Thursday, May 19, 2016
I started out 4 years ago in a panic about jumping into the overseas life. I was a single woman in my 50's ready to finally realize my dream of living and working internationally. While I was quite excited about my impending new life, there was no small amount of trepidation and apprehension. I thought perhaps journaling in this format would help me to manage that panic and share my day to day travails with friends and family. I was right to choose this manner. It was fun, and allowed me enough creative license to include pictures and musings and some small bit of philosophy as well as words about my faith and how that has danced within all experiences. No one was forced to read it, and I found quite a few individuals were genuinely interested in my experiences with international education and all that entailed.
The overseas life has been absolutely fantastic. I have enjoyed so many moments, met so many lovely wonderful people, had so many exciting adventures. I have ridden in a hot air balloon above the Love Valley in Cappadocia, I have treked with camels over the Sahara, I have swum in the Mediterranean off the coast of Cyprus, and wrangled a horse in Bulgaria. I have taken part in a short lived revolution in Turkey and walked the Via Delorosa in Jerusalem. Most of world's greatest churches and cathedrals have hosted my steps across their thresholds... Notre Damme, Hagia Sofia, Westminster Abbey, The Alexander Nevski Cathedral, St Peter's Basillica, and my personal favorite, Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia... which is NOT to be missed before you leave this earth.
I have played with children from almost every country on the planet. I have learned the polite words and the language of bargaining and taxiing in four different languages. I have immersed my self (and my hips) in the foods and drinks of many other lands. It has been a great joy.
Along the way I have collected a few lifetime friends. Not the least of these is Z - the Turkish cat that adopted me in the Ulus neigborhood. There are human friends too who I know I will be with forever in some form or another. Too many to mention.... and I don't want to leave someone out. What a journey! But here now, at this point in time... I find myself once again at a crossroad. I have an opportunity to return to the US... albeit in a community that is quite diverse and somewhat international... to work in a good school that wants me. It pains me to think of leaving my life here. Funny, it caused me some panic to leave the US and move internationally, and now it is causing me panic to think about walking away from this lifestyle. I mean... I certainly won't be taking weekend trips to Paris any more, and who knows if I will ever see Rome again. That makes me sad. It also pains me to return to a country whose world politics and isolationist policies cause me no end of frustration and sometimes anger. However....
The time has come. My mother is aging and my sister is has been looking after her for many years without much assistance from me. My grandchildren are getting older and growing up without really knowing who I am. When I asked my grandaughter how she felt about me living so far away... her response was "Well it's really cool that you live in Morocco and everything, but I kind of miss you." Sometimes things just fall into place. It has been a long time coming, and I have spent many hours in prayer... asking for something different, more, a new country, a new school a new overseas adventure. But in the end, that request was thwarted repeatedly and another answer crystallized more and more. It will soon be time to write the last installment of Endings, Beginnings and Panic. I won't quit writing though. I have a vague idea for a new blog. What that will look like I don't exactly know yet, but I can tell you one thing...it won't involve panic.
PS - Alas....just when I was ready to tie up this international tale in a nice neat little package.... I won't go into the whole story, (it's not very nice) the plans for the next step unravelled. Again. Unemployed as of June 30. Still not panicking. I'll keep you posted.