Things are really real now. After months of no contact (while visas are processed), weeks of limited contact (while the travel agents rolled out tickets very sporadically), and days of incessant checking of my email (spam included), I received my plane ticket this evening!!! I will be flying directly from Dallas to Abu Dhabi in exactly 5 days (July 19th). There’s no turning back now, and this is really happening. I am so excited to begin this journey. I was starting to believe that this was some sick joke, and that I’d be snuffed yet again this year, but not so.
Today I resigned from the job that I’ve had for the last 7 years. I had already contacted my building principal and let her know my intentions. She was sad to see me go, but was very supportive. I sent out an email to the staff, as well as my previous grade level team. They were also very supportive. Of course some folks that I expected to care didn’t, but that’s cool too.
There were many people that I shared a special bond with, and one of those people was our campus secretary, Anna Garcia. I texted her yesterday letting her know that I was resigning, and told her I would stop by today after turning in my paperwork. Big mistake! We both cried like babies, but it was needed. I hadn’t really processed the fact that I’m moving across the world in a little over a week. She and I have always been kindred spirits, and served as moral support to one another daily. I needed that cry. She hugged me and reassured me that I was doing the right thing. Sometimes, even with all the assurances in the world, it feels good to hear from a friend that you’re on the right track. Today was bittersweet.
I still don’t have an actual ticket. I still haven’t started packing. Still have a few odds and ends things to do, but, I’m ready. Starting over can be very scary, but it’s always needed.
Last week, the Facebook groups started to buzz about tickets going out. People (myself included) started to be glued to their emails hoping to get that Golden Ticket. Several in my Texas circle had started to get them, but I hadn’t. Nervousness and anxiety were my new emotions. Well, that just changed. I just received word from my placement coordinator that not only has my visa been issued, but that I am in Group 1! Did I mention that group 1 leaves in 2 weeks?!? This is really happening. 🙄😯😶😖😔🙃😇
Group 1 is set to depart 7/19-7/21. I will update when I have my actual departure date and details.
So, over the past few months, I’ve had a lot of decisions to make. I’ve had to decide everything from whether or not to resign (and continue in this process), to what type of luggage to purchase, to how my husband and I will make things work, to what was best for my mom (since she lives with us), and the list goes on and on. The most recent decision I have had to make was between truly doing what I’ve always wanted to do career wise (be a college professor), or embark on this amazing journey to the UAE. Since my offer was rescinded last year, I wanted to make sure that I had a backup plan/Plan B if things were to change. So, I continued to apply for jobs. Never in a million years did I think that I would be offered the job of my dreams.
I’ve been applying for full time professor positions for several years, all pretty much to no avail. I’ve been able to land adjunct positions, but nothing full time. On May 12th of this year, I applied for one. That following Monday, I had an interview scheduled. The week after that, I had an amazing interview, and had a hunch that I would be offered the job. Fast forward several weeks down the line. The job was offered to me, and I was then placed in the decision-making chair. What to do, what to do?
A few days ago, the official offer came to me with the salary attached. It was nearly $20K less that I was currently making as a high school teacher! I couldn’t believe it. What was I to do? I could accept the professor position with a lower salary, great benefits, and seemingly “arrive” at my career. Or, I could take the once in a lifetime opportunity to Abu Dhabi. I prayed, prayed some more, inquired from those who I trusted (spiritually), but still felt torn.
As the days progressed, the more I felt a pull towards Abu Dhabi. Besides, had I worked my way up the professional ladder, acquired additional degrees and training, etc only to go back financially and back down the totem pole? That didn’t seem wise to me. Nevertheless, I still couldn’t bring myself to a firm resolve in either direction. That was until I talked it over with my husband again.
He sometimes says the simplest things, but they have the most profound meaning. We strategized and decided that he would stay behind until December, at which time I would come home for Christmas break, and we would go back together. But, towards the end of the conversation, he said something that stuck with me: “Do what makes you happy.”
The more I thought about it, the more that I realized that much of my life, if not my entire life, I have done what others wanted me to do, or what would make others happy. I can probably count on one hand (with several fingers remaining) the number of things I have done in my life truly for me. Things that truly made me happy. But, I’m adding moving to Abu Dhabi to this list. I will be able to travel, pay off debt, get away from much of the craziness that currently exists in my life, and finally do something that makes NiaShanta happy. This is a scary, crazy feeling, but, I’m up for it.