February 09, 2005

A tourist in my own life

Having a job interview for a job far, far away, doing something different, but not radically different from what I do now, makes me feel a bit like a tourist in my own life, a visitor to a distant, but familiar land. Am I just browsing in this store? No thank you, to the clerk, just looking, you say.

You have the interview and it allows you to imagine, to project, to take a tour in your life -- what would my life be like here? What would it be like to uproot my family and take them across the country? How would I live there? Before it gets serious, before you get the call back to come and fly out, you become the tourist. What would it be like to live there? You browse some real estate listings and are stunned by the palaces you could buy for half the amount your house is worth now. What would it be like? You picture yourself living there and doing the work and that is tourism in your own life.

It works that way for house hunting, too, because there you actually picture yourself, sort of, living in another house with someone else’s furnishings. We did that all last weekend and will continue for part of this upcoming weekend.

I feel like I'm not being clear, but I get this sense of other worldliness when I take an interview and contemplate moving. A feeling like I'm visiting my life in a parallel universe, where, maybe, we can afford for one parent to stay home and where work on weekends is the exception and not the rule. Maybe its just a fantasy, you never know until they make you an offer. And until they make you an offer, you never have to really ask yourself any of the tough questions, you can just sort of gloss over the inconveniences and the difficulties, not to mention the potential trauma in uprooting everyone.

That's why I'm a tourist. Its my life, but sometimes, I'm really just visiting.

Make any sense to anyone?

Posted by Random Penseur at February 9, 2005 01:43 PM

Perfectly clear to me. I felt that way more often when I was a practicing archaeologist, and doing things that were at odds with my "normal" life the rest of the year. Of course, now that I have switched careers, I still feel like a visitor at times.

Posted by: Mandalei at February 9, 2005 06:15 PM

Yup, I had the same feeling when we were looking into moving down here to Atlanta. What's weirder is when you go back home and feel like a tourist again.

Posted by: Jim at February 10, 2005 05:42 AM

Well, I'm glad it was clear. It felt like I had not exactly acheived a model of clarity with this post!

Posted by: RP at February 10, 2005 09:45 AM

Perfectly clear to me, too. And.. erm... Welcome to the neighborhood?! :D

Posted by: Tuning Spork at February 10, 2005 11:28 PM

Thanks, TS!

Posted by: RP at February 11, 2005 09:41 AM
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