26 April 2011

The future knit to the present

Yoko and I had a scary conversation today about the next couple of months. It's like this: next week I will go to Spain for RaAM, come back for Mother's Day (US and Japan), then Mei's Birthday (May 9), conference at OU (May 10-11), Naomi's birthday (May 15), and then the beginning of preparing for the baby. 17 June, Yoko's mom comes, then the baby, and then Yoko's dad comes, Yoko and I have our wedding anniversary, and Yoko's parents go back on 14 July. We try to take a picture of the baby for the US passport, get all the necessary papers together. My parents come at the end of July for a week. I take a week of vacation. We get the passport. It's the middle of August.

It's the middle of August and I have a year left. A year to finish the PhD, get a job, and move my little family somewhere in the world, a somewhere that is completely up in the air, although I have theories about where it might be. The point of all this is that the end and the new beginning are coming and they are going to come quickly. Having a newborn is like losing three to six months of your life. The PhD is bound to become more and more a perpetual disorder machine: I have felt it this week as I try to put my literature review together. The more I write, the less I feel like I know anything about anything.

The decisions we will make with only a year left will be much different. We will acquire less. I will probably take on two or three classes at Middlesex in the Autumn to prepare for the possible cost of moving. We won't sleep, the baby will be up all night, and I will sleepwalk into the future.

But this is the thing, after the baby is born and has a passport, I am open for business and will be looking for a real job. Not earnestly at first, but from October of 2011 until the end, we are potentially 1-3 months at any time from picking up and leaving for anywhere in the world. How crazy is that. It's like a tinderbox with a match getting closer and closer. It will affect choices about what to acquire, what to throw away. If the car breaks down, we probably wouldn't fix it or get a new one. These are the sorts of things that start to change when you know you're leaving.

Leaving for anywhere in the world. Spin the globe, close your eyes, and point. I'm looking at possibilities everywhere right now. My criteria is interesting work with good pay in a safe place with good potential support apparatus for the family. And that's anywhere. And it's exciting. Rather than choosing to languish in the UK hoping that something will work out, shelling out thousands for visas, and doing bits of part-time work. That was what I had been expecting. Not any more.

My excitement about this will turn to terror and back to excitement and then to boredom and melancholy as nothing seems to happen. And then, before I know it, I will be buying four and half plane tickets to somewhere. How exciting is that.
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