Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Be careful what you wish for...

On the move...again, almost there, like a wave you see approaching knowing it will drag you away. I could stay indeed, I love Barcelona, I moved here because I wanted to, I made my choice out of all the cities in Europe, this part of the world that makes me feel I belong.

And still, when I found out at the end of July that I was offered my dream job in a city I am also very fond of I said YES without giving it a second thought. The second thoughts came afterwards and it wasn't easy not to change my mind. I actually did, every day, looking around me at this charming city so comfortably nested between the mountains and the sea and wondering why shall I exchange the good with the better. When I first heard that the organization I work for opened offices in Barcelona I wished I could get a job there, it was rather wishful thinking, as I was still in Canada at the time. Then, before leaving Montreal, I wrote to a public institution that was also on top of my interest list, I was offered an interview as soon as I got home, with no consequences, I thought.

Then I moved to the city of my Mediterranean dreams. After struggling, with dignity, for eight months in Barcelona, having some interesting interviews that ended up in nothing, I finally got one in the international organization I was interested in since 2008. And right after the last interview I left for another one with the person who interviewed me one year prior, this time it was a concrete proposition.

Surprisingly enough, back in Barcelona I got the first job I wished for, not exactly the position I would have liked, but it was still something incredible to me, to work in a palace in the middle of a pine and palm trees park, full of green parrots and with a few ponds for the comfort of the resident ducks. Spending my day in an international multilingual environment, very enriching, with nice people around, organizing every few months meetings with representatives from a whole range of countries and cultures, around a very ambitious and generous project. Like a fish in the water. Or a duck?

Then, boom! four months after I started working I even got to make a choice. I have a theory about contemporary stress and anxiety being generated in great part by the variety of choices, from yogurt to a suitable life partner. So here I was, trying to decide what's best for me: I love both cities, one is bathed by warm waters, the other by cold ones; in Barcelona I have some nice new friends, there I have guaranteed lifetime friends, that received me with open arms after 13 years of absence, a few handwritten letters, postcards and emails. The job, well, the other job, that I will take in January, is what I always wanted to do, organize and promote cultural events, so I could join my expertise to my private interests. A beautiful challenge...that after all I could not avoid, it's stronger than me, as usual. I love change and change stresses me, but I simply don't take comfort as the best thing I could have. And I have comfort in Barcelona, even more than the city I love its geographic position, the closeness to the Pyrenees, to France, the Mediterranean embrace that created the amazing landscapes of Costa Brava. I will miss my beach afternoons and twilight swims, the hikes, the possibility to get abroad in three hours by train (last Saturday I passed from Spain to France and from France to Spain once in train and three times on foot). Otherwise, as a city, my next destination has its own undeniable spells to cast.

I shall be very very careful from now on with what I wish, either I meet the little gold fish or not, he might be under disguise.

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