Identity Crisis

It’s not something I’d thought alot about before moving over to Fiji, but in retrospect it’s a little disturbing how much of my identity as a person I wrapped up in my job. I loved my old job, really loved it but when that gets taken away along with close proximity to friends and family you do have to really rediscover who you are as a person.

In Fiji the only thing the only value people initially perceive me of having is that I am married to my husband who now works here. To them that’s all I am, a wife. Which don’t get me wrong is not a bad thing, I love my husband, hence why I married him. But to be seen as someone who only exists for their husband, is a very strange and uncomfortable concept in my eyes.

I’m unbelievably glad we got Nero when I moved over, granted he’s my first pet ever and has been a major learning curve and cause of frustration I’ve been able to focus a lot of my time and energy on him and training him. It also helps having a guard dog in training for the times when J’s away for work. He is a great ‘project’ to feel like I’m actually achieving something but on the flip side somedays I struggled to leave the house for fear he would either tear it apart or he’d cry a lot when I left (more so when he was a very young puppy nowadays he’s happy to be let outside and given a treat).

Outside my family of my husband and my dog, who am I? We joke that I’m a Real Housewife of Fiji (I really hope that’s not accurate). But given that I haven’t worked in over 2 months now I’m a bit concerned that I will never work again and will be stuck at home spending all of our income forever! Well maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but right now it’s a bit difficult to be considering working or volunteering here. I’ve mentally permitted myself this time to last until we get a official 3 year visas at which point I will need to start looking to work or volunteer. I’m quite happy with something part-time, say 3 days (they don’t even have to be full days) but something to get me out of the house and contributing to society.

J has raised the idea of me teaching piano from home here. It sounds wonderful in theory but there’s a couple of sticking points for me at the moment:

  1. I have a dog who has just discovered the art of guarding the house (ie barking at any strange person who comes in) I don’t see that working so well with various people coming to the house and then trying to teach with him misbehaving
  2. He doesn’t like me playing piano at the moment. Usually when I attempt to play if it’s just the two of us we end up in a war of who needs the peddle more, my foot or his teeth
  3. I have zero experience teaching, in my family I’m famous for a having a bit of a short fuse and I’m not so sure how that would translate into trying to teach someone who has little to no experience
  4. I have zero supplies here. Trolling through my memory to think of what books I started on some 21 years ago (how can I be this old?!) I haven’t bought anything like that with me and would need to do some serious research and shopping in Suva to find out if similar things are available and what resources I could make myself/find online

The idea does have its merits but I’ll need to delve a little deeper into logistically how I do it and how to give myself a bit of a run up into teaching side of things.

I’ve always loved the idea of being able to volunteer and be able to give back to a community that is giving us so much by providing them assistance (preferably using the skills and knowledge I have from my previous work and studies in Australia). I am a bit worried about how the offer of help will be received as it’s definitely not meant in a condescending way. One big challenge with this could be a language barrier.

There are three official languages in Fiji – English, Fijian and Hindustani. Given that I only know English I have seriously considered trying to learn Fijian mainly as the villages and the ones that tend to need the most assistance through not for profit organisations speak Fijian rather than Hindustani. Again it’s something I’ve briefly looked into but not yet committed to.

After 2 months here I’m still very much trying to figure out what my purpose is now I don’t have a career to focus on and what I can do to keep myself busy and feeling as though I’m contributing to society rather than just leeching off my husband.

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