In February I was at university and working for a heritage institute. I was reaching the end of my Master’s and I couldn’t wait for study to be over (hopefully forever).
At the beginning of March this year I handed in my dissertation and therefore concluded three years of studying towards my Masters in Museum and Heritage Studies. I was ready to take on the world of museums, find myself a job literally anywhere in New Zealand, move to the provinces and gain valuable experience that would with any luck determine my place in the museum world.
At the end of March, I moved in with my parents. Living on the wage of a part time job meant that flatting had become a little too expensive for me. I decided to set myself a time limit of three months – find a job in New Zealand or take advantage of my new found freedom and move overseas.
In April a boy shook my hand in Golding’s in Wellington.
In May I interviewed for a job. Not many vacancies had been coming up, but this role was perfect and I really wanted it. I was “not successful on this occasion.”
One week later the boy moved back home to France.
In June I decided to book a flight to London. I felt down about the lack of vacancies coming up that I was able to apply for and for the so-close-but-oh-so-far job interview from May. I settled on London. I had family and friends there, I could speak the language, and they have approximately seventeen billion heritage institutions. I knew the competition would be stiff when it came to applying for jobs but I felt hopeful. Due to its size, more new vacancies come up in one week in London than they do all month for New Zealand. Eventually one had to to stick, right? I’d join a temping agency to tide me over and eventually my time in the UK museum sun would come.
On the 10th of August I flew to London.
On the 30th of August I flew to France.
In September, I decided to stay.
It’s now November, and due to the lack of available classes in the small city I find myself in, I have a library card and am about to start self-directed French lessons.
So here I am, nine months after handing in my dissertation, sitting in an apartment in Limoges, studying again, and feeling further from a heritage career than I have ever been. I know that French will be a very good and necessary skill to have when I eventually move to Montreal next year. I know I’ve just put my goals on pause. But occasionally I think about how hard I worked to finish my Master’s and I am disappointed with how quickly I seem to have put it all on hold.
2017 has been a year of change. Big change. I’ve gone from trying to find a full time museum job in New Zealand to having a panic attack every time I have to speak to someone new. I’ve finished study, I’ve moved to a new country, I am learning a new language, and I am not currently working in heritage. But by next year I’ll know how to speak (some) French, I’ll be in Montreal and I’ll be applying for heritage jobs like there’s no tomorrow.
So bring on 2018 and all the change that comes with it.