I more or less consider myself a pessimist, except I tend to view it as just logic or realism.
I’ve never subscribed to “The Secret” idea that you can visualise good things and they will come to you. Maybe it’s because I feel like I nearly always know how someone is going to react to a situation, which will more or less inform what the outcome will be, whether it’s favourable or not. Or because I genuinely just believe in fate, and that what’s coming is coming, whether you like it or not. I’m almost never surprised that way, although it doesn’t stop outcomes from being disappointing.
Mere hours after my last post went live, I found out my visa to stay in the UK won’t be going ahead. I wasn’t surprised at all. This government has it in for foreigners and we all know that. I just didn’t think it would be this hard for an Australian to stay, when a successful company is backing them, and actively trying to keep them… Even so, I knew it was a long shot and as disappointed as I am, I wasn’t hopeful. The longer the process took the more sure I was it wouldn’t work.
Is that pessimism? Probably, right?
At the end of the day I’m just pleased I finally have an answer, because now I can take action. I hated feeling like my future was out of my hands. But it’s funny because I’m also relieved this decision has been made for me. I absolutely agonised over whether or not to stay in the UK. I decided twice I was leaving, before deciding for the third time I would try to stay. It’s expensive to apply for a visa for the UK, and as NHS fees rise, so do visa costs. Then lets throw in there that the air here is literally trying to kill us, and Brexit is coming for us all, the cons of staying were stacking up. But despite all that, I’m in love with this country.
I’d dared to imagine living here long term. I began to picture the kind of house we’d get in the countryside when we finally got tired of London. I imagined all the road trips we’d take, and the summer breaks to Spain and Portugal and the Amalfi Coast. I thought of how one day I’d like to retire to one of them.
Is that optimism? Probably, right?
Can I be both?
So I’m bitterly disappointed. But I’m ready to take action. I don’t want to go home. I’ve said that so many times over the last year and a half I may as well have it tattooed on my forehead. I love being an expat, even though it’s lonely sometimes. I like living my life on my terms and without obligation. I actually feel free being away from home, and I don’t know how to explain it any other way.
The thing with being a pessimist, with being prepared for the worst is that it never really knocks me down for too long. I’m strangely resilient despite the insomnia and the anxiety; it’s never taken me long to recover from bad news, I just take it really bad right at the outset. And then when I’ve got up again I’m up and ready to go. This isn’t a roadblock – my journey isn’t over, despite what I very dramatically said to my best friend over delicious Spanish wine in a darkly lit wine bar Wednesday night. (I say that because a love for Spanish wine in darkly lit wine bars is something I’ve discovered about myself in London). This is just a challenge and I’m excited to sink my teeth into it. I’ve already started spreadsheets and pro / con lists for where else in the world I could go.
I’ll figure it out. Even if that does mean I have to go home for a little bit. This will not be my roadblock.
I’m sure of it.
(I guess this won’t be a London blog for much longer…)