What Do I WANT?

Apologies for not writing this month. It’s been a busy and (sort of) strange one.

Due to some short-staffing in my department at work, I’ve been working more than usual. It’s taken a bit of a toll, sapping energy and motivation.

Adding to that, my workplace is in the midst of budget cuts and – as a result of that – layoffs.

For the last two and half weeks, the work environment was weird, tense, and perhaps a bit anxious.

And then last week happened.

Instant messages over computer, lowered voices in corners and hallways, speaking in sad, hushed tones about co-workers who had meetings with bosses in cramped offices … being told they were being let go … that while they were perfectly welcome to stay in touch, not to count on getting steady employment – that they were better off looking elsewhere.

I was not one of those who had a meeting. However, in the days leading up to those pink slips being handed out, I didn’t lull myself into a false sense of security. I kept reminding myself that – like anyone – my job could be at stake.

It also had me thinking about what I would do, if I were to get a much-feared meeting.

Honestly, by this point, exhausted – perhaps a bit burned out – by work, I couldn’t imagine myself crying over a decision that wasn’t in my favour. I’m not sure I would have been upset at all.

On a personal level, things are … okay. When I haven’t been working like an ox, I’ve been trying to get out and do things here and there. I signed off for another online dating Web site. But it seems I’m running into more of the same types of people that turned me off the previous site. So I took a break in mid-March, slightly discouraged, wondering if it’s even worth it.

I remember mentioning my experiences with a friend at work – someone who’s had a couple of long-term relationships and not doing shabbily at all in the dating department – and she asked me: What is it that I’m looking for? What is it, exactly, that I want?

Perhaps this is the question that applies to all aspects of my life.

What is it that I want?

I keep asking myself this question. And I don’t think I have or know the answer. Or, everytime I try to answer, the words come to mind seem … I don’t know, trite? Phony? Cliche?

Maybe what I want is to have more fun with my life? I honestly don’t know anymore.

I’m hoping that this summer is my first chance in two years to do things other than just work. To do fun things that all my other friends do. Perhaps I’ll re-discover and re-claim a little bit of who I am. Or finally start to discover it.

Central Europe: Epilogue 2.0

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I got back. 

My re-entry back into rainy Toronto wasn’t as humdrum as I hoped. I was stuck at the airport for an extra hour and a half because I gave my parents the wrong arrival time. And Thanks to one supposedly efficient German airline (I’m looking at you, Lufthansa), my luggage was stuck in Manchester for three days.

But when I got home, man, was I EVER glad to have my first hot shower on North American soil. 

Much like my return from Spain last year, the travel bug has got me in a headlock. I’m restless, but not nearly as cranky as I was previously.

It could have something to do with how short this trip was. It might also have something to do with the last-minute planning on my part and the tour’s hit-the-ground-running, frenetic pace.

Make no mistake. I met a lot of cool people during my trip, a few of whom I’ve been keeping in touch with. I saw a lot of places I probably wouldn’t have gotten to in my lifetime, had I not taken on this itinerary. And I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the places I visited. I definitely would like to return one day.

But I have to say, I don’t like flitting around like that- at least in Europe. I like going at my own pace, spending at least two or three days in a city, rather than only a day and a half. I like marinating in my surroundings, if you will. Yes, I can now say I’ve been to these places. But in my heart, I know I haven’t truly been. Know what I mean?

I haven’t had a whole lot of down-time since I returned. I’ve been back at work for exactly a month now. And I’ve got the usual things on the brain. What I’m going to do about my current job situation … My living situation … 

And with the bank stamp barely dry on the enormous VISA bill I just paid, I’m already thinking about my next trip. I don’t even know if it’ll come to fruition, but if I can make it happen, I know of two things:

(1) It will be on a continent other than Europe. (Unless I somehow make big enough bucks to make a short stop somewhere on the way home.)

(2) I would like to go next spring – sometime around March or April … time and finances permitting.

If there was only a way to bank enough days in lieu and and work save enough cash to make it happen …

 Guess I’ll have to wait and see, won’t I ?