Well hello there, reader-friends.
How are you? It’s been a while since we’ve caught up, so I thought I’d fill you in on the goings-on, the ups and downs, the things that have been happening in this expat’s life of late.
Yes, somehow this is still an issue. For now, at least. Thankfully, as of tomorrow at 12 PM it should will be resolved. No more hot spots. No more borrowing semi-reliable wifi from the bar downstairs. No, as of tomorrow afternoon, we will be wired (hopefully)!
After multiple phone calls and visits to multiple stores and kiosks, we have finally found a provider – and it’s the first place we ever visited. Isn’t that always the way. It turns out, that all this time, we just weren’t asking the exact right series of words in a very, very specific order. But we seemed to have sorted all out and, tomorrow, an engineer comes to run a line that will hopefully reconnect us to the world! (I’m trying to stay cautiously optimistic, just in case, for some reason, there’s a problem)!
I’m really excited to have home internet for many reasons: to catch up with family, friends and John Oliver, to be able to browse the internet without worrying about data allowances, but mostly I’m excited to have internet so I can put long-overdue plans to action.
You see, prior to moving to Leeds, I had big plans. I’d made long lists. I was ready to dive out of my comfort zone, put myself out there and see if I could make it as a freelancer.
But, I haven’t done anything about it, except think and dream and wish.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been using our lack of home internet as a crutch. Although I had access to reliable and free internet, I wasn’t making use of it. At first, I would walk down to the library to connect, but as the days and weeks wore on (and I encountered more than a few interesting characters and situations) it started to feel like such a burden. I slowly started to go less and less until I just stopped going altogether.
Even when I went to the library I made-up reasons why I couldn’t put my plans to action: Oh, I can’t access X website, it takes too long to upload photos, it’s too noisy to draft content. I had excuses for everything and I was using our lack of home internet as a reason to hold myself back, to continue giving into the fear of succeeding (or failing).
But as of this week, the excuses stop! Over the last few days, I’ve felt a renewed sense of inspiration. I’m eager to get started, and I want to spend the next few weeks working long and hard, putting myself out there and giving it my all. Because, I will never know if I don’t try, and I don’t want to spend my life wondering what if. And, really, I have all the time in the world and no reason not to.
This has been an area that’s caused me a bit of stress these past few weeks. As much as I try to stay positive, I’ve had to remind myself more than a few times that looking for jobs is hard and it takes a long time – we’ve only been here since September, it’ll happen, settle down.
Since we arrived, I feel like I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs and I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to several interviews. It’s been great practice and a good reminder of all the things I’ve achieved throughout my career (which is a great momentary silencer to the impostor syndrome voices in my head). Unfortunately, none of the positions have worked out just yet. I’m either too young or too old, over-qualified or not qualified enough, or it just wasn’t the right fit. In one case, I interviewed for the position twice and was very excited about the prospect of working for the company only to find out that they weren’t ready to move forward with hiring anyone. I wasn’t completely surprised as I’d gotten that impression during my last interview, but I was disappointed none-the-less. In moments like those, I just try to remind myself that everything happens for a reason.
Thankfully, it hasn’t all been bad on the job front. At the end of October, I started working part-time at a place just down the street from our flat. While it’s not my lifetime career dream, it’s been a great part-time job because it checks off many of the necessary boxes including getting me out of the house and meeting new people, and, most importantly, it puts a little money in my pocket to ensure I don’t have to become a mole-person. Additionally, the majority of the hours are in the evening, so my days are free to search and interview for jobs, work on my blog, or finish up course-work. It’s been a great interim solution and has definitely helped ease some of my worries of late.
Life in General
Aside from the internet and the pressures I put on myself to have it all figured out, life has been quite great of late. We’ve made some wonderful friends here in Leeds and have had an amazing time going out, trying new restaurants and laughing all too loudly.
I’ve really been enjoying my part-time job, and having the chance to socialise with colleagues and chat with patrons – it’s not hard to go to work when everyone tells you how beautiful your accent is and how nice Canadians are!
And, although Leeds is a smaller city, I’ve had such a fantastic time exploring and getting to know it better. The city is decked out from top to bottom with Christmas lights, and while I think it’s far too early to be celebrating, I find I’m already getting caught up in the Christmas spirit – or at least the Christmas market spirit!
Life in general in Leeds is pretty great. There are a couple of things I wouldn’t mind changing, but that would be the case no matter what my situation or where I was living.
To be completely honest with you, reader-friends, November was not the month I was hoping it would be: we were still without internet, I was still on the job hunt, and I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t making any headway in these areas, despite my efforts.
In moments where I start to feel a bit down, I simply remind myself that these things take time, that everything happens for a reason, and that if I continue to put in time and effort, amazing things will come my way.
In the battle of Kate vs. the Universe, the Universe is still winning, but I have a feeling the comeback has begun. I’ve said it before and will continue saying it every month for the rest of my life, but this month, December, will be my month!
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