I give myself permission to...

In June earlier this year, I published a blog post about me coming out of a hole. It was therapeutic. But I couldn't quite resume blogging. In fact, I wasn't quite ready to resume a bunch of stuff. There was this feeling of trekking all the way to some cliff where you plan on diving but then not actually being able to jump once you got there.

I don't know why I place so many blockers on myself but I had told myself that I have a lot of other priorities to sort out before I give myself permission to return to blogging or anything else for that matter. All of these priorities were weighing on my heavily as objects of guilt. I felt irresponsible to be doing something like blogging or my hobbies without first sorting those out. As irrational or unfair as I may have been to myself, I couldn't get myself to move forward.

Many of these were priorities related to my personal life, and the highest priority was sorting out my skilled assessment for migration to Australia.

Skilled migration? Migration?

While I don't have any strong urge to move countries since I'm decently happy in Sri Lanka, the stress of belonging to a targeted minority within a state that increasingly flirts and engages in authoritarianism just makes me think "I need to leave" every couple of years. That feeling subsides after some time but then flares up again as soon as some politician raises their head and start proclaiming about race superiority. It's frustrating to live with a feeling of being surrounded by petty small mindedness and it's enough to make me take a stab at leaving this country even though I could have a great life over here.

But I digress. Slightly. The point is, I've dragged my feet for a long time on this idea of migrating. Late last year and early this year I pushed harder to actually get it done. For those who aren't aware, there are two phases to a skilled migration, i.e., migrating with an invitation from the host country to satisfy a skills demand versus going there with a job or education based sponsorship in hand.

The first is the skills assessment. In this phase you submit proof of your work experience in the relevant skill that you are applying against. In my case, that would be software engineer. If you are approved you can then lodge an expression of interest where the country looks at all your information, scores you, and if you get a high enough score, you get an invitation to come settle down in that country.

Where I'm at now

I'd been stuck in the skills assessment phase from 2021. I'd been stuck in the idea of doing the skills assessment since 2019. Maybe earlier.

So we come around to the original point which was that I promised myself that I wouldn't distract myself with anything else until the skills assessment was done. Originally I thought I'd return to writing after submitting the documents (which happened at the end of July). But then I couldn't get myself to do it until the results arrived and they finally did at the beginning of last week.

The results sucked. I was assessed for far fewer years than I've actually worked but it is what it is. If the powers that be want to have such onerous criteria that is their choice. I'm not pushing harder than I have already for it. If we get the points we need, we'll figure out what's next. If not, we fully settle into and embrace our life here in Sri Lanka. Both the good and the bad.

But in the meantime, I'm not wasting more time. I want to embrace everything I have here and now.

And so, I give myself permission...

I give myself permission to return to my love of writing. Writing for myself. Writing for the random person who stumbles upon this plot of internet land I own.

I give myself permission to so much more including engaging in my hobbies, my education, my joyful times of doing nothing.

Why write all of this? Because a little part of me still wants to hurt myself and say "it's not good enough". The little part of me wants to say that I can't return to this yet just like it whispered to me right after I submitted my skills assessment. The little part of me that wants me to always wait for the next thing because only then will it be "the right time". Writing this is my way of drawing a line in the sand of time and saying "that was before. On this side is the now, and the future".

There are still priorities to look into. But I give myself permission to shake off that feeling of guilt associated with engaging in the things I love. I give myself permission to feel free again. Long may that feeling last.

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Posted on October 19 2022 by Adnan Issadeen