Earlier this week I took a risk. I applied for a writing job, and said that I was “no spring chicken”. I did, however, add that I had all my own teeth. Granted, they were looking for a witty writer, and I don’t know if they’ll take me on, but it was quite fun taking the less-than-serious approach.
My sons would say, “oh dear”, or their typical one is, “ooh, LAME!” They have crowned me the Mayor of Lameville, but that makes me want to retain the mayoral chain even more.
So I thought I would write a bit about risk today. I guess because it’s so much on my mind right now. It can be fun, and it can be scary. Fun, like just before we left Cape Town and went to meet with a consultant at the bank: a middle-aged woman, dressed in a business suit, walked past us several times. She looked at us and walked on. And then did the same again. On her fourth journey, she walked over to us and pulled my husband’s ponytail. She said, “I just couldn’t resist it!”
It can also be scary. We turned our lives upside down, just over a year ago, to come and live in London for a few years so my husband could fulfil his dream and get his doctorate in counselling psychology. It took us a little while to decide to come, but the turning point came when we told our travel agent to go ahead and book our flights. And we had to pay for them within 48 hours. There was no turning back at that point.
While we were committing ourselves irrevocably to climb on to an aeroplane that would launch us halfway across the world (or is it all the way across the universe?), it felt to us both like we had just thrown ourselves out of an aeroplane. We began the process of looking for a tenant for our home, finding a new home for our darling little Jack Russell Frankie, packing up our home, and starting to let go of all that was familiar. And secure.
We found tenants, Frankie went to an incredibly loving home, and our household contents were emptied into storage boxes, farmed out to relatives, donated to charity, given away to friends, recycled or thrown in the garbage. Our lives were simplified – for a time – into two 20kg suitcases, and two pieces of hand luggage.
We left behind all that we knew and were sure of. And, although we were excited about reuniting with our precious sons who were in London at the time, we came to something unknown and foreign. We both knew that we would regret not taking the risk, and following our hearts. It was for us a culmination of answered prayer, but for a time it felt like we were hurtling at breakneck speed down to earth, waiting for our parachutes to open! They did open, and we have been gliding down to earth, enjoying the scenery and noticing everything that is new and different and exciting all around us. And, apart from the current levels of insecurity, we are loving every minute of this London adventure.
So, would I launch myself out of the aeroplane again? Hell yes. But would I say again, in a job application, how much fun it’d be to mud wrestle with Matthew McConaughey? Not so much.
Sunshine signing off for today!
12 thoughts on “What colour is your parachuuuuuuuu…”
I love it! We “old birds” need to be innovative in order to make us stand out against the crowd of youngsters we’re up against! I hope you get the job!
Thanks, Wendy! Less of the “old” please …. maybe we are, I just don’t like to say it! hahaha!
When you were accumulating all of that stuff, could you have imagined someday paring it all down to a couple of suitcases and some hand luggage?
I hope the writing job works out, although, if you go in for an interview, you want to avoid the temptation to pull anyone’s ponytail. 🙂
Thanks, Todd! No, we didn’t imagine simplifying our lives to that extent. Although we also didn’t notice how much we were accumulating until we had to do that – scary!
And thanks so much for the good wishes and sage advice! hahaha! I’ll keep you posted.
It sounds like the job for you. Good luck!
Thank you so much, Elizabeth! x
Risk is such an interesting thing. People always say, “Do it now. Before you have children. Otherwise, you never will.” But look at you, thumbing your nose at that idea. Thanks to courage, you’ve lived a richer life, and your husband is living a dream.
I had a similar experience when I went away to college. I purposely selected a school four hours away from my home where I didn’t know a soul. And because of that, I gave my permission to live by nobody’s expectations but my own. It was scary, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, because it taught me to live by my own expectations and follow my heart no matter where I am.
Lovely post as always, Sunshine. Congrats on taking the leap.
Thanks so much for your encouragement. Risk is fantastic, and scary, and exhilarating and liberating and did I mention scary? I don’t know that I would have been brave enough to take such a risk when I went to university, as you did – and you claimed your independence and you-ness. Well done, you! That took me years to find! xx
I think it takes a great deal of courage to do what you and your husband did. Everything else must seem so easy in comparison.
Years ago, I took a year off work (in SA) to travel around in Europe. When I was offered a job in London, I had to make that choice. I chose to come home. I can’t say I regret my choice, but I sometimes wondered what would have happened if I’d stayed in London. Now I’ll just have to live vicariously through you! 😉
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment. Where in SA do you live?
I’m very happy to be your London guide! And isn’t it interesting that the job offer in London is one thing that’s evading me!
I live on the Southern Cape coast now. Am originally from Cape Town.