Expectation, Fear, and Change

I find the idea and illusion of something often seems a lot more illustrious and interesting than the reality. Looking for a job and an apartment sounds infinitely more interesting when I say I’m doing it “in Scotland.” Like somehow those two words make my life seem a fascinating arrangement of new sights, sounds, people, and experiences. Don’t get me wrong…this is true, but it’s not quite as shiny as one would expect. I think it’ll disappoint a lot of you to learn that the illustrious joy of “job searching” doesn’t appeal any more over here than it does at home. Applying for jobs was never fun, but I also feel like I’m taking a step backwards in a way as I’m just looking to get any sort of employment so money can start coming in. Barista, reception, front desk…anything. I’ve accepted a job as a barista but I’m already not looking forward to it much. I want to state that this is NOT because I think these jobs are “beneath me” or whatever, I just miss being a massage therapist, and it’s frustrating that the bureaucracy over here is so slow thus preventing me from going after massage jobs. I’m super proud of my sister who found a job that she seems to be throughly enjoying. It’s long weeks, and even longer hours, but she enjoys going to work every day, and enjoys her coworkers, and I couldn’t be prouder of her for already building a life here.

I’ve learned that while there are quite a few theaters here in Edinburgh, entering the theater community here is pointless. The professional theaters here are touring shows, and the other companies are small 3 day performance, university run, theaters. Turns out the work I am interested in is in London. I had a feeling this was the case, but it’s so expensive to live there, I wrote London off until I was more established in the UK. I immediately applied for a subscription to ‘Spotlight’ which is where all auditions in the UK are sent. I send my headshot/resume out to any I’m applicable for but thus far nothing has bitten. Even if it has, I’m screwed because not only are the auditions in London, but the gigs are as well. All of them. Or somewhere in England. I’ve yet to see one in Scotland. It’s only a 90 minute flight to get there but still. Problems upon problems you know?

I’ve been questioning a lot of things since I’ve been here which I know has been a real strain on my sister. I don’t mean for this, and I’m certainly not intending that to be the case, but I can’t seem to find my footing. Many will say this is an obvious feeling. We only arrived a little over a month ago. The illusion that we’ll have found footing this fast is a folly and an impractical idea (though my sister already has found her footing so….boo to you people). I hear all those imaginary opinions, but I wonder if my unease is a greater feeling. I find myself questioning if I actually want to be here or not. If I even want to try to make a life here, and I’m sorry but I’m strongly finding the answer to be no. It’s totally not fair, because I have another person relying on me for half of everything so I can’t exactly pick up and do whatever I want but the more I think about it, the more I’m realizing that the original reason for me coming over here was thrust aside with the shiny idea of “just doing it.” And now that I’m here, I find that I don’t want to do it. That I liked my life the way it was, and my wanting to be here was to further my career. To become better at what I love to do, and to expand my horizons in an active way. In a way that had momentum and heading toward something I wanted. Not to randomly go out and find a new place to live, just because I could.

There are those whom I’ve spoken to about this who believe I’m only saying this because of the newness of everything. That I will eventually find happiness here and I just need to stick it out. But what, I ask you, is the point of sticking it out if I have nothing to stick it out for? Why live in a place that doesn’t provide me with anything that furthers me or makes me fulfilled? Because of a romantic notion of a foreign country being better than the life I already was living? Because the idea of the whispered judgments of loved ones behind my back saying I gave up scares me? Maybe….

This is by far the most honest blog entry I’ve written to date. I write this with a lot of fear about how people will take what I’m saying. It’s one thing to know the people who love you will love you no matter what, but it’s quite another for them to say they love you and still think you’re making a mistake. Who think they know you better than you know yourself, or think you’re doing the wrong thing. Who question your motives, or wonder if it’s just fear and loneliness; fleeing emotions and the like. I write it anyway in an attempt to explain my thoughts, and express how I’m feeling, and express how I’ve felt since…if I’m being completely honest, months before even coming here. I don’t want to be here anymore and I don’t want to make a life here. And I fear the judgement of my friends and family for having those thoughts and feelings.

Now that’s not to say great things haven’t happened because they totally have. I’m very lucky that so many people have taken us under their wing and taken care of us. Our air b&b host was a saint. Her name is Jenny and made our first week here quite lovely. Through doing “The Women” last April, my friend Anne told me to get in contact with her friend Jan who lives here. We did, and she has offered us her flat, and her address to use as a place of residence when applying for jobs, as well as talking to us for hours about what to expect, and things to do here. Her and her roommate Jane have let us into their home while we strive to find a flat and a place to call our own. It’s a bit like having two adorable, fun loving, aunts who take care of us, feed us, house us, and even get us drunk (seriously. There are stories)

Then of course there’s my friend J9 who we spent Thanksgiving with. I had an audition in London on November 19th (it went very well. They wanted people under 5’5″ though so…not me) and I asked her if there was any place we could stay for cheap. She got me in touch with a friend of hers named Gigi who housed us at her place for over a week. For free. Peoples kindness is truly humbling. All of J9s friends were so lovely, and warm, and funny and we met some truly amazing people during our week in London.

As you can see, it’s incredibly hard to find your footing in a place when you have nothing to ground you. We have each other, and a place to sleep, wifi (mostly), and a decent cup of coffee. While things could certainly be better, they’re in no way bad. But bad is far from good. And something needs to drastically change…

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