“The greatest gap in the world is the gap between knowing and doing”
– John Maxwell
In regard to the above quote… John Maxwell was clearly not British. And clearly hadn’t been to London. Because, it would seem that the greatest gap in the world is in fact between the London tube and the platform, as we are frequently reminded via blaring speakers at tube stations dotted throughout this busy city. Further, it would seem the propensity for not minding the gap occurs heavily on a Friday evening, at least according to my calculations.
London would have you believe that a great leap is required to enter their transit. A moment where neither feet are on the ground and Londoners find themselves hovering between the world they know, suspended in trajectory towards the future, before dropping them ungraciously to the dirty floor of the tube. Yes Londoners, you’d better mind that gaping gap.
What is it London, that you are so afraid of? Do people fall through the gap often?
I, for one, have certainly been victim to the gap for some weeks now, since arriving back in London in July. Not physically, but metaphorically. I find myself in no man’s land, playing minder of the gap day after day, week after week, switching between homes every 1-2 weeks and counting the days that provide gap between phone interviews. And so is the reality of the job search here in London. A job market so different to my home in Australia, and so unexpectedly slow and unyielding.
Most of the friends I’ve made so far here in London are Aussies (by default – Aussie introduces other Aussie etc, because we’re all Aussie mates). And somehow the gap I had estimated to front up to has been much larger than I expected. While my Aussie friends have generally organised visas and jobs before they’ve come here, my solution – dual citizenship with an EU passport – in theory is the better one. And yet…. here I am, minding the quite significant gap. I took the leap back in January when I left home, packed up my life, and decided to do this. And now I find myself suspended in thin air, supported perhaps by some very thin strings, one leg reaching back towards where I’ve come from, one stretching forward, bursting with hope that I’m going to land on my feet. Yoga helps – not just with the mindset but with the suspended stretch of the inner thighs 😉
When we speak of it there is some envy from friends. Envy for my longevity here. There is no expiry on my stay (even as far as Brexit goes), while others on Visas may have to fight to stay, be chained to a horrible job because it’s attached to a visa, or spend years here before they can be in my position. I’m seen as lucky. And it’s true, I have in fact jumped the queue. But envy goes both ways, and for me there is no point being allowed to stay indefinitely if I can’t make a life here. Cruel really, to have such freedom and yet such infertile opportunities.
Although not the sunniest of my posts to date, this one is very real. When I stopped working last September, by no means did I expect to not be working a year later. In fact one of my greatest fears back in the beginning of the year was the timelines required to attain my Irish Citizenship. I wanted to combat any situation that saw me unable to work beyond April. Sadly, things don’t work out as planned. Even those that you believe pivotal to your success. And yet here I sit, nearly a year on, and I’m okay. I have a roof, food, friends, family and my finances are not worst case scenario… yet. I’m so close now to an offer that surely I can wait it out.
But you know what? If I fall down the gap… that’s okay. I’ve made my peace with it.
I have a whole world of people waiting to catch me xx