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  • Sarah

Fish Out Of Water

Updated: Jun 27, 2021

Had my reservations when I read Gabe's last line saying "we're doing great here". I think it's great he thinks so, and sure we're doing much better than expected but maybe he spoke too soon, and surely he did because last week was rough.

In the last 10 days since my haiku (not hiatus), I found myself doing things that made me uncomfortable, nervous and unlike myself - in 'flight' mode. Here's the rundown:

16 Jun: Happily wrote a haiku, casually sent on resume to two recruitment agencies (let's call them A & B). NSW Alert came in:

FYI: we're in Zetland

Because we were possible 'casual contacts' (covid positive person visited Coles from 11am - 1pm, the same day we were there from 6pm), we decided to lay low, and cancelled further plans we had for the weekend, including house inspections for our next home.

17 Jun: Cancelled lunch with an ex-maw intern (which added to my emptying social cup and what Gabe derived at as me not hitting my social quota). Received recruiter A's call.

18 Jun: Had zoom chat scheduled with recruiter A. Expectations clearly were not matching of reality. Expectations: friendly chat, get-to-know-me session and weeks of waiting time to be contacted for a role. Reality: was sent on JD for a role.

Recruiter B calls. I foolishly scheduled our chat for Monday, 10am. I quickly change my mind and proposed any day other than a Monday morning, but knew I wouldn't have a response until Mon morning itself (unless that Aussie is super hardworking), which meant I'd need to prep over the weekend. Not-a-good-move, Sarah. Also because we learnt that our 8 boxes of true-living-life will be arriving at that time.

19 Jun: I start to feel down and anxious about the potential of going back to work, and having to prep for recruiter B's call (because this was for a role I specifically applied to). #pressured, no, actually self-pressured.

20 Jun: Did 108 Sun Salutations in celebration of International Yoga Day (personal yay but short lived). It's Father's Day. I start to feel worse. My best friend just got keys to her first new home. I am #fomo. My godson visits the zoo and he asked for me, I died.

Gabe also had a rough work week, that meant we were both not 100% or even 50% for each other which landed us in a quarrel. So that weekend was shitty, it was cold and rainy (didn't help with misery) and filled with emotions. On Monday, I realised it was pms, with very real symptoms and for my husband's knowledge and all living, want-to-live men here. It is,

The overlooked condition that can trigger extreme behaviour ~ someone wise

I will also have Misha Ketchell tell you that,

"PMS is real and denying its existence harms women" - click here , GABE

Not your regular Monday morning

The days that followed were not only physically challenging, but mentally and emotionally too. Prepped really hard with the help of Gabe testing me through scenario questions because I had a face-to-face interview on Thu (24/6) with the company from A's recommendation. On top of B's call that was rescheduled to Wed (23/6), on top of time-of-month, Covid cases rising, talk of potential lockdown and unstable emotions.

I hope you're keeping up with me! Ha, it was stressful. 3 interviews in a span of a week, and I was only starting to settle in. I am barely halfway through my knitting project!

Finding myself in this process after only being here in Australia for 2.5 weeks is probably something I wouldn't opt for and recommend to anyone who just migrated. I don't know what I was thinking, oh yes I was casually sending out my resume, you know, Test Water.

Getting callbacks and interest are no doubt encouraging, at the same time daunting. Truthfully, I don't know if I really want the job (yet), not knowing the country and adjusting. Going for interviews is a commitment, it's putting myself out there to be judged for a hard yes or no and that's very frightening for me.

But I did it. I concealed my winter (or pms) acne, bought myself a new top and jacket, lost sleep and gained courage doing those three interviews, two of which were back-to-back.

There were moments during preparation that I wanted to just call it off and not even try. To tell myself that it's okay to choose not to do it as well, and have a hundred reasons to back it up, knowing that it wouldn't make me lesser of a person. But, there's also that little voice saying "just do it, it's practice, just try. you can".

Even if it all fails, it's nice knowing I did that, and I can feel proud about it. Although a small part of me now also wonders if I'm making it too much of a deal. "It's only an interview, it's only a call, it's just a chat". Am I being too hard on myself, or being too soft? This questioning, being in flight vs fight mode, this place of unease, is not nice and most definitely, unwanted.

I know anxiety will be kicking in again soon because I have a second interview with company A on Thu, and will be hearing from B in the coming week.

I am still learning to handle homesickness, the unfamiliarly of it all, along with the discomfort and any resistance I have towards the move, but I know that I can allow myself to feel every emotion (just as I did before migrating) and see it as part of my self-development.

So, ask me again if we're doing great and I'd say, we're doing OK. And OK is good enough for me, because I recognise it now, this feeling of being stretched. The feeling of stretching yourself, with new challenges and with it, personal growth. And that doesn't come easy.

Having said that, I owe it to friends and family for making me feel better and giving me perspective. No matter how far, your support is so invaluable to me. It mostly takes its form in a WhatsApp message now but that message does a lot for me. So, thank you.

Making choices out of my comfort zone everyday, whether to be strong or to let go, to make tough decisions like we already have with this move is big life stuff. Remembering this,

And if this move doesn't work out (the way we hope), and I choose returning to Singapore, it's nice to know it is a choice. And I made that choice. And I would have grown in more ways than not.

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