Autumn is a wonderful time to be melancholy. Not truly sad, per se. More...wistful. A languid, enjoyable heartache. The falling leaves; the crisp, grey skies; the definite chill that permeates the air - these things are all geared towards thoughts of endings. Autumn is the final, beautiful hurrah before the deadpan black-and-white colour palette of winter. So it seems only fitting that this should be the time of year when my own safe little London life should begin to fall apart too.
I have known from the moment I took this job that it would end mid-December. But in January, December was a year away. And in June, December was half a year away. And even in October it seemed like an age before things like Christmas and snow and unemployment would come about. And now I suddenly have one month - 30 days and counting - before I have no job and no home. Oh. And a brother flying in for 2 weeks expecting at the very least a floor space to sleep on.
I've been fairly blase about my encroaching destitution. But my blithe "I'm not worried. Things always work out well for me" is beginning to sound mildly insincere, even to my own ears (and before you start thinking how irresponsible it is to just sit back and hope for the best, let me remind you - it HAS all worked out thus far, and with painfully little effort on my part. So my assurance up to this point hasn't been cavalier. It's been honest).
I went for my first room inspection tonight. I inspected the house, the housemates inspected me. It was, in a word, unnerving. The house was populated by antipodes, which I'm not sure about (why come to England to live with Aussies, after all). But mostly I was shocked out of my comfort zone by the fact that I'm quite likely to actually be offered a room reasonably soon. Which means several things - not least of which being that I really, really need a new job - including my leaving my host family. Leaving my kids. And they're not making it any easier.
I have been considering moving out of the West, and heading North or East, for a change of scene. But when I told my kids that I was going to look at a house in the next suburb over, they immediately celebrated how close I would still be. And when I came home after my interview my host dad asked me "When are you moving out?"
and when I answered "Well I suppose it depends when I get offered somewhere to live", he replied
"But...what about us?"
No, please. Break my heart a little more why don't you.
Still, it does feel good to know they still want me around after having me invade their home for a full year.
On the other hand, I love winter. Plus spring is always there, lurking just beyond the horizon. And it's time for a change. It has been wonderful, really and truly wonderful, spending a year here with my kids and their parents. But I'm ready for something new. A challenge, and adventure, anything. I'll still see them, if they need a babysitter or I need a sneaky feed because I spent all my money on things other than food. I'll have less room, I suppose. But I'll have more freedom.