It's been a long time between proverbial drinks, my friends, hasn't it? And I expect you're wondering why.
I can finally disclose the reason. It's because I have finally decided - after much agonising - not to accept the glamorous job in Sydney, the one they've been wooing me for over the past month. I will not be packing up My One True Love and the furry babies and moving them to the uncertainties and displeasures of rental accommodation in Sydney. I will stop mentally spending the bags of money they were laying out seductively before me. I have resisted their efforts to trip headlong down the rabbit hole of temptation.
It was a tough call in the end. My One True Love and I spent weeks agonising over this. I went up to Sydney and back twice. Spent a day in the office, aced a written strategic assessment, blitzed the competition. He and I ran numbers and financial models based on different scenarios - sell the house, rent the house, etc etc - advanced arguments for and against (professional development, pollution), got excited about being closer to dear Sydney friends, reeled in horror at the price of rent even in suburbia - it quite exhausted me. I've done no sewing. I've missed two markets - two! I've had no energy to post. And I'm sorry for disappearing without a word about why.
And then at last we came to a decision. We'd go to Sydney. We'd cope with rent, and moving, and traffic, and public transport, and pollution. We'd leave Melbourne for three years, maybe five, and we'd enjoy the spoils on offer as well as the professional challenge it held for me. By jove, we'd do it!
But at the last hurdle, the very end of contract negotiations, the process broke down. They faltered, and I pulled the pin. It was a considered decision, and I knew it spelt both a missed opportunity and a lucky escape.
However, it's not all bad. I'm not staying in my current job either, the one that's been the source of such anxiety and stress and botheration for the past eight months or so. Oh no, that is finally behind me as well - at least, it will be in a month or so. And for that, I am eternally grateful. ETERNALLY. There's a light at the end of this long and very dark tunnel, and I can definitely assure you it's not the headlights of an oncoming train.
But don't let the details concern you. I'm staying in Melbourne, and life continues. I'm happy with my decision, for the most part, though of course there is a sliver of me that deeply regrets the missed opportunity that just slipped out of my fingers. Or more accurately, the one I deliberately released.
If nostalgia is the pain you feel on looking back through your past, what is the word that describes the pain you feel on losing an imagined future, never experienced?