We need to get ‘the fear’. Life has been very cushy for the last six years, and it’s easy to stay in a place (physically and mentally) where life isn’t very challenging.
But is it a false economy?
Since moving to the Middle East, I have been so fortunate to gain a career in writing, my husband has loved his job and been compensated generously, and we have made a home with our soon-to-be two children that is comfortable and wants for nothing. But whilst there is plenty to be said for financial security and the familiarity of a place you’ve lived for several years, I can’t help but feel like this is not really our home. It’s not where we belong. It’s not even where we feel most comfortable.
Material gain, and even excess, is of course a great privilege, and I would never claim to be suffering in any great way – depression notwithstanding – but as a family we find ourselves at a real crossroads: ready to leave and be closer to family yet faced with having to turn down a seemingly never-ending stream of opportunity here.
If we leave will we look back in a few years and kick ourselves for not sticking it out a bit longer for that extra boost in our careers and finances? If we stay will we find ourselves resenting missing out on a more enjoyable lifestyle in Europe with family and friends nearby?
What is better for my mental health? What is better for our young children? Is two more years really such a big deal? Or will two more years make it even harder to leave in the end?
My husband is applying for jobs, but we are purposefully being choosy about where. Whilst we are firm in our decision for him to resign this year, the unknown of what comes next opens up before us as a great, black expanse. A total mystery. I have no idea, no vision, of where we will be this time next year. This is both exciting and terrifying.
But I think its mostly exhilarating.
Whilst the next few weeks are sure to be a haze of Christmas festivities and new baby excitement, I am going to make a concerted effort to plunge headfirst into the fear as we move forward. We have so, so much to be incredibly grateful for already, and wherever we are, our little family is our home. So, what will be will be, and I know it will be great. There is no way it couldn’t be.