I describe my move to the UAE as extreme bungie jumping. The first step off the bridge is the scariest and most emotional part, but after passing through fear and doubt, I now find myself moving into optimism with the eyes of a child looking forward to a trip to Disney.
Some ask “Do you know anyone there”, and I say no. Some ask “Have you ever been there before?”, and I say no while watching the wonder in their eyes. They wonder how I could make such a move. They wonder if they could make this move. They wish they could make this move, and I don’t blame them, because I wondered the same things -though I never considered these questions when I was applying for jobs overseas. Like a teenager, I never considered the consequences. It was not until I received the email saying “We are pleased to make you an offer….” that I began to freak out. It was then that I said holy cow! Am I going to do this? Can I do this? Why should I do this?
The “why” question was actually the easiest to answer. I am going to do this because it is an opportunity to grow personally. It is an opportunity to experience an extremely foreign culture that has been in the news since 2001. I will have a first-hand experience with the Islamic culture in the Middle East. I will no longer be an ignorant American (or at least I’ll be less ignorant). I hope to be able to debunk some of the myths (Yes they can wear colors other than black and white. No I will not have to wear a burqa and walk behind my husband.)
I’ve passed through the storms of doubt and angst and come out into a calm space. I’ve learned that I can let go of things (i.e., winter clothes and the comfortable home). I’ve realized that I only see my brother twice a year anyway so now that will be once a year in the summer. I’ll miss time with the grandchildren, but again, I will have summers with them, and there is always Skype.
Anthony Robbins teaches us that we have to learn to control our emotional responses if we want to lead a successful life. It is never appropriate to let our emotions control our behavior. I want to be able to control the direction of my life.
It feels good shaking off the familiar. It’s like taking off a pair of comfortable old slippers, and trying on a new pair. I don’t know what the future holds (whether here or there), but I am open to all possibilities.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Stephen R. Covey