Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Signs of life

Hey whaddya know?  I'm still alive!

Pastry school is done, superamazing stage is done, and vacation is done.  I rocked my exams:


and at the end of my stage my chef (who is one tough cookie, I'll tell you,) had some kind words for me.  Overall it was the high period of my year.  Of course vacation wasn't bad either.

 I still have a little vacation time left to use, so the boy and I are trying to figure out where and when.

In the meantime, Belgium has decided that summer is pretty much over.  While Belgium has been fairly decisive about this, I am still trying to make my decisions, about things like "what's next?"  I'm looking for work now that I have a few shiny new credentials, but also working on the "plan b" of what to do if I don't find a decent job before going mad.

It's been amost a year since I hurt my back, and the past 361 days since then have been quite the roller coaster, with great opportunities and awful surprises.  Most days my back is pretty solid, and it held up perfectly during my stage which was a huge test, and a huge relief for me.  What I'd really like now is to feel like I can have at least a year of something fairly stable, whether that be work, school, whatever.  I would like a routine please.  Ideally one that isn't as sucky as the one I have right now of checking the want-ads and trying to learn the rules for driving here in Belgium.

Like pretty much all the plan b's I've ever had for anything since showing up here, my fantasy plan b involves me fleeing the country for better education or work opportunities elsewhere.  (Don't all expats have a secret fantasy escape plan?)

It's the long stretches of day where I do very little of what I love that get to me and I now feel quite confident that it'd be easier for me to keep moving forward somewhere else.  But here I am, and I'm not a quitter, so I'm rolling up my sleeves and seeing if there's anything here for me first.  There are great things to be had and learned in Belgium, don't get me wrong... you just need to have a car if you live in Wallonia and you need to be willing to wrestle with paperwork every step of the way.  I keep trying to round off my "square peg" edges to fit into these round holes, but well... progress is slow.