I finally got around to watching a little bit of the Olympics and noticed that the scoreboards on the BBC coverage refer to us as “Great Britain and NI,” with the NI presumably being Northern Ireland. When they shorten it, they call it “Team GB.”
But isn’t the proper name The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and therefore wouldn’t it be more logical (not to mention politically accurate) to call it “Team UK”?
You know, it’s only in the last few weeks I’ve finally accepted that in most cases, if people from home aren’t visiting me in the UK, it’s not because they CAN’T, and it’s actually, literally not my responsibility to get them all here.
It’s not rocket science but the heart is a strange place.
Moving to another country does strange things to your credit history. It mostly doesn’t exist. In some ways, that’s kind of cool. In other ways, it’s really annoying… say in the case that you try to get money for a house and the bank says, “uh… who ARE you?”
I suspect this might be something like what I expect to happen when I try to write my CV this week. I mean, why bother? I’m not a corporate executive. I’m just some chick who wants to teach piano. They’re not going to call my old boss in Illinois, I think.
Usually, when I look at CVs, I only think one thing: I cannot believe you are telling this stuff to a future employer. Cultural differences, ahoy.
I have also learned that updating the choir’s internet listings stresses me out because I sometimes forget to spell it ‘programme’ instead of ‘program,’ and then people act like I’m an idiot.
I work from home, in a little tiny room of the house with a window that overlooks the park next door. For a year, I have been watching out the window at people walking their dogs in that park and feeling like something was really missing still.
But today, when I looked out the window, it was my husband down there in the park, throwing the ball for my dog. MY dog! And they both were laughing and smiling and for a few minutes, I actually felt like I BELONGED here, instead of as though I just woke up in an alternate dimension one morning.
It was good.
Just over a year ago I decided it was important to move to a new country to live with my boyfriend, learn his language, and get married. And it was, because the marriage is great and we’re happy together.
Professionally, however, I had few career options in his country because I was learning the language. We’re now in yet another (English-speaking) country where he found a job, but I’ve been out of grad school for almost two years now and have only a teeny amount of experience in my field. I worry that that experience is becoming irrelevant the more time passes. I think not being from here counts against me when I’m applying for jobs. Just to pay bills I’m now applying for some pretty menial stuff, and I went to grad school just to avoid this situation.
I feel like a loser and it’s hard to tell my husband without it sounding like I’m blaming him (I DO NOT BLAME HIM). Also, feeling like a loser makes it pretty hard to sell yourself in an interview. I don’t know how to make myself feel confident again.
You’re not a loser. You’re a citizen of the world with a graduate degree and a happy marriage. You’re leading a charmed life, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
What this boils down to is that you made a choice a few years ago to put your relationship ahead of your career, and these are the breaks. Now you’re whining a little bit because you can’t have your cake and eat it too. That’s fine. I understand the frustration you’re feeling, but all this loser talk has got to go.
Now it’s time for you to make another choice. Are you going to have kids, or are you going to pursue your career? That’s the only question that matters. It’s what every employer wants to know.
You say being international counts against you when you’re applying for jobs. Nope. That shit usually helps. What counts against you is being a married woman in her prime baby-making years. Every employer assumes you’re only good for a few seasons before you start squirting out dependents, and then they’re stuck with an employee who costs twice as much but is only around for half the time.
If you want a career instead of a job, you’ve got to let them know that you won’t be having kids for at least five years, and that you’re still very passionate about your chosen field. The way to sell yourself is that they’re getting a deal if they hire you. They’re getting an employee with a grad degree for the price of an undergrad, with the understanding that you’ll be advancing in the company.
Enough with all this loser talk. You’re brave and smart and strong. You moved to a country where you didn’t know the language for the man you loved, which actually makes you kind of a bad ass. Let your prospective employers see that side of you. Let them know how far you’re willing to go when you’re passionate.
Hell, with a narrative like that, I’d hire you.
I love Dear Coke Talk, because she’ll tell you the things everyone else is just thinking. I especially loved this little pep talk directed at an expat. I have been in that poster’s shoes so many times this year. I know that feeling! I wish sometimes I’d moved when I was 20, not 30, so I’d have a little more time to get settled in a job before I decided to have kids and blow it all up yet once again.
You know what’s great about being back in England?
In other news, there is a certain person in my life that historically thinks it’s awesome to stalk my blogs and leave nasty comments, which is why this blog usually has comments disabled. (It’s also the reason why the majority of my once-public internet presence is almost entirely locked down these days.) He’s been bothering me again, this time telling me that he can find out whatever he wants about me if he tried, so I might stop writing here for a while, rather than give him any more info about what I’m up to these days.
Just wanted to give you the heads up in case I go AWOL for a while. <3 you, Tumblr! If you don’t see me around, assume I’ve taken the dog and am running around in the Lakes, just the way the universe intended.
Three times in three days I tried to get in on the wrong side of the car.
Speaking of which, I just realized tonight that Aussies drive on the left. I didn’t know!
Started back at choir tonight and really enjoyed it. I used to sing classical music so much and then gave it up for no real reason except that I didn’t think anyone supported me in it. It’s really nice to be doing it again, but this time in a group of people who really notice my strengths and appreciate them.
I volunteered for the coro piccolo (tiny choir) in our upcoming performance of Carmina Burana. I thought there’d be about 12 women (and all the men) but at rehearsal tonight, it was just four woman, and I’m the only one on my part. So much for safety in numbers! I was rather pleased with how well I sight read it, though, and I’m pretty sure it’s the first time in six months the director even noticed I’m alive. (Not shocking, given that there’s about 120 people there every week and I sit in the back.) Progress!