Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sometimes it feels like the sky is falling and there is nowhere to go

I don't like to do things because I am scared. Operating from a place of fear... it just never works for me. I think it screws up the decisions that you make. For example, 10 years ago I decided that I didn't want to be married yet. The biggest thing holding me back from changing my life back then was the fear that if I did I might never get married or have kids. It was powerful; so powerful that it almost kept me from changing my life. So I made a sharp turn, and it's been lonely at times and hard, real hard, at others. But also incredible and exciting and although I still worry, a lot, that my biggest fears will come true, I have never regretted it, or thought for a second it was not the right thing to do.

So every time I start to feel scared and like I want to cling to the things I know, even if it seems like they are not very stable or I might not even want them, I think about that decision, the one that changed everything. Back home it played out time and again: people who clung to their journalism jobs, who counted down the years to retirement and organised unions and kvetched about management, who either left or were forced out and found better work that made them happier. Freed them. Right now there is a lot of fear in the UAE, similar to what there is the rest of the world. It's a little bit scarier, I'd reckon. There is no unemployment insurance, no severance package. Our employers control everything. Layoffs mean getting out of the country. But to where?

People in the rest of the world seem to delight that things are going south here too; I was emailed a Times article today about Dubai. Police have found more than 3,000 cars outside the airport (CORR: in all of last year, double the number of the year before, not in recent weeks) people who just drove up and left them there, many with the keys in the ignition, some with notes of apology and maxed-out credit cards in the glove box.

I was annoyed. I could be reading too much into it, but why would you send me, someone who works in the media, and does it in the UAE, such an article? I work for a newspaper; I am well aware of the situation in the country where I live.

It woke me up in the middle of the night last night, like a big, bad dream, that fear; it's left me feeing uneasy all day. So here I am staring it in the face. Naming it; knowing I have no idea - never do, actually - what comes next. Taking a big old deep breath, trying not to engage in conjecture and rumour-mongering and nasty, negative bashing, saving my dirhams and tucking in for awhile to find out.

6 comments:

Mike Davis said...

AM,

I, for one, admire your hutspa ... not from a place of envy or jealousy because I think I have a bit of my own. Rather, because you are so self-aware that you have it and you understand that it's a gift that presents opportunities, big and small.

Continue to trust the Inner McQueen and things for the Outer McQueen will take care of themselves as they did 10 years and in every passing day since and, in all likelihood, in your steps moving forward.

There's my A. Robbins moment for today. Keep 'yer head up and your stick on the ice (just not in a Leafs jersey).

M.F.D

Ann Marie McQueen said...

Thanks Mike! One time I wear a Leafs jersey, I shall never hear the end of it. :)

Abid said...

Read this: the 3000 cars was BS.
http://carolynn-dubailife.blogspot.com/2009/02/another-misunderstanding-only-11-cars.html

kaya said...

Funny how something so bizarre got the big boys out with the comments.
It didnt happen
It wasnt me!

Ann Marie McQueen said...

Yes I was feeling anxious when I wrote this and did not have my discerning journalism hat on... My bad.

mezba said...

It seems the same people who praised Dubai's leader as a visionary are taking great joy at seeing the bubble burst.