Well, remember now I wrote in my previous post that I finally head the headspace to start planning, work on my PhD and focus on my weightloss journey again, because I had gotten a job and wasn’t going to start until Octorber? Well, guess what did not happen, because life threw me a (wonderful, but super stressful) curve-ball?
Just after I had accepted an archives related role with a big social media company, my former work in The Netherlands reached out to me with a job offer. It was an offer I honestly couldn’t refuse. The one I had just accepted was on a project basis for 3 to possibly 6 months, though it might get extended and was basically glorified data entry. Don’t get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with that. If that is your jam, more power to you! I, however, work better whilst doing a job that mentally challenges me. The project based job also meant I would be working as a contact worker and though the job agency did arrange for things like sick pay, paid holidays were not in the cards…. What my previous job offered me was a more challenging, better paying job, in a company I knew I loved, for 1 year after which I may be hired permanently and with much better benefits. Think travel cost reimbursement, holidays and holiday pay (in The Netherlands you get an x number of holidays based on the amount you work, as well as money called “holiday money” that is either payed every year in May or on a monhtly basis)…. Oh and did I mention the prospect of a Christmas package? I never realized this was a typically Dutch thing, but here in the Netherlands employers give their employees a package, which is kind of like a Christmas hamper, with goodies to thank them for their hard work in the past year…. Honestly UK bosses: you need to start doing this!
So as you can imagine, I actually turned down the project job and accepted the one at my previous job. I was on the payroll within 2 days and immediately had to get myself up to speed with everything, as I was to manage two big projects that were due to start in 2 weeks time…. Remember when I wrote that I like a job to challenge me? Well, I sure got what I wished for haha.
Having a job in the Netherlands of course also meant moving there… So after I felt like I got the hang of my new job, my spare time was taken up with digital house hunting and preparing for an international move during a global pandemic… Yeah… to say it was a stressful time is a bit of an understatement. Needless to say, I just put everything else (weight-loss, PhD etc.) back on the back burner for the time being. I just went into full-on surivival mode.
We were super lucky that my niece’s lovely husband volunteered to come and collect me and the cats and drive us back to the Netherlands with all our stuff. I cannot believe how lucky we are to have friends and family that are willing to literally drive to another country to come help us move. I feel truely, truely blessed.
By December 2nd we were back in Holland. I had taken a week off for the move, but had to immediately get back to work the Monday after. So I have basically been unpacking, working and getting ready for the holidays up until now… Though of course I have also made sure to make some time for family and friends. I had not seen my parents, mother-in-law or best friend for over a year… I had missed them so much, so damn right I was going to make time for them ;).
With everything going on it wasn’t until this week that I finally felt like I could sort of breath again and that I have been able to take stock of everything going on. This has also meant that I could finally deal with some of the emotions I have been pushing to the background just to get through the past couple of months without getting a mental breakdown.
This week I realized just how much of the past year I have been trying not to think about how much I was missing friends and family. I had not seen anyone in person for months. Since lockdown started in March, I had only gone out to “hang out” with other people once, which was on my last day of work at the Bodleian. Moreover, a questionaire from the University asking me for a PhD status update made me painfully aware that I had been avoiding thinking of how little I have been working on it all year. Let’s just say I shed some tears this week….
I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to 2021, which is going to be a much more stable year for me. And gosh, does stability sound good right about now. That is one of the reasons why I have decided to pick “stability” as my word for 2021. But more on that in the next post… Stay tuned and stay safe lovely people.