A Timeline

An editor once described my works as ‘elliptical and impressionistic’. She meant I meandered and could not pin the facts to the page.
I have left kind readers baffled as to my whereabouts. I have even led some to believe that I had been abandoned by Ant. No. Not yet. As I said: it could be worse.
So let me try to articulate withoput the waffle and the smoke and mirrors. Why do I do that? Because sometimes it’s hard to articulate with precision especially when the mess we find ourselves in is essentially wrought of our own making … one bad decision and the whole thing implodes.
In December 2011 I left the Outpost ahead of Ant to pursue a new dream. (That was the single bad decision with precipitated ensuing turmoil). One we’d talked about for years. He joined me three months later. And three months after that the dream went sour and we left it behind and moved to Zambia.
That didn’t work for lots of reasons and so we found a job Back Home, in Kenya, where we were both born, where my father was born. Where we have always felt as if we belonged. We drove there from Zambia, a road trip full of anticipation and excitement accompanied by two dogs and a cat. We’d only just got over the border when the investors told us that the money had dried up. We arrived anyway. Shellshocked. And limped along until it really was apparent there was no money for anything, least of all luxuries like salaries.
So we spent some fraught weeks (as our home-for-the-summer-holidays children tried not worry) looking for new jobs from our borrowed home near the beach (It Could Be Worse; we could have had nowhere to go. Kind M). And Ant was invited to London to interview for a new job. I was a little anxious about that. It tasted a little of Outpost remoteness but time has taught me that It Could be Worse and I’d go back to the Outpost in a heartbeat now, better a home and security than whirling dervish chaos. But to Ant it was a dream, doing what he does best and in a place he knows well. His exuberance and optimism carried me along, ‘It’s going to be good for us’, he said.
Then less than a week before he was to leave, and I to join him later, the employers-to-be admitted that there mightn’t be a job at all. Just a short term consultancy. Whilst we see if this works. When we’ve done the Business Plan. Shiny New Projects and Eager Investors; you’d think we’d learned our lesson by now.
So Ant has departed for the short term consultancy because we have bills to pay. And I am here. In the borrowed house (thank you M) with the animals, scouring the internet for jobs, tweaking CVs, trying hard to concentrate on something, anything, else and failing miserably, wondering why we recklessly abandoned what was safe, worrying about when we’ll have a home and stablity again. Trying, as my dear friend J does too, for different reasons (and here I steal her words) ’to leave it all behind in the dust… I have to keep reminding myself of this and not succumb to my inner nay sayer…to this practical mind which catastrophises in the dark hours of the early mornings when I can’t sleep. I sometimes get so afraid of what lies ahead’. I try not to check emails at 3am in the hope some glorious new and secure venture beckons. I try to remember to eat (Good Lord: 4pm. Did I forgetlunch?). I try to remember to laugh (and I did yesterday, when an over enthusiastic O’Malley-the-alley-cat plunged into the pool whilst stalking me as I swam).
And I remind myself, it could be worse.

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9 Responses to “A Timeline”

  1. TheMadHouse Says:

    Sending positives vibes across the miles

  2. Addy Says:

    That explains a lot. Hoping and praying with fingers crossed it all turns out well in the end.

  3. Was Living Down Under Says:

    I didn’t comment on yesterday’s post though I was glad to see it – though not glad that things haven’t landed for you yet.

    Uncertainty is disorienting. Reminding yourself that it could be worse is good in that it helps you stay positive. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it really is hard work to tread water for so long. Especially when you are on your own. I’m rooting for you from across the miles. I hope it all comes together for you soon. {hugs}

  4. Marie Says:

    Your style may be elliptical, but I have always understood exactly what and where you’re talking about. I may not know exactly what country, but those boundaries are silly and not reality anyway.

    Things can always get worse, but I hope this is the upswing for you.

    And I really thank you for sharing it, as it helps me. I’m in a new-ish job which I really really love in a tropical island paradise with good quality of life (if I can handle the monsoons, the vermin, the gecko poop, the “nothing is ever dry” humidity, etc.), but the pay is crap. NOt in an “oh we’ll exploit you” way but in a “nobody gets paid well in this country because we are tightening our belts for financial shortfall responsibility.” You remind me that a good imperfect stability can be better than the abyss I’ve been known to jump into repeatedly, despite it usually being very scary and always turning worse.

    I really hope this all turns out well for y’all soon. Very soon.

  5. Ellie Says:

    I tend to write in an elliptical fashion myself, often. In part, because that is simply who I am. Also, in part, due to needing to maintain some level of privacy on line for myself and for my children. I do love blogging and journalling of all kinds, and love the community of friends that has built up over the years. So on I write …

    I have always found your writing emminently accessible 🙂 and am so sorry that this rough cycle is yet keeping you in its grasp. Dreams are worth pursuing. I know that for my own self, I have to believe that good things come from bad. But I also know how wrenching it is to walk such paths. {{hugs}}

  6. janelle Says:

    ah anthea…there will be an open road sooner than you think….love ya. hang in there and funny cat story! xxx j

  7. Tom Says:

    Just stay healthy and hang in there. You’d be amazed at how surprisingly a new door opens.

  8. Kit Says:

    I so hope that this is finally the thing that works out and provides a settled home for you, and that you can breathe easily again.
    Elliptical is fine – it’s the feelings that you’re sharing, the facts are almost beside the point and you share those feelings so well I can understand exactly how it is to have torn up roots desperately looking for new soil to grow in.

  9. Connie Says:

    Hope all well

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