Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I don’t want to miss a thing

I’ve come under a lot of pressure lately from people I know, and people I don’t, to relocate to London permanently. While the thought has crossed my mind on numerous occasions, when I think about it, there’s more pulling me back to South Africa than there is keeping me in London.

Truth be told, I can’t wait to go home. To hug my family, to snuggle my pets, to be silly with my friends… While I am loving (almost) every minute here, home really is where the heart is.

I worry every day that I am being selfish in not wanting to forget everything and stay. My husband loves it here (actually, I think ‘love’ isn’t a strong enough word), and while I acknowledge that there probably are better opportunities for the both of us, I’m just not getting excited about the prospects. For hubby, London is the obvious choice: his line of work is more accepted and mainstream; he has access to virtually any artist and is learning amazing things from them; and everything he wants, whether it be a new machine or fancy inks, is in reach for him – both physically and financially. It’s no longer just a pipe dream.

Granted, I could probably say the same for myself. I probably COULD get a fantastic job; I probably COULD get some awesome experience; I probably COULD earn a half-decent salary, but I couldn’t be bothered to go out and look for it. Perhaps I’m too scared that something good will come along and then I won’t WANT to leave – that terrifies me.

Being in London for three months, I have missed two friends’ weddings, another friend’s pregnancy and, most importantly, my nephew growing up, my brother’s first real girlfriend and the most exciting time of my sister’s life. I am petrified that something should happen to someone close to me in SA while I am here, and I won’t be able to say that I spent their last few months with them or that I was there to experience something thrilling in their lives. While this is something I could probably overlook until early next year when we are due to come home, it’s not something I could live with permanently. I don’t want to miss out on the important things.

Yes, the transport here is super-efficient, but I miss my car and not having to rely on bus schedules. Yes, it’s great not having to worry about crime, but I’m still convinced it’s a false sense of security. Yes, there is a ton of cool stuff to do and places to go, but I miss not having my best friends around to share it with. Yes, anything is accessible, whether it be a fancy flatscreen or the latest iPhone, but I miss good old family time minus the material bullshit.

I want to live a life where my sister is just a phone call away, I can pop over to my folks’ whenever I want to, and have a handful of close friends over for some good laughs. I don’t care about free medical, once-a-year insurance and super-fast trains.

That's not important to me. Family is and I don’t want to miss a thing.

1 comment:

  1. Awww, friend... It must be so hard for you. Possibly one of the most difficult decisions you'll ever have to make. I also feel that family and your true happiness is most important, but at the same time, it's tough to make that kind of decision when you're married and your significant other is so happy there.

    Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure it'll be the best thing for you and Jan.

    If you decide to stay in London, I'll miss you very much, though :(