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!