Dealing with the distance with your professional sphere…in another country.

I was in the middle of locking in two contracts when I moved to London. I was so optimistic about retaining and being able to work to and from Australia that the cashflow from those two contracts were considered as part of my overall budget of being here. Meaning that in terms of risk, I was able to have maintain a certain degree of financial independence (ie being able to pay my rent in central London instead of couchsurfing which tended to be the common ‘thing’ to do when Aussies move here) and that I have the luxury of choice of who I want to work with and for what.

Within a month of moving, one of the potential contracts dropped me in favour of hiring someone else (fair enough, reason being that I would be too busy here in London) and another one ended up being a no-show (no responses etc). I also had some outstanding payments due to me all equalling to the tune of a few thousand dollars, which in the overall scheme of things, was a lot.

It was a bit of a tricky situation, and the most frustrating thing about having loose ends back home, Australia, was that I couldn’t exactly do a face-to-face meeting or spend too long on the phone. It is interesting how, despite our connectivity (Skype, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, emails) supposedly bringing us together the lack of personally being there means that the distance is still something to handle. Of course, this is work related but much of what I had back in Australia was also quiet personal and much of what I did in the professional sphere was also merged with my personal sphere (working in the arts, being an entrepreneur, being involved in events…yup). Not as personal as the to-ing and fro-ing with my parents, or trying to get my sister to post photos on my Facebook wall more but still, it’s still quiet personal.

On one hand, you want to dedicate your time and energy to expanding your networks, horizons, experiences but at the same time, spending too much time thinking about life in another country would just seem so… counterproductive. At the same time, there is the guilt of letting go to things, people, attachments.

I just know that I won’t be able to stand the constant updates my work-personal networks would make back in Australia, so the only way was to distance myself from it so that mentally I can look at what else is out there. This practice was just the opposite of what I was like where I was constantly on the pulse of who is doing what, what’s new, what the latest developments are and so on. This required investing in a lot of time, energy, and also the self.

I don’t know what the best phrase is to describe this feeling, but surely there are others in a similar position.