Tuesday, May 15, 2012

is that a small fork in the road up ahead?

i have a standard uniform that i wear everyday.  jeans and a long-sleeved shirt that varies only in color.  i have black, green, blue, and light blue with gray stripes.  if you were to stop by on any given day, there's a 95% certainty that's what i'm wearing.  why?  well, mostly because i didn't want to unpack all of my clothes.  before we moved, much of our clothing got put into bins and onto a boat.  it left wisconsin before us and arrived after us.  i got used to living with very few outfits (not that i was a fashion diva before i packed up the bins-- as most of you are aware).  anyway, it made life easier.  so i stuck with it and didn't crowd up the little drawer space we have.

but last night i had to dig in to the bins.  i could not wear my standard uniform today because i had a meeting in lyngby, north of copenhagen, in order to help me find what i am looking for in denmark.  be it a job, any old job, something more specific, volunteering, taking classes... whatever it may be so that i have a meaningful time here.  so long as that 'whatever' is available and wants me instead of someone else.  here-- everyone works.  maybe there are 3% of parents who don't work.  but otherwise, after the first year, both parents are working... this because of a good, paid maternity leave policy, affordable child care options, and a society that takes seriously the work-life balance (for example, picking up the guys today around 3:30, they were among the few kids left in their classes at that hour).

a bike ride, a train ride, a bus ride, and my own two feet to ask the questions: will i get a masters degree?  or will i study danish intensively, do some volunteer work, and then find a paid job?  or, will the right job present itself sooner?  hmm... who knows?

i should be able to (unfortunately) exclude option 1 by tomorrow.  it's just a matter of going to roskilde university and having someone verify what i think i already know: that i do not in any way qualify for free (i.e. taxpayer-funded) tuition.  citizens do.  certain residents do.  i'm not one of them. like my standard uniform, there's a 95% certainty about that.  i'm happy with the student loans i already have, so for now, there is no pursuing additional education unless i'm wrong about how things work.

in any event, i'm happy for whatever happens.  they now know my hopes and my dreams, whatever those may be, and will search accordingly-- after i don my standard uniform tomorrow and go over to student services to have bubble #1 popped for good.  it's okay. i am already past it.


nina said...

Such a sweet post. I had always wanted to do just what you are doing -- move my young family abroad for a year, maybe more, give my kids a chance to live elsewhere. Work there maybe, or volunteer. It was not to be. Reading this brings back those wistful years...

greg|regan said...

nina-- i really do feel so lucky that we are able to do this!