a very wise friend said to me "Those annoying things, can they be ignored easily?" and when I thought about it, they could and I concentrated on the positives.

I'm very lucky to have an unbelievably supportive family who don't think I'm (TOO) crazy and who now think nothing of me popping home and saying "I'm moving to Africa" or "I'm not coming home for another year" and for that I am grateful. I have fantastic friends scattered all around the world who I can keep in contact with through the wonders of facebook and the world is getting smaller everyday.

So all that's left to say is, who's coming to visit????

Quote for the day: "We are the choices we make, and we are the chances we take, no one else. We make our future with our actions, good or bad is all in our hands"- Unknown


  1. Nice post.
    I'm not going to claim to be in the same boat (I'm in a boat, alright, but mine's slightly closer to home), but I know how you feel to a certain extent. I'm set up in Scotland. I've new friends made, new favourite places to go and I'm buying my first flat. This isn't just a place I'm visiting anymore, Scotland is my home.
    While you're *probably* not gonna live in Africa until you're old and grey (or greyish red), it'd be a shame to leave it all behind so quickly. Do another year, you'll be grand. You've time yet to live in London, they're not closing it until 2019.

  2. Buying a flat? Thus us something that makes me think twice about my decisions. Everyone is growing up, getting married and buying property. While I am messing about, planning where to live next and generally refusing to grow up.