After the interview, I happily continued my routine of writing until I got an email the following day saying they were offering me the job! I was a little caught off-guard because it was all happening so easily. I let the idea sit, for all of… 2 hours. Then I seriously thought about it and I knew that I couldn’t say no. For some reason this job had come falling out of the sky and landed on my lap. If the reason was for me to have felt more focussed on getting my story out of my system with the ‘certainty’ that travel plans were on the horizon, this position has already served its purpose! It’s actually so funny to use this term ‘horizon’, because the agency that offered me the job is actually called Horizon (that was just a small piece of useless information!).
So, on the 4th of December I signed the contract! This was the hardest part of the whole process. Because it really was all flowing, until I had the contract in my hands! I suddenly felt to be signing my life away. I don’t ‘do’ contracts lightly… They make me feel so committed, cut-off from the ‘flow of life’ (however corny that may sound) and bouts of suffocation take over me. I lived through all of these feelings, only ever so briefly, as I was making this decision. And just some more useless information: the fact that it’s a de-cision, says so much: ‘cision’ = cut. ‘De’ = off… So it makes sense why this de-cision would let me feel cut off from life!
The prospects of having that job however, were too big for me to ignore. And, even throughout the interview, I wanted to desperately to be in China. I wanted to be with those kids, I wanted to meet them and I felt so honoured that I was been given this opportunity. Also, to put the whole ‘signing away my life’ into perspective, I had to realize that the word ‘contract’ and ‘forever’ aren’t synonyms! Contract simply means that 2 parties are in agreement, 2 parties are ‘protected’ from being treated unfairly and each party is providing the other with a service. I had to get over this obstacle! The terms written in the contract didn’t say: ‘Niamh Keoghans’ life is now over and she may not travel after she sets foot on Chinese soil!’ Instead the terms said something FAR MORE REFRESHING: ‘If things don’t work out, you may leave!’ Of course this wasn’t literally what the contract said, but this is my translation of it! Mams translation was: ‘if you don’t feel happy there, they aren’t going to shoot you if you leave!’ What a relief to hear somebody say that! Haha…
But seriously… I figured this was a huge step. Not only would I come to realize that by signing a contract I wouldn’t be imprisoned and I’d STILL and FOREVER be FREE to TRAVEL, but I would also actually BE TRAVELLING and GROUNDED and FREE all at once!!! I'd not be stuck, trapped, controlled or unable to express myself (which is what a contract represents in my mind) and it would feed my need for more of the world! I also realized: how can I get myself back on the road and into a job that will benefit many different areas of my life that have been ‘lacking’ since returning to Ireland, if I don’t take this chance? At this point in my life this job feels to be offering me so much. It’s simply where the road is taking me: ‘Around the corner' to China!