I am participating in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge. The prompt for today is Terminal. While the interpretation of the this prompt can be several things, I choose the literal one “Airport Terminal”. I couldn’t think of a better way of expressing my emotions as I sit and type this post in the International Terminal of Mumbai Airport awaiting my Swiss Air flight which will take me on a business trip for 2.5 months.
One of the highs of my career- an onshore opportunity for a short term which will give me the chance of living and working in a foreign country (Switzerland is where the head quarters of UBS is as its a Swiss Bank). But as I type this, my eyes are moist as I think of my little daughter who is blissfully sleeping in Pune, unaware that she won’t see me for such a long time. The decision of leaving her behind in the care of my mom was not easy.
When I was initially chosen for this assignment, my joy knew no bounds. I had planned to take my mom and daughter along. But my mom runs a day care from home, thinking of the few kids who spend the day here, leaving them in the lurch would not be a good thing to do. Mom decided she couldn’t really shut her business for 2.5 months and without her, I couldn’t take my daughter Angel to a foreign country as I would be faced with the dilemma of leaving her in a daycare, she has never lived in one. I knew I would have long working hours, how would I manage in a foreign country with a toddler and it dint make sense when it was a 2.5 months assignment and I would be back at the end of the term. Mom was the first one to tell me to grab the opportunity, such chances don’t come every other day. I am the first and the only one so far in the finance function in India to have been selected for an overseas assignment, which is a different role than what I do here.
Those of you who know me are aware that I am very ambitious, I am passionate about my career and leave no stone unturned to move up the ladder. I know that if I put in my best here, it will only strengthen my credibility and brighten my future prospects. The career woman in me was doing a dance in the air and couldn’t wait to embark on this new challenging journey.
The mother in me surprisingly upto this stage was at peace. Its not that there wasn’t any hesitation but I was at peace knowing that I am leaving her in the care of my mother, someone she is used to right since birth and who looks after her when I go to work. I dint have to worry about her well being, As Angel is 2 months short of 3 years, I felt she was too young to miss me, She would be busy playing with the daycare kids, reading her books and sleeping and time would pass quickly.
As the days came nearer, especially the last 24 hours, I suddenly started feeling uneasy. The gnawing feeling as I packed the last few items, settled all the bills, slept beside her holding her close to my heart, fed her breakfast, bathed her, dressed her up, read her a story- The realisation that I won’t be doing this for quite some time, it made me uneasy. I get irritated with her at times when she refuses to take out her clothes to bathe or insists on extra time in the bath tub while I am running late- but the feeling that I will have all the time in the world to get dressed and go to work, no toddler to feed or dress- thats not a very comforting feeling.
A part of me is super excited- its the first time after I became a mom that I would have a chance to get back to my solo life, write to my heart’s content, read as many books as I want, travel to various places as I have almost 9 weekends all to myself. From the time I picked up the pen, I am always complaining about the paucity of time, not enough time to write, to read- but now I would have ample time. Once I get home from work, the entire time is mine. I would also like to use this time to travel- see places outside Zurich like the beautiful city of Lucerne, Interlaken, Geneva, Bern and I have a trip to Paris in the last week of Oct with my brother and sis in law. The added bonus is this is my maiden business class travel- I look forward to the luxurious experience.
The business class experience – this is how it looks like-
As I left home this afternoon, with my bags, Angel waved me goodbye with a smile. She was busy playing with her friend (bless the kind Mom Preeti who left her daughter at my place to keep Angel occupied). My mom and I couldn’t control our tears but I put on a brave face (Mom was much braver than me) and left. It was nice to see the smiling toddler wave me goodbye.
Now as I sit comfortably in the business loungue after a scrumptious meal and type my post for Day 3, I am at peace- there is excitement bubbling within. Excitement to experience new things that life doles out, be it in terms of work or leisure. I will miss my daughter and my family but giving up on this assignment would not have made me happy either. Whenever I face the dilemma of mom v/s the career woman I always think of my daughter 25 years down the line, facing a similar situation as a mom, what would I ask her to do? That helps me arrive at a decision.
Adieu for now, more stories on the blog from Zurich.
(Image courtesy :http://www.ceramiassociates.com)