A company merger has loomed over our expat selves for several months now. It's not something we really talk about; it's just there. It's always there for an expat, that uncertainty, that 'not knowing', even when it doesn't have a name, even when it's not called a merger.
The last ten years have been all about uncertainty. ''Will my contract be renewed?'' ''Will I get that promotion?'' ''Will Kiddo get to finish this school year here?'' ''Will I be transferred?'' ''Will they move me to a new villa, compound, city?'' ''Should I brush up my résumé now?''
As expats, we always have Plan A and Plan B. Plan B usually involves being able to pack up with 24 hours notice and move ''somewhere else''. Plan A is coasting - let the wave carry you where it may ... always forward.
For the most part, we focus on Plan A, with Plan B hanging about in the background. But over the last few months we've become hyper-sensitised to Plan B. It's taken centre stage.
In the midst of the current Plan B shitstorm, we got the news family was coming to visit.
This is always good news.
Except when you're not really sure. Except when you haven't seen that family member in a really long time. Except when you ask yourself: ''What if I don't like said family member?'' ''What if said family member doesn't like me?'' ''What if it all goes to pot?''
So you devise a Plan A and a Plan B. Not the ones you've laid out for your life and your career; more like ones that will help you get through the moment. Plan A involves coasting, and letting the moment take you where it may. Plan B involves ... you're not sure what it involves. Maybe working longer hours, maybe faking it, maybe ? ...
And then you pick that family member up at the airport and you just look at them for a bit, and then you laugh, and finally you get to hug them. And while you're hugging them, you feel 'home'. You feel 'real'. You feel 'true'. You feel 'family' and 'sisterlove'. At your core.
You haven't seen that family member in years, and yet everything is right. Plan B beats a hasty retreat, and you know with absolute certainty that this moment is ALL Plan A. It's about coasting, riding the wave, living in the moment, living THE moment, living.
You listen to your cousin, you listen to her tell of her adventures, and her passion, and her wanderlust. You see her in love. You see the love of her life and the way they look at each other and you love her and you love the love of her life.
You find yourself in this moment. Just enjoying. Just listening. Just being. Just being.
You find yourself in this moment.
You find yourself listening in this moment, hearing in this moment.
You find yourself opening up in this moment.
You find yourself happy in this moment.
You find yourself laughing in this moment, in this shitstorm dark moment.
And you want it to last forever.
It won't. Even though Plan A never changes (it's always about coasting), you know you'll always need to devise a new Plan B.
All of a sudden you realise that the new Plan B won't be about running away. It will be about remembering. It will be about making sure all the amazing moments get committed to memory. It will be about keeping a piece of her with you, alive. Plan B needs to get you through the moment she's no longer here to coast along Plan A with you.
So you sit down. You blog a bit. You realise how damned blessed you are. You smile. You laugh a little more.
You realise that in this moment, in this darkest moment, she gave you laughter.
And for now, in this moment, you focus on Plan A.
Coast. Ride the wave. Be.