when I say it like that, it sounds like it was a spur of the moment thing. and it wasn't. Husband and I had discussed the possibility of moving overseas for years before it became reality. it was always something likely to happen, that we wanted to happen even. I knew he was open to it and really I think he was just waiting for me to say "go."
well. it was summer 2011 and Husband was in the middle of a 6-week Fulbright study trip to Turkey [wait, does it sound like I'm bragging about my Husband? because I am.] I was in the middle of about 14 work disasters- projects I had spent months on, poured my sweat blood and tears into, and everything was either going wrong or being canceled. our apartment was a pit of laundry and kitten tumbleweeds and dirty dishes. and the Philadelphia school district where Husband was teaching was in the middle of yet another round of layoffs.
I don't remember the exact day and I don't really want to divulge [or relive] the story of what happened at work that day to push me over the edge. but it happened. people talk about hitting rock bottom, and I can honestly say that was the closest I've ever been.
I came home, poured myself a scotch, and wrote an email to Husband that read something like a maniac would write, but the general idea was this: we have to get out of here.
and of course he was calm and rational and told me that when he came home, he would start applying for teaching jobs overseas.
it took us six months before we actually had a job lined up and knew it was really going to happen, but that desperate summer night was the moment that pushed us from "we should move abroad someday" to "we're doing it." as terrible as that moment was, it was what we [or at least I] needed to tip the scales.
[the photo above, by the way, was taken on the streets of Boston about an hour after we accepted the job offer.]
it's still upsetting for me to think about this and write about this. but what came out of that awful low point in my life- us moving to Taiwan -has been a blessing beyond belief. that moment of desperation forced me to make a decision I had been scared of making. everything I've done from that point forward was because I decided that leaving was better than staying. and because of it, I have gained so much. new friends, new experiences, new life... everything. I can be married to my Husband, not my job. I have free time to think, to write, to travel. I've become a completely different person. a better person.
earlier today I was freaking out about my fantasy football scores from this weekend. my mom said I seemed stressed, and I realized... the only stress I have in my life now comes from fantasy football? I've got it pretty good.
I know we haven't yet fully seen the benefits of our decision to move abroad. our adventure is still happening. but already I wouldn't trade it. it took going through hell to get us here... but here is a very good place to be.