Does life begin at 44, or does the greying, sagging quality of each naked morning deepen as the months drift by? Caught at the existential fork in the road, I am still intent to plough straight down the middle. An uncompromising, devil may care, commitment to fence sitting as I face key career choices immediately ahead of me. As a wise satyr said to me yesterday “at least it’s good to have choices”. The consolation one takes from this aphorism is proportionate to the enthusiasm one feels for anything at all. Sorry, that was a tad overdone…..
Since I last committed text to blog, nearly 3 months have wended their way down the creek and a few key events in the middle aged lexicon of life have predictably come and (almost) gone. The job I came out here for with an internationally renowned conflict resolution charity ended after exactly one year; my ageing and increasingly frail father’s long overdue season ticket finally got cancelled by the mortality police; and I have sought to find a new professional direction whilst still based in the UAE. The latter part nearly lost me (and therefore my wife’s) right to remain here, but that particular chill to the testicular area has thankfully passed (I believe).
The end of my contract to advance conflict resolution in the Gulf had been agreed back in November. The phone call had actually come on the eve of the three day national holiday out here at around 6pm, a bit like getting the sack on the eve of Thanksgiving. “Sorry”, he said, on hearing that the time and emotion involved in getting and trying to make something of the job he proposed had taken something of a personal and family toll. Finances were involved in this parting, and editorial disagreements too. He didn’t like the way I wrote and I thought what he and his deputy were seeking was unrealistic in this particular part of the sand bucket. So good riddance. Since that conversation the work has kept on coming. I am busier than ever, balanced precariously between mostly old research contacts recently reinvigorated, and a new (and possibly permanent) position at a local educational establishment. The fork in the road requires me to depress the accelerator in the freelance consultant type direction, or finally succumb to the academia that I have long had a love-hate relationship with. If only for the third option: that second hand record store in San Louis Obispo, off Route 1, California. But that ain’t gonna happen. I am not 21 and it would of course be such a waste of one’s talents, wouldn’t it?