Would you go to Mars?

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I’m not sure how this related to Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, but at the latest Geneva Book Club meet somehow the mission to mars came up and was quickly dismissed as nothing more than crazy fantasy for unstable persons.

If you are unfamiliar with the mars mission in summary the idea is that a self-sustaining human colony will be established on Mars. From 2024, missions of four people at a time would head out to the planet every couple of year for a one-way trip. Thousands volunteered for the mission.

Internet connectivity should be available so colonists can keep up with friends and family and so that some big brother-esque entertainment show could be broadcast to those at home (‘this week vote for your least favourite missioneer to get sucked into the universal abyss…’).

At the post-book-club drinks we returned to the subject and the general consensus was that firstly, it was never going to happen  and secondly, even if it were actually possible, you’d have to be insane to volunteer. Clearly I fell into the insane category.  

My fellow book-clubbers already suspect I am a little odd. When asked as an ice-breaker question ‘what we’d most like to be remembered for after we die?’ some replied loyalty, sense of humour, writing a great piece of fiction, etc.. My answer? ‘I want to be remembered for saving the universe.’ Not even just the earth but the entire universe. I added that this was what I’d wish for the future, not something I actually thought I’d already achieved in case their nervous laughter was a distraction technique whilst someone snuck out to call the men in white coats to come and take me away.

You could say I have delusions of grandeur, I prefer to think of myself as just being very ambitious.

I’m not saying I would volunteer for the Mars mission but I wouldn’t absolutely rule it out either. I don’t deny that leaving friends and family behind never to be seen again would be a massively difficult undertaking even if you knew that you could still stay in virtual contact. The hardest part of being in Switzerland is not being able to regularly see loved ones in the flesh and that’s just an hour’s plane ride from the UK. Even with super rocket technology I’m pretty sure it’d be more than an hour’s ride away from Mars and in any case there wouldn’t be the possibility of going back. Ever.

But throughout human history examples can be found of people leaving everyone behind for a new journey from which they never expect to return. I doubt those on the Mayflower setting sail from the UK to the newly discovered America at the start of the seventeenth century ever expected to return to those left behind. The thousands of individuals every year who give up everything and leave everyone behind to undertake the dangerous journey to try and enter the US or Europe illegally might harbour some slim hope that their families can one day join them but probably know the chances of that happening are pretty unlikely.

So there is a human precedent for leaving people behind but the challenges wouldn’t end with those final farewells. The danger of getting there and trying to survive would probably be an hourly toil. So much could and probably would go wrong it’d be like a never-ending sequel to Gravity with nail-biting tension, just waiting for one disaster from the next to strike. As much as they are trying to prepare for all eventualities the planet is such a mystery that they can’t even know what the eventualities could be? Oxygen and food supplied running out are at the obvious end of the spectrum, monster mars sea storms chewing you up and spitting you out into a black hole like an expert pool hustler could be at the other.

martian poolBut, even so, the idea of going to Mars is absolutely amazing and maybe amazing enough to outweigh the negatives. To be the first colonists on another planet is just the tip of the Doctor Who imagined future I’d kind of like to be a part of.

That sense of discovery that must have sent shivers up the spines of those watching the first moon landing in 1969 multiplied into a scale as incomprehensible as the very idea of living on a different plant is really kind of awesome. It appeals to that sense of childish adventure I never really grew out of and whilst I no longer race to climb as high as possible up the nearest tree, that fear of falling has got in the way there, I am still drawn to that hidden entranceway or obscured cave or clearing or whatever presents the opportunity for secret discoveries.

Undoubtedly I’m also influenced by my love of Doctor Who and classic Sci-Fi my dad subjected me to including Blake 7 and old school Star Trek, which makes it probably a bit easier for me to imagine life on another planet than someone more grounded in reality.

On a good day I tend to think I’m both the centre of the universe and an insignificant speck in the history of time so perhaps the idea of literally being swallowed up into the unknowable fathoms of the universe but whilst leaving Earth as a hero etched, at the very least, into the genealogical tale-telling of future distant relatives (if not remembered by all humanity) does pander to my sense of (in)significance.

If I were to go I would fully expect my fiancé to come with me. I mean he came to Switzerland so it’s only right I should expect him to come with me to Mars as well, right?

What do you think? Am I a complete nutter who needs to be locked away for the sake of humanity and/or my long-suffering partner, or would you too be tempted to go to Mars if the opportunity presented itself?

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Going somewhere nice for Christmas? Well, bully for you!

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We made the decision not to head back to the UK for Christmas and will instead be experiencing our first Genevan Christmas.

I have come to understand that Geneva will be a quiet place for Christmas. Being a city that is comprised of approximately 40% expats it is natural that a lot of these non-Swiss will return back to their respective homelands for a Christmas with friends and family. Other residents will be running to the hills, as heading for the snow-capped mountains is a popular holiday tradition. This means there wont be many people actually left in Geneva.

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 2.24.47 PMI’m actually quite happy with the idea of a quiet Christmas this year. Yes, Christmases filled with friends and family are lovely and magical times but they can also be quite tiring.

As so much of Christmas is a time for thinking about loved ones there is a great deal of pressure to find time to catch up with everyone you care about in this condensed holiday period. Whilst this is wonderful it also entails lots of travelling around, events and activities and very little rest time. Factor in the reality that if you are taking a decent amount of time off over the holidays (and I’ve always been lucky enough to do so) this means there is always a lot of work to be done before the end of the year.

So you are usually tired approaching the holiday season and by the end of it might be more exhausted starting the new year than you were ending the old one. Having had a quite eventful year (moving country, starting a new job, enjoyable but demanding trips to the UK and a wedding abroad) I’m quite looking forward to a quiet Christmas this year with my bearded man and cats.

However, when chatting with various people about their plans for the upcoming holidays a lot of people have expressed surprise at my staying in Geneva for the entire duration of the holidays. A surprise that suggests that this is a mistake and it will absolutely be the worst Christmas I will ever have. Or if they don’t say as much they might pull a face that looks like this:

Shocked face - bp image

At the book club Christmas party last night I was speaking with a friend who said he was staying in Geneva but added the explanation, because clearly he felt he needed one, that he would be going skiing in the mountains. To express my frustration at having to yet again explain and defend my holiday plans I uttered four little words: ‘well, bully for you’ and then started laughing. Aware this was a pretty rude response I tried to explain it was a private joke between me and …er…me, or to be more accurate between me and the memory of my Granny.

Several years, actually decades, ago, when I must have been somewhere around six or seven, I attended a family party for my uncle’s 40th birthday. My Granny and Grandad had divorced long before I was born and generally did their best to avoid each other, however this was one of those rare occasions when both happened to be in the same place at the same time with the same people.

My Granddad, no doubt in the spirit of family goodwill, came to where me and mum where chatting with Granny and started a conversation. He started to tell us about a recent holiday he had been on and my Granny just looked up at him from her wheelchair, said ‘Well, bully for you’ tartly and promptly wheeled away.

I’m not really sure exactly what it was about the scenario that I found and continue to find quite so funny. I think there was a lot of genuine ill-feeling as my Granny delivered her damning one-liner to my Grandad and moved away. But over the years both mum and I have come to adopt the phrase and liberally use it to express mock indignation at anyone we perceive to be potentially bragging about any experiences, circumstances, etc. And every time I say that phrase I remember my Granny and it makes me laugh.

Last night after making a pathetic attempt to explain why I just insulted my friend’s holiday plans and then started laughing about it the memory stayed with me and continued to amuse me. Walking home later that evening, I recalled the conversation and the phrase I’d used and started laughing to myself all over again. I’m grinning away to myself as I type this right now.

Just saying those words or thinking about them brings a smile to my face or laughter to my lips. And, even though when my Granny uttered them she didn’t mean them to be quite so amusing, it also fills me with a very happy feeling about Gran that I can’t fully explain. Perhaps it is just that in repeating those words I can recall her so vividly in all her wonderful, flawed and complete humanity that it makes me feel close to her. There are lots of great memories I have of my Granny, particularly playing a lot of Mahjong or Rummikub, but that particular ‘well, bully for you’ memory surfaces most frequently when that phrase she bequeathed me slips off my tongue so easily.

I wonder if others have such equally bizarre triggers for remembering someone who is no longer a part of our lives for whatever reason? So if I ever seem to guffaw at your new watch, holiday plans or whatever with those particular words don’t take it personally but know that I’m remembering someone I loved in my own unique way.

Unstuck in time

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This week I have been trying to plan a number of international calls for my boss. I have a useful device on my computer where I can easily compare the times of our office with those he regularly connects with around the world. So usually this is pretty straight forward, except that I have been trying to coordinate calls that will happen after the clocks have changed in Geneva. In some countries clocks don’t change at all and in others they don’t change when ours do. And for some reason trying to figure this out makes my brain bleed.
I can check a hundred times that in a particular week Geneva will be an additional hour ahead of New York but when I look at the time scroller I can’t compute the adding on of that extra hour and have to start again. It’s like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face and I can’t get it to slow down enough for me to figure it out.
P1000461The concept of time is a strange thing and I’m not 100% sure that I believe in it as I am supposed to. A month or two back we read Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ for book club. The book is told in a non linear fashion and centres around the character of Billy Pilgrim who becomes ‘unstuck in time’.
I read the book and listened to the club debate whether it should be classified as science fiction, whether Billy should be considered to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or whether the unsticking in time is simply an old man reminiscing. Being the somewhat simple person that I am I read it and just accepted the time travel as a perfectly normal aspect of the narrative.
To be honest it kind of made sense. I think I know that time moves in a regimented, chronological, one-minute-follows-another-minute sort of way, but that’s not how we experience it. So I wonder if the concept of time that I think I know is just one version of the reality of this?
I’ve been experiencing déjà vu quite a lot recently, that sense of half-remembered names and faces that I’ve already encountered some time ago. I looked online and found a lot of simple(ish) scientific explanations for déjà vu. But what if the explanation is even simpler, a moment or experience feels familiar because you actually have seen or experienced it before at another time?
Perhaps time is much more like a wheel within a wheel than the straight line we think, and every so often whilst spinning around one wheel we might get teeny glimpses of something that’s on another wheel we aren’t supposed to be circling yet? Like the fleeting moment of identifying a face in the crowd when on a ride at a fairground before the image is snatched away.
When they first turned on the large hadron collider at CERN, which I visited last weekend, there were fears that it would create a black hole and destroy life as we know it. The scientists involved said that was ridiculous and wouldn’t happen but when asked what would be the outcome of their work they didn’t, and still really don’t, know what the effects might be. Nerds (myself included) across the world are mostly keeping our fingers crossed for the coolest possible scientific outcome, that is to say time travel.
LHCbI like time travel stories and the fiancé and I have just decided to start watching all the rebooted Doctor Who (from 2005) from episode one, series one. I love the show but it always leaves me with a lot of questions.
Like how is anything ever a surprise for the Doctor? For example when he meets a potential new companion, how does he not instantly recognize them from future memories? When he’s in a sticky situation why can he never remember how to get out of it? And also, why are his companions always pretty young women? My constant questions become words that jangle in my head and are probably evidence of my tendency to over-think things rather than just go with the flow but the whole concept of time travel is just a circle in a spiral that keeps on spinning!
The idea of being able to visit different ages and different periods in history is definitely appealing. I’m pretty sure I’d make an excellent Tudor and would obviously love to see if hover cars ever do become the reality futuristic films promise.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut if you had the ability to time travel would you be able to avoid the temptation to visit your own history? If you could change the things you are not proud of or glimpse into the future to see what happens, would you? And if you could time travel and could make the odd adjustment here and there would this change who you are? If you knew your future would you experience your life differently?
And if time isn’t altered so easily and isn’t so much a line as a circle would we, like Billy Pilgrim, live our lives on a constant loop, that never really ends or begins but rather lurches from one key moment to another? Would life become a trap, a nightmarish existence of endlessly reliving every moment?
Would I at least be able to figure out what time zones Geneva and connecting cities are in, relying on future successes, or would I have to experience the pain of figuring this out for an eternity?

The Blog Hop

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I have been nominated to participate in a blog hop by WA Woman to World, which entails answering the questions below and then nominating two other blogs to share their responses.

Firstly, thanks Michelle for the nomination. I met Michelle at my very first Geneva International Book Club meeting. The club is a lovely(ish) group of people whose warm welcome to Geneva, where every comment is welcomed and valued if not necessarily agreed with, made me first feel at home in this strange city. And Michelle was one of the first people here in Geneva I really connected with. I was delighted to discover her blog and get to know her better through this medium as well as regular book club meets and to discover what a warm-hearted, funny and inspiring woman she really is. I loved her blog so much that it motivated me to start my own and her words of support were really encouraging.

What are you working on?

That really depends on how you want to define ‘work’. If we are going for the traditional sense in terms of societally-defined gainful employment for which I exchange skills for the money to pay rent and eat, then I am working for an international NGO for the advancement of human rights.

Human rights has been something I’ve been passionate about since we had a talk from a representative of Amnesty International when I was in secondary school. I felt a pull to do something about the global inequality where the rights I take for granted are denied to so many others. This started with my joining a local Amnesty group, later I undertook a Masters Degree in Human Rights, an internship with the Cambodian Centre of Human Rights followed in 2013 and now I’m here in Geneva hoping to put my organizational skills to use for something I care about.

In terms of the broader sense of ‘work’ well, I now have this blog but, my biggest non-work-work is ‘me’. It’s an ongoing project to try and be the best version of myself, not to let myself be held back by fears and to open myself up to new experiences whilst at the same time learn to appreciate the here and now. It’s an ambitious challenge I suspect won’t be finished anytime soon. At the moment, to provide slightly more specific examples, it includes learning French, enjoying a healthier version of me through improved diet and increased exercise, practicing drawing and trying not to be so darn addicted to social media apps on my phone and at work.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

In terms of the blog writing, I wouldn’t say I have a unique voice or perspective, because I doubt whether there is any such thing as a truly original thought or piece of work. Even if you think you are being radically different from everyone else there are probably loads of other people with exactly the same idea, which may or may not have been put into practice or vocalised yet. Or perhaps I’m just not original enough to accept the concept of originality in others.

I started my blog thinking what I was saying was revolutionary, that no-one would have heard anything of the like before. I was quite astounded by the amount of people who came back to me saying this is exactly how they feel. At first I felt a little put out by that but actually I’ve realised how great this is and now I love the idea that through opening myself up on the blog others may find things they can relate to. Through doing my part to create a little interconnectivity I hope we can all feel a little less alone and a little stronger.

But even if we share the same ideas with others which ideas we have in common, how we voice these, how these affect us and shape our own understandings is unique to all of us. I’m trying to hold onto the thought that I am both nothing more than a snowflake in a blizzard and nothing less than a one of a kind snowflake. It’s a dizzying vertigo effect of trying to balance one’s own sense of self-importance with the realisation of one’s insignificance.*

Perhaps my work is different in not trying to be different and not really trying to be anything more nor anything less than mine? Or perhaps it’s the same as everyone else’s in this respect?

Why do you create what you do?

For some time I’ve thought there is a novel or two inside me but it occurred to me that I wouldn’t become a bestseller anytime soon unless maybe I started writing a bit more frequently. I then met a couple of inspirational bloggers and I thought I’d start my blog as a technical challenge to polish my writing skills. However I completely underestimated the effect that blogging would have on me and this developed into a passion in itself.

I wasn’t sure, and still aren’t, exactly where I wanted to go with the blog and what I wanted to say. But I did know that I wanted to write honestly about who I am and how I understand and interpret the world around me. Through trying to truthfully address my sense of self and then put it out there for others through this blog it’s actually helping me to understand myself better.

The concept of the blog was to spell out my life philosophy and how I’m applying that on a daily basis. Since starting the blog I discovered my philosophy isn’t as concrete as I had imagined and is constantly evolving, so this will continue to be something to work on.

How does your creative process work?

Deadlines are pretty essential to how I operate. I’m very good at wasting time and can spend whole weekends doing nothing more than flitting between television, books or perhaps having a little wander outside. I blame my dad, he is king of the procrastinators and passed that particular talent on to me.

So I imposed a weekly deadline on myself, which I’ve actually managed to stick to reasonably well, and try to avoid the trap of thinking ‘oh well it doesn’t matter this week’. I know that sort of thinking will be a slippery slope for me because if I start to make excuses it gets easier to keep on making excuses and before you know it months will have gone by without a single new post.

Knowing I have the weekly deadline means my inspiration drive is pretty much always whirring away in the background looking for ideas for the next post. Sometimes it’s obvious and I’ll see, experience or feel something that moves me to write and sometimes I have to work a bit harder to try and find anything worth expressing. I’m starting to develop a little store of rainy day blogging ideas to avoid moments of panic about what the heck I’m going to write about next, which has happened a few times.

Book club has also been a useful muse by pointing me towards reading books I wouldn’t have read otherwise, thinking about books in greater depth than I used to and most importantly from getting insights into others on how they have interpreted the same texts I’ve read. We all have the same material but our brains make quite different work of it, proving humans are pretty amazing and providing plenty of food for thought.

My nominees

I have chosen to nominate the blog ‘Lori and the Caravan.’ Lori is a truly inspirational person who is not afraid of a challenge and shares her experiences openly and honestly through her blog. Amongst other things she is a loving mother, a historical geek, a passionate vintage promoter, and, obviously a blogger. I worked with Lori in London and then our lives took us in different directions and we drifted, but I’ve been able to reconnect with her through her blog. You can also check out her shop and start thinking of little people you can buy Lori’s great vintage finds for.

My other nominee is the brilliantly insightful ‘Self-styled life’. This was one of the first blogs I discovered when I started my own blogging adventure and it really resonated with me. Despite the fact Jean and I have never met, live on different continents and have very different lives I have felt a connection with her through her writing. When first starting out it was really encouraging to find a blogger that could entertain and move me (my last blog post was directly inspired by one of hers). Her blog was the first stranger’s blog I dared to comment on and I have really appreciated her warm and thoughtful responses to my random comments. It’s nice to know the internet isn’t such a scary place full of trolls under every article.


*This is starting to sound either a bit profound or super self-indulgent and poncey, sorry if it’s the latter.

The ambition to be human

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“It comes to this,” Tarrou said almost casually; “what interests me is learning how to become a saint.”

“Perhaps,” the doctor answered. “But, you know, I feel more fellowship with the defeated than with saints. Heroism and sanctity don’t really appeal to me, I imagine. What interests me is being a man.”

“Yes, we’re both after the same thing, but I’m less ambitious.”

– The Plague by Albert Camus

As promised to one brother I am returning this week to a less heavy-going, non-political, more happy-go-lightly post. This will probably disappoint my other brother but hey ho, you can’t keep all of the people happy all of the time.

This week in book club we were discussing Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, which led to a discussion about post traumatic stress disorder and then about why some people care more about certain things than others.

There was general acceptance amongst the group, perhaps more readily by some than others, that to shut oneself off from the traumas of the world is an essential human coping mechanism.

I agree it simply isn’t possible to constantly feel for all the tragedies that are enacted out across the globe at any given time. Right now, current tragedies include the two Malaysian passenger air line disasters: one missing one shot down; the Air Algerian plane crash; the situation in Syria; the fact that there are now estimated to be more refugees than at any other time in history; the situation in Gaza; the rise of Boko Haram and the missing schoolgirls abducted in Nigeria; travesties of democracy in Cambodia; and Isis’s latest announcement that FGM will be mandatory. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

There are simply too many awful things for us to focus on at any one time, even if we wanted to, and so we don’t.(Perhaps this post isn’t quite so happy-go-lucky as I had intended after all – sorry bro.)

One book clubber asked does it take a crisis to make us care? Certainly when a crisis takes place many people are great at demonstrating that they do care. When I was a student I worked at a call centre, which often volunteered to man donation phone lines in response to global disasters or for Comic Relief. I took donations from a wide range of individuals, from all walks of life, many of whom giving sums they couldn’t really afford precisely because they did care about what was happening and wanted to help. So people really are wonderful.

And some people dedicate their lives to making the world a better place for others, providing their time, money or skills for the benefit of others. These people are exceptional. These people are saints.

But it doesn’t make the rest of us bad people because we don’t dwell on these things all the time. Yes, there are many terrible things that happen but there are also many wonderful things that happen too and it is important, at times, to hold onto the horror and the beauty. But being able to enjoy life at the same moment in time that someone elsewhere isn’t enjoying life doesn’t make us the antithesis of saints. It makes us human.

If you are a dedicated fan of my blog (a.k.a. my mother) you will be aware that I called the blog fearofthereaper and started all this as part of an ongoing evaluation of how my life is progressing. More often than not my focus tends to be on positive things I have achieved to become the person I want to be, but it is also important to reflect, from time-to-time, on the things I’m less proud of and on the kind of person I do not want to be.

I do not have the ambition to be a saint, I do have the ambition to be a human. Like so many things in my life, this is something I have the power to realise.

Let me give you a recent example: I had just moved to a new area in Geneva, my French was worse than it is now (which still borders on Yoda-like gibberish) and I was walking to the nearest shopping centre when I walked past an elderly woman who called out to me in French.

Thoughts that ran through my head went something like this: oh no, a human being wants to interact with me and I’m not in the mood, she probably wants something of me that I don’t want to give, she might be selling magazine subscriptions, my language skills are so bad I probably won’t understand anyway, someone else is bound to help, not my responsibility.

And I carried on walking. After about 10 metres I turned to look back, saw no-one else had stopped but walked on a bit further. But then it hit me that I didn’t want to be the kind of person that would just ignore someone calling out to them and so I stopped pretending not to hear and turned around and walked back.

I understood enough French to feel guilty when she thanked me for coming to help her (guilty for not stopping straight away) and to understand what she wanted, which turned out to be directions to a place I didn’t know. So it turned out I couldn’t help her but I did wait until we could find someone who could at least speak to her intelligibly in her language and I did, eventually, try.

I believe all humans are capable of both wonderful and terrible things and the capacity for good and let’s not say evil but instead let’s say less-good is something that resides within all of us all of the time.

How much we are influenced by the good over the less-good depends on a lot of factors: what’s going on in our lives, how we are feeling, how others are treating us and so on. Often we can’t control these factors but we can control how we respond. This I think is what it means to be human, if we take being human as deciding to be the best version of ourselves that we can be.

 

The arrival of the fiancé!

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Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.’ – Lao Tzu.
On Wednesday my fiancé came to Geneva. Not for a visit but to live. This isn’t a post about how my life is all sunshine and roses now that he’s here. Neither is it a post about mourning for the end of my Swiss bachelerotte days. If anything this post is a bit of a shoulder shrug to whatever it is I’m supposed to feel about all this.
I’m afraid I am not of the ‘You’re Nobody til Somebody Loves You’ philosophy (sorry Dean Martin). Nor do I believe that my fiancé completes me or that my life was somehow lacking until I met him. Don’t get me wrong having him to share my life with is great and he complements me in a way that has enriched my life, it just hasn’t made it ‘whole’.
What I love most about him (see I’m not so unsentimental I can’t use that word) is that he endorses the idea that it’s alright being me, because I’m alright as I am actually. I’m not a puzzle missing half the pieces that he gets to transform into the full picture.
And with the fiancé and the cats and the unpacked belongings in the new flat Geneva is starting to feel a bit more normal. But that feeling of normality is strange in itself. I’ve been here for over four months now but up until now it hasn’t really felt like I’ve lived here. I’ve worked, I’ve explored, I’ve tried new things and met new people but it has all felt a bit transitory. Now that he’s arrived the Geneva adventure has taken on more of a realistic tinge and has become that bit more ordinary.
People keep telling me it must be wonderful and so much better now he’s here. And it is but, if I’m honest, it is also going to take a bit of getting used to. I’ve had a fair few visitors since I’ve been here so I’m used to giving people my undivided attention and a glimpse of Geneva living. I’m also used to them going home after a few days. What I’m not used to is the constant presence of someone else sharing my life with me. Or more precisely this is what I’m no longer used to.
Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 2.22.17 PMMe and the fella have been together for quite some time (seven years and counting). We’ve worked together, got cats together, lived together, been on holidays together, grown together and even managed to get engaged. It’s not like I’m not used to him its just that for the last four months we’ve been living completely separate existences that we’ve talked to each other about but haven’t shared in the same way.
He’s had to deal with all the realities of our upping sticks and moving to Geneva as I left in a bit of a flash and wasn’t able to help much in the wrapping up of our UK life. He had to move back in his with parents, sort the flat out for renters, notify relevant people/companies/etc. about leaving the country and finish up at work. I’ve had to carve out a new life for myself here, find a flat, find my way around, work out how the public transport works!
This rather special human being has enough faith in me to uproot his life entirely to take a chance on Geneva living with me. That’s a truly wonderful thing, it’s also pretty terrifying. It’s one thing taking chances and trying new challenges that just affect me, it’s quite another taking chances and trying new challenges with the responsibility that if it all goes pear-shaped it wont just be me that suffers the consequences.
Over the course of the seven plus years we’ve been together. We haven’t completed one another but have come to know each other well enough that we can both derive strength from the relationship and have courage to face challenges knowing that we’ve got a bit of reliable back-up in our corner.
He’s pretty good at encouraging me and giving me strength at those times when I’ve wanted to give up and go home. Also he has a marvelous ability to helpfully point out that we can’t go home as someone else lives there now.
Ultimately if Geneva turns out to be a massive disaster that will be on my head, although I can trust that he wont rub it in too much, but without him I don’t know if I’d have had the courage to try.