Thursday, 5 December 2013

Boarding call for London

So, this is it.

It took me quite a while to process that it's really happening but, yes, I'm coming to London very soon! On January 5th precisely. I've found a job, I've found a room and I'm still figuring out the details, but this is for real and I'm coming.

I never thought I would experience so much anguish at hearing such happy news but, the thing is, when hearing that I'd got the job, I wasn't as excited / jumping up and down / singing out loud as I thought I would. Reality is more daunting than dreams.

It was for real. I was leaving. I felt like on the edge of a cliff, trying to muster the courage to jump and searching for the confidence that I would spread my wings and fly. And not crash lamentably on the sharp rocks washed by the angry sea.

So, for the first few weeks, when people asked me how my UK job search was going, I would reluctantly tell "yeah, actually, I think I've found something..." and then abruptly change the subject. The job I've found will actually be enthralling and I'm really excited about it, but, at first, it was really hard to project myself into this new life. And I was paralyzed at the idea of all the things, administrative and such, that I would have to take care of to make sure that it would all work out smoothly. The rocks at the bottom of my cliff were made of unfathomable paperwork, being utterly and depressingly lonely and having nowhere to live.
But since my flat hunt trip there, a few weeks ago, I can now smile when answering that, yes, in 2014, I'll be in London.

This trip gave me two important reassurances. Firstly, it is a huge relief to know that I will have a home to arrive to, to rest a bit in and to fly away from. Secondly, it is also so important to know that I won't be there alone: I will live with wonderful housemates, I will work with some very nice colleagues, and I've also had the chance to meet some other London librarians, especially through the #libdimsum (yummy and chatty!). I am so relieved to already know a few people in this so very large city.

By the time I came back to Paris, my biggest, sharpest rocks had vanished. At the bottom of the cliff now only lies the sea. A sea composed of social security papers and oyster cards and bank accounts. But it's okay. If I was to fall, at least, I wouldn't shatter my skull on geological remains. And I know how to swim. And even scuba dive.

Overall, change is never easy. I've been grieving quite a bit over all the things and people and the job I'm leaving behind. It's just as if I hadn't really understood what I was leaving before. But now the process is almost complete and I'm feeling quite ready to go out of the chrysalis and barge along the Thames, tackling whatever may come next. I'm ready to jump.

So I'm wrapping up all my projects at work, trying to catalogue like a mad woman all the stacks of books that have piled up on (and around...) my desk and leaving meticulous instructions to whoever will come next for the acquisitions I have carefully planned.

I'm very much looking forward to begin this new page of my life, even if it's still a bit scary. But, most of all, I can't wait to meet new librarians (and non-librarians) of Great-Britain. So, come January, if you'd like to have a pint or a cup of coffee with me... You know where to ask!

Licence Creative CommonsThe above photo was taken by myself in La Réunion, in October 2013.
This photo and text are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.