Nobody likes a fickle child. As a parent, it causes nightmares with food and clothes, and other people’s parents dread that fickle child coming to dinner. Dinner ladies and teachers at school blame the fickle child for the complications in their school life, and brothers and sisters resent their fickle sibling who gets special treatment.
But what can you do if you are born this way? Nothing at all. Other than embrace it. I am a fan of the fickle child. Though it may cause sometimes unnecessary problems and stress, I think it leads to a more exciting life. Let me give you an example.
Now that I have to leave, I have to face that horrible process of applying for jobs again. Something I’ve never enjoyed. Cover letters and CV tweaks have already started, but do I even want a good job? If I get a good job, maybe I’ll be tempted to stay in England, and there’s no way I want to miss out on traveling purely because my job is too good to quit. And if it is, then I really would be being stupid to quit.
So I don’t want that to even be an option. Maybe I should just go and work at McDonald’s. But then, I need the experience in something relevant. I need to start preparing myself for something when I finally get home. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll take a language course and make a real effort to learn Spanish and Dutch and German so that I have some kind of skill, despite lacking experience. That should make me more employable, in the kind of job I want to be employed in.
God knows, I won’t have a social life when I go home. It’s hard to know what to do. In fact, I’ve been in this situation many times and my mind is constantly changing as to what is best for me. I don’t know whether I make the right choices or the wrong ones, but my life always seems to be forking off. I think I make the wrong ones, but I don’t regret anything I’ve done in the past few years, just recognise that other things would have been more sensible.
But what am I if not fickle? As a child, I was one of the annoying ones who was fickle with food. As a teenager I was fickle with clothes. Look at me now, and I’m still fickle with countries, jobs and men. My mother used to read Little Miss Fickle to me and tell me I was the same. I never believed her, but in retrospect I can see how true it always was.
Just in the last two years, while I’ve been working, I’ve ended up in Spain, China, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and now right back to England. At least I’ve seen them all, enjoyed them all. If I was not fickle – if I was sensible – I’d probably be in England but having never left.
Actually, I blame my parents. When I was six months old, they moved me to Australia. After a few years, they got bored and moved back to my home town in England. They then moved to the east. Then back to the southern coast. Then to the west. Then back to the southern coast. When I was sixteen, they decided to moved to Spain, but ended up back in the UK a few years later.
So, you see, is it any wonder I can’t settle? I’m changing that ‘can’t’ to a ‘don’t want to’. I could if I forced myself, but I have no desire to. And so, I’m approaching this move home purely as another unpredictable 90 day adventure – too little time to settle, but enough time to acquire a few stories..