I´ve been living a very temporary life for the last eight years and it´s time that stopped. When I was in Australia in February I made a decision to move us back there. DrH would just have to search for work there, even though the possibilities are nowhere near as good as in Europe. I´d been waiting too long, I´d decided. I wanted to go home.
Where everything would be alright again.
But this, I´ve come to realise, was wrong. Being in Australia wouldn´t fix my problems, it´d just change their geography. My problem is that I´ve been having a shit of a time working out what I want to do with my life and implementing it. Because I´m hung up on this idea of respect.
It appears that I am not one of those people who can say “Dang what they think, I´m doing something different.” I thought I was but, well, nope. I´ve always wanted the respect of others, something which came almost automatically with the title of “Scientist”. That´s a difficult drug to give up, especially when others around you are asking when you are going to get a real job and use your qualifications again.
So over the last year I haven´t taken myself seriously. Sure, I´ve started My Personal Projects, as I have called them here, but I haven´t even told half the people what they are for fear of being sneered at or dropping a few rungs in their esteem. It appears the proud feminist has a very large weak spot after all.
This has all become clear in the last two weeks talking with Permanent HoliDave and OurManInTokyo, two people who´ve also followed a different route and also get the pressure of “When are you coming home” and “How about getting a real job?” But rather than wallowing in insecurity the way I have, they´ve ignored it and gotten on with their lives.
They have great lives and they are very, very, very good at what they do. And I respect them both immensely.
But back to me (my favourite topic after all). Here it comes: I don´t want to be a scientist anymore. I´ll happily continue with freelance crystallographer work if I get it -it certainly helps pay the bills -but I don´t want it full time. Nor do I want a full time job in tech transfer. Not right now at least. I give myself the right to change my mind about that in the future.
Nope, now I´m going to be doing what interests me, the things that I actually CAN get myself out of bed at 6am for. I have a small business doing alternative-style embroidery designs. That is fun and creative and I think I´m good at it. I´ve had designs published in embroidery magazines and one coming out in a book in November. And I write. I write an embroidery column, I write articles for a refugee organisations newsletter, I´ve had several articles published in print media and I´ve submitted short fiction to various magazines. I´m going to keep writing because it excites me.
And I´m going to stay in Germany because, although it can get up my nose at times, it is more home than anywhere else these days. Here my husband is happy and I think I will be too now that I´ve accepted it as permanent. Here I have freedom I probably wouldn´t have in Australia.
So there. The impressive international scientist is gone, replaced by me. Just me.