What on earth, you might want to ask me, do these things have in common? And I’ll tell you… In a bit, actually. This makes for a nice story and I do love telling my stories elaborately.
By nature I hate drama. I mean I like excitement as much as the next person but I don’t like my emotions being taken by storm, and I absolutely hate tumbling down the roller coaster of anticipation and disappointment and back up to hopefulness and down through despair… You get the gist. The last month has been nothing but that, and I can now finally say we’ve emerged from it miraculously sane. Which is where the excel sheets come in.
Now, numbers I love. How can I not, when my very name means numbers? I love how numbers are not ambiguous, and how they always mean the same thing, and they never lie. Numbers appeal to the rational side of me, because in the end, I am all about the binary. All, or nothing, and no in-between. And although I vehemently steer clear of anything that turns numbers into well, data, I am married to a man who sees everything through an excel sheet. From household budget to future extrapolations to decisions about which resort to stay in and which flights to take during our holiday, there’s nothing this guy won’t or can’t depict in an excel sheet.
Including our, ahem, fourth move in four years.
There, I said it. We are moving. Yet again. And this time to a whole different continent. Goodbye, Singapore. Hullo, Dubai.
To say it all started with an excel sheet would be just the right thing to say. Around four months ago, the husband and I sat down in front of one, looked at the number he had highlighted (in red, mind you) and decided that things need to change. So we let go of our helper, I decided to take on full responsibility of the house and the baby and the husband decided it was high time he started looking out for greener pastures. The job hunt began, and each opportunity he came across was accompanied by an excel sheet. Pros and cons, bulleted and listed. Discussions, decisions. Three months it took for him to find the job most suited for our circumstances and his expectations, and for what we thought was the one final time, we stared at yet another excel sheet and nodded our heads and said yes. If only we knew…
With just two weeks left for him to join his new company, something came up that again shook the ground on which we’d based our decision. Note how I say “our” decision, as though it is as much my career as his. Back to excel sheets, back to crunching numbers. Fingers flying furiously on the keyboard. Eyebrows furrowed, eyes squinted. Best scenario, worst case scenario. Swinging back and forth; starting each sentence with “But then again you know….” Until one night, with just two days left for him to join the company, I threw my hands in the air, named all the reasons why we should stick to the plan and went to bed furious.
Remember how I mentioned “Inside Out”? This is where it comes in. If you’re with me so far, this is where it all gets tied up, I promise you. Without going into much details about the movie (which I loved beyond measure) let’s just keep it at how despite being an animated movie, it weirdly gave me insight into how my mind works. I mean it’s all chemical reactions but thinking of my emotions as little people inside my brain makes it so much more fun, don’t you agree? Anyway, next morning when I woke up, I had every mind to apologise to the husband. Tell him that I was sorry, but that I still stand by my decision. But the moment I saw his face, it was like that bubble of certainty in which I had wrapped my opinion suddenly burst. I stayed silent and walked away to go brush my teeth, and suddenly something changed. Maybe all those tiny people in my head got into an ad hoc panel discussion, came to an agreement and flicked a switch inside my head and I went “Hey wait a minute… Maybe it isn’t such a bad idea after all” And if at any other time this sudden change of mind would have surprised me, having watched “Inside Out”, it somehow made sense to me.
I ran back to him, breathless in excitement and told him that if he still wanted to do this, I was with him. And happily so. So, show me the numbers, I said, and he opened up the excel sheet. Like I said, the numbers never lie. They remained the same, but it was my attitude that changed this time I was looking at them. Suddenly they looked happier, healthier, and combined with the magic words “We’ll manage”, they basically made our decision for us.
Dubai it is then. Let the craziness and turmoil and adventure begin.