(I think this will be the last post about the process of deciding to move to Dubai, but I also think I forgot a lot of details. I'm reaching back to remember things that happened 2.5 months ago during a very stressful and busy time so please ask me to clarify if something doesn't connect!)
Obviously, Jeremy did accept the job, or I wouldn't be writing this post. So I'll just tell you that it was a very difficult, close decision and we considered every aspect of it very carefully. My mind was bursting with a complicated to-do list of tasks that needed to executed almost immediately if we accepted the job, so it was a great relief when the decision was finalized.
That happened on May 5, eight days after receiving the official job offer. On May 6, we started telling friends in Ithaca that we were coming back after our summer in Egypt but that we were moving away shortly after.
On May 8, we held a yard sale along with a few other families in our apartment complex. One of the benefits of the job was that they would pay to ship our personal belongings over, but since another benefit of the job was a furnished townhome (including appliances and linens and kitchen stuff), we wouldn't need much. When we were bringing stuff out for the yard sale, I felt like I was looting my own apartment. I made trip after trip inside, raided the cabinets, closets, and shelves, and came out with my arms full of stuff to put out at the sale. We sold almost everything, and what we weren't able to sell, we gave away.
Near the end, in the day or two before we moved out and left for Egypt on May 14, we even had friends walk through our apartment and just take stuff they wanted.
The things we cared about enough to bother shipping across the world, we packed up into six huge grey plastic bins we got at Target. But of course it wasn't as simple as that. You remember I told you we designated a room in our house as Egypt. What I didn't tell you at the time is that we also had a space called Dubai, and a space called Dubai-but-keep-unpacked-because-we-need-it-after-Egypt, and not-Dubai-but-not-Egypt-either-just-for-now, and take-to-Salvation-Army, and sell-to-Mama-Goose. There were piles all over the place and the stress of it all definitely got to us (I relieved some of it by writing blog posts and now you know why). And I haven't even begun to talk about my feelings.
Because amid all the joy and excitement and sense of impending adventure, I couldn't escape the fact that I would be leaving Ithaca. And friends, in case you hadn't noticed, I love Ithaca. At first I cried and told God it was cruel of Him to have let me live in Ithaca at all when it was only going to be for a year. Far better to have not known that year of communion with a place I really loved living, than to have lived there only to give it up, right?
Over time, however, - weeks and weeks and weeks - I've come to accept the one year in Ithaca I was given as a gift from God. In so many ways, I feel as if I've grown up there. Not that I've spent my childhood there, but that I've entered adulthood there. It's where I became a real person in the real world for the first time. I learned how to sign up my kid for ballet and swim lessons. I learned how to help at preschool and be its treasurer. I learned how to put on makeup and swap babysitting and rely on neighbors for help and scrape snow and ice off the car and be a work-at-home-mom with two kids. And through it all I was surrounded by amazing people who were such good examples to me of hard work, sacrifice, and motherhood.
All of this I realized just when we had decided to leave.
And it isn't like we're leaving Ithaca for Switzerland. Indoor snowboarding courses aside, Dubai is probably more of a barren wasteland than Tucson is, and it's hard to read my blog without getting a sense of how I felt about that place.
Of course I worry about my silly Reverse SAD. Of course I will miss seasons. Name pretty much anything about Ithaca, and you can be sure it will break my heart to leave it.
Sometimes I think I'm destined to never live in a place I love, but always meant to love the place we live as best I can. And it's true. That is the way of things when you're a professor's wife, because you can't just move somewhere and hope to find a job. The job has to find you, and it is where it is. Put that way, we were very lucky to live in Ithaca for a year where a job and our idea of a perfect location just happened to line up for once. For a very short once.
So come September, we'll move to Dubai and I'll learn to love it. I know I will.