It’s time for my annual report on the state of my repatriation. Last year I optimistically wrote “I’m gradually putting my life back together again.” Looking back I think I was trying to convince myself that was the case. After all, things SHOULD have been going well. I had found a job which OUGHT to be have been perfect for a trailing spouse and my husband had started a new job in Canada, after spending most of the first year of our repatriation working overseas again. In theory all the pieces of the jigsaw were finally coming together.
But of course life never runs as smoothly as you would wish and that’s certainly very true with repatriation. Just when you think you’re finally getting over it, there’s a setback; three steps forward and two steps back. I found my new “perfect” job to be isolating and as my husband dealt with his reverse culture shock upon repatriating, I relived it all again through him.
So by the beginning of 2011 I resolved to find a new job and eventually in April started working for a couple of Toronto’s top real estate agents. It involves many of the skills I’ve acquired along the way and enjoy using – administration (I started life as a secretary, back in the day when that was a job title to be proud of), real estate (I worked for 15 years as a real estate appraiser), social media (my newfound interest since repatriating) and relocation (my last gig). It’s busy, interesting and the people I work with love what they do, which makes for a very positive atmosphere.
This last year I’ve also, FINALLY, made some new friends right here in Toronto who understand my expat experience. Not that my long-distance friends aren’t important, but I need to have people I can talk to face-to-face sometimes and it’s got me out of my internet cocoon. For that I also have to thank my last job in Destination Services, because that did at least get me exploring and reconnecting with Toronto again. As an admitted computerholic, I’ve been very bad at taking my own advice about getting out and meeting people.
So now, two years on, I can truly say that I’m glad to be here, and when my husband, who is still struggling with his reverse culture shock, muses about the possibility of going overseas again, I’m not instantly exhilarated and ready to pack my suitcase again. Which is not to say it won’t ever happen, just that it’s good to feel good about where I am now. It’s taken a long time and I will enjoy it while it lasts.