Friday, July 19, 2013
That's what I'll be saying to you soon. Not on August 18th, no. But on September 18th? Yes indeed.
Now that I've gone public on Facebook about it, you, dear Audient readers, are the last to know:
I'm moving to Australia.
Soon, I'll be able to tell you what is and isn't a knife. Soon, I'll be eating Vegemite sandwiches with Kangaroo Jack. Soon, I'll know if the dingo really did eat her baby.
But Vance, how could this happen?
If you don't already know, you do now: My wife was born in Australia. Her mother is American by birth, so she got my wife a dual citizenship when she was a teenager.
For years we have been talking about living in Australia at some point, at least for a couple years. But we never knew what event would come along that would finally tell us it was time.
Well, that event came along maybe five weeks ago, when my wife was informed by a former colleague about a job opening in Film Victoria, the government body that oversees funding for films made in the province of Victoria (which is home to Melbourne, where my wife grew up and where the job is actually located). My wife's colleague asked if she knew of anyone who would be interested in the job. She did: herself. In fact, she had previously described this job to me as her "dream job," the kind of job she hoped she'd be able to get to eventually continue her career in Australia. She had a Skype interview, and they offered her the job the very next day.
This despite my second piece of news: She's pregnant. Yep, we're going to have our second child in early January. When she told them of her condition, they had to think about the offer for a couple days. And then returned to her telling her they still wanted to make it. She'll just go on maternity leave for four months, then pick back up where she left off.
This is not at all how we expected moving to Australia to go. We expected a light bulb to go off over our heads one day, and we would suddenly know it was the perfect time to uproot ourselves from the U.S. We certainly did not expect that day to come only 14 months after buying our first home here in Los Angeles, nor to occur while my wife was actively pregnant.
But life has its own odd, mysterious plans. Truth is, if we'd been waiting for that "magic moment" to arrive, it may never have come.
This is kind of the perfect scenario, actually. Because it's happening so suddenly, no thought has been given to selling our house. We will just rent it out. Her contract runs for two years, with a mutual option to extend it. So after two years we may just come back. In fact, we are telling people we definitely will come back after two years, which makes our imminent departure all the more palatable. So we're keeping our footprint here in Los Angeles.
The fact of her pregnancy may seem inconvenient, but this is actually sort of great as well. Right now, we don't have any family where we live. That will all change when we immediately begin living in the same city as my wife's sister and father, with her mother only an hour's plane ride away. Plus there are all my wife's extremely helpful friends from high school, who are a great crowd indeed. All these people will give us a ton of help in figuring out how to add a second child to our family.
Meanwhile, I get to rethink my own career. I've been working in IT for 11 years now, and I'm not sure if it's where my future lies. I won't be able to work for a couple months after I get to Australia as we get me a visa, and during that time, I can scout around and figure out if I can start making a living as a writer again. Now that my wife will be doing the bulk of the bread-winning, I can take a job that actually satisfies my original career goals, without worrying whether it pays all the bills.
And what about this blog?
Well, if anything, I expect to update it more frequently. I will definitely have more time on my hands, as my son looks likely to spend at least three days a week in daycare or preschool. Plus, now I will have a hundred new observations about how a person watches movies down under. I can tell you now to be ready for my first post on the $20 movie ticket.
So what's my timeline? Glad you asked. My wife and son ship out at the end of next week, as she has to get to work. (Her predecessor's last day on the job is tomorrow.) Me, I'm still in L.A. until August 20th. That's the date we had originally planned to fly to Oz for a vacation, so I'm just keeping my original ticket. This will give me plenty of time to say goodbye to friends, sell our cars and prepare the house to be rented.
And plenty of time to watch movies. I will soon be receiving a nearly four-week break from childcare duties, and I plan to revel in it. Oh, I will miss my wife and son so much that it will cause me physical distress at times. But I will also get to watch movies until I'm blue in the face, and you have to take those opportunities when life presents them to you.
Okay! That's the news.
I'm looking forward to having you along with me on this adventure.