So life continues on, out here in the French Alps, and whilst I now have a kind of rhythm to my day to day life, I find myself curiously distracted by thoughts of what happens in a few months when it's time to go back to the UK again. I'm finding it quite hard to let myself just live in the moment, right now.
The snow finally came in larger quantities, and the days are mostly blue skies and sunshine, but I'm struck with a sort of ennui, and it doesn't all quite have the shine it did last season. How quickly we become jaded of new experiences, eh? Or it could be the mid-season blues.
On the positive side, for the last two weeks I had friends out here from home, and seeing them has been wonderful. A slice of home bought to the mountains, leaving me feeling quite grounded and refreshed. And suddenly aware of how much my skiing has improved when I'm perplexingly quicker now than these girls who used to run rings around me on skis!
The conversations have turned this way and that, with these oldest and closest of friends, dwelling often on how much our friends' lives have moved forwards in the traditional direction of settling down and families, whilst ours have not / have gone in different directions. It's refreshing to be able to talk to people my own age who have similar experiences, when you're surrounded by youngsters all day out here!
Then there's been the conversations about what will I do when I get home? The answer being I have no idea, and the whole issue is already making me feel quite stressed, even though it's several months before I finish here. There's currently about 3 options sat on the table, and I genuinely don't know which one to pursue. It's hard to believe I'm worrying about this, when I live in the midst of the mountains, and should really just be making the most of my play time each day, but it seems like my brain has no off switch right now. Although skiing in the woods on deep fluffy powder does help switch my brain off for a while ...
The main two questions seem to be these: a) what do I want to do for work after the season and b) where do I want to live?
Regarding question a) do I switch to contracting with a view to earning some money quick and being able to go travelling next year (6 months in South America being the current goal), and the potential for a change of scene regularly and no company politics, or do I apply for a job I've seen which I've had my eye on for ages, and could be an amazing opportunity, but probably means travelling's off the cards and I could / would think about settling a bit.
Question b) where do I live when I get back? The permanent job's based near Portsmouth, which I can't say is a place I've ever particularly wanted to move to, hence my hesitation to do anything about it so far. However, some research reveals that it's obviously on the coast, and there are lots of pretty villages and outdoor things to do near by, but the only major city nearby is Portsmouth which I wouldn't want to live in. I could go back to Bristol, where in theory I might be able to contract for my old employer, and I would sort of just slide back into life as it's been for the last 4 years (which have been good years, I should point out!) but something's still making me hesitate about that. Or option 3, I could throw a complete curveball and move to London. This option's come up as my friend, Jo, who visited Val Thorens two weeks ago and would be my potential South America partner-in-crime, asked if I'd considered moving down there for the money and renting her spare room off her.
I did London before, a decade ago now (Jesus KER-IST, where did the time go????) and it didn't make me that happy in the long-term back then, but I'm a very, very different person now.
Arrrrgh, I just don't know! I'm also fighting an annoying obsession with buying a house right now, which also doesn't fit in with my plans (or my financial viability), as well as looking longingly at pictures of dogs and wishing there were space in my life for one (there isn't - it wouldn't be fair on the dog at all).
My brain is just. All. Over. The. Place.
So instead, I'm going to make the effort to get back into the moment and enjoy the here and now, rather than wishing it away and that Spring was here already / worrying about the future.
So on that note, I'm off to sit on a sunny deck for the afternoon with my housemate (in the pink jacket below with my friend Hannah last week) and try not to worry about anything more than getting a sunburnt nose.
Au revoir, mes amies!
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