Well, well, well. For all of you who know about Alice, it will not be surprising that something like this could have happened.
After 14 months of not having a job and not even trying to get one — not to mention an absolute avoidance of even slightest glimpses of job adverts — somewhere at the very beginning of October, I suddenly signed in at one of the academic job portals, run just one search for jobs in London, clicked on the first job that came up, liked the prospects of it, applied for it and, within less than three weeks, I got it!
H-O-N-E-S-T-L-Y. I can’t remember I spotted the White Rabbit at the moment I went to the jobs.ac.uk, but it must have been him involved in this affair.
This all happened in somewhat geographically convoluted story-line —as you would expect from someone almost-genetically-connected to Alice. I was at my parents’ home in Serbia, packing to visit a friend in Sweden (and play a babysitter there), when I got that sudden thought of looking at the jobs portal, and picking ‘London’ to put in the search engine, more of a fancy than of any practical reasoning — majority of my things were in a storage in the north of England, some were at friends’ house in Oxford, and I was in Serbia. London was a tempting idea and a city I loved a lot even if never lived in it, but it was too expensive place to even think of in a moment when one is facing bankruptcy and taking refuge at her non-aristocratic parents in an impoverished and outcasted state of Europe.
Regardless of the silliness of that idea, I sent a quickly written (but obviously good) job application from a charming end-of-the-world-type-of-place in Serbia. I got an invitation for the job interview when I was in Sweden already, in the middle of my training on how to change nappies, dress two kids at once (never succeeded), and make five meals a day for lovable-but-screaming-prone-beauties.
That was a good setting to realise that even if you want to redesign your life from scratch, it’s maybe a good idea to start earning again by doing something you are good at, even if it belongs to ‘the old era’. So I prepared as much as I could for that interview (which was far less that I would ever dare to in my previous life), and flew from Gothenburg to London to check my score.
To add to the collection of my geographical check-ins (and connections to Alice), straight from the airport in London, and before the interview, I had to go to Oxford where I had a few decent pieces of clothing stored at my friends’ place (as all I had and all I needed in the previous year was outfit suited for beach, yoga and babysitting). So I dressed up and went to the interview the following morning, feeling like ‘a professional woman’ again.
The interview went really well, I got the job offer on the same day, negotiated pay (for the first time I asked for more! and got it!), accepted the revised offer and returned back to Sweden to help my friend finish with moving flat while I was taking care of the kids — a project we were in the mid off when I got the job interview! Then, I went back to Serbia, for just a couple of days, to pick a few things from my last ‘filling station’ and to hug my mum and dad, aunties and friends, before I jumpily landed to London-via-Oxford again, just two days before my new work was about to start.
Huh. What a job hunt, eh?! Bare in mind, the whole mishmash described above, since I had that ‘sudden attack of looking at job adverts website’ to when I started the new job in London, lasted for only about 40 days! Of course, as this blog intends to document, this was all brewing for quite some time and with quite a few zigs on the way. I don’t even dare to think of my carbon footprint, but survival seems to be energy consuming.
What I find really fascinating and encouraging is how quickly a life confusion can clear-up, and give a way to a course of action that was unimaginable just a few seconds or days ago. If you surrender. When I wrote the post Crossroads, I could have not imagined that in just ten days from when I published it, I would do something that would bring me where I am now.
So here I am, working in London for three months already! And I love being here, despite the fact that the fist two weeks were — well, not hellish — but really, extremely challenging (imagine first ever flat hunt in London taking place in the same time as just starting a new job!).
Strangely enough, I love this London even if it doesn’t have any Mediterranean beaches, nor Pacific ones, for that matter. And I love it in spite all the gloominess and ridiculousness of the world that is so much more visible from here than from countryside or seaside. There is something about London. It’s easy to feel alive and to belong here. Possibly because of the Mad Tea Parties! Certainly due to people of London, and some very dear, old and new, friends of mine among them.
Why did I share all of this with you?
I wanted to continue writing this blog (after a justified break) and wanted to tell you something about daring, riding the wave of adventures, trust, help and luck. And to give some encouragement to everyone who feels drained and wanting to stop the pattern that no longer works — yes it’s possible to make a break and than to continue! It’s not easy but it’s OK — a break is not the end of the world, it’s the beginning. Wanted also to tell you something about healing that must include overcoming anger and forgiving others and yourself for making you ill, or not helping you get better sooner (I’ll tell you about that some other time, as well as about help I had to jump over the abyss). And I also wanted to share some of my first impressions of London.
And then the White Rabbit dragged me again in another hole and I had fun, and wrote what I wrote. Didn’t tell you all of what I wanted to, but hope you got something good out of reading this anyway.
This week’s book inspiration: what else but The Alice in Wonderland!