Friday, March 2, 2007

Take Off

Although this job had been in the pipeline for months, M had been unemployed for 7 months, wondering if his 1st overseas post, since moving into development 3 years earlier, would ever come off. In truth I had been burying my head in the sand hoping it would never happen. Ironically it had been me who 1st persuaded him to consider working overseas when we met, 16 years ago. I had just returned from voluntary work in South Africa.

Increasingly over 11 years spent in a blue chip company, M felt more and more that he wanted to do something that was more 'worthwhile', something he felt would 'make a difference' and developed a desire to 'help people help themselves, who through no fault of their own were having a miserable life'. That's how he always expressed it. He had done an MBA, with a view to using his business/management experience overseas in the NGO world.

I have always shared this 'heart for the poor'. I think most people, when they are young, want to 'make a difference' in some way, but a lot of stuff gets in the way as we get older. The fact is I had got very settled. The nesting instinct had kicked in. A mortgage, 2 children, a teaching career all contributed to this. One of the reasons we had left it so long to "go", was because I was infertile and we had spent 8 years trying to have our 2 children through IVF. The time to do this I think is when you are young, or 1st married etc. I must admit I found it excruciatingly painful, ripping up all our roots to go and live abroad. Maybe soon I will be able to see more of the benefits of doing this, but it still feels pretty raw.

In my farewell speech at my school, I quoted Mark Twain who said "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

I think I said it more to persuade myself than anyone else. Right now the 'safe harbour' looked very appealing............

It has felt like a bereavement in fact, leaving the family, the friends, the city, the church, the job which I loved SO much. We had lived in this city for 15 years from my teacher training through to getting married, having babies. Our lives were embedded in this place.

As the day dawned, it felt strangely unreal. From hearing M had finally got the job, to starting work, we had one month. It was a manic month not surprisingly. I felt panic rising in me thinking, "I can't do this, I really can't do this"

1 comment:

Iota said...

You can do this. You did do this. I am so full of admiration for you.