Updated on August 14, 2017
The Next Step
I wrote last year about the Waiting Place. That uncomfortable time of life when you are waiting for the next big thing to happen. You are ready to go and begin new adventures, but life tells you, you must sit here a while. I don’t know if this will be a yearly thing, or if it is just in the cycle of life, I have been in the waiting place again.
I was contacted earlier this year about a teaching position. I felt that I was ready to see another part of the world on someone else’s dime, so I said yes. I signed the contract, sent it back and that was the easiest part. I didn’t know I was going to be sending myself to the waiting room.
I am very independent. I have always been. Some of it has to do with my birth order, the middle child. Some of it is my nature and my circumstances. To sit around waiting for the next big thing is torture. I must incorporate every technique I know in order to mentally accept what is happening to me. I spent a lot of time this summer journaling, counting to 10, looking for activities that give me joy, counting my blessings and writing them down, and more. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I had to phone a friend on occasion and vent. If you were that friend, thank you!
Waiting really should not have been that hard. I traveled: New York, Chicago, Baton Rouge, Daufuskie Island, South Padre Island, Austin and too many times in Houston. I wasn’t bored. I kept busy. I made plans with friends. I went to restaurants, celebrated birthdays and had a few girl’s night outs. Bean was spending time with her father, her cousins, her grandparents and other family members. It was good for her to make memories with family. That is just as important as making memories seeing new countries and speaking new languages.
But I admit, it was HARD. It is hard to know what you want to do and be ready to do it and then you must wait. I had all of my papers ready. I sent them to all of the people who were supposed to receive them. I talked to everyone with whom I thought I needed to speak. I asked questions and took notes…and yet, I had to wait.
I met other single moms who travel, online and off. I offered my advise and watched as one took off on her own great adventure. I am so proud of her. But I was stuck. I couldn’t move until I received the “Go” light from the consulate.
I have spent so much time this summer trying to be positive. Finding ways to stay positive, especially since I didn’t expect to spend so much of my summer in the United States. I feel active and useful when I am traveling to new countries, meeting new people, butchering other languages. I did my best to fight self pity. I said “shut up” to myself several times when I wanted to complain about staying in my parents house and feeling like I was 16 again. “Focus on the positive,” I said over and over.
Finally, it has all paid off. The light is green for go! We are on our way and our new adventure begins right away. Bean is as excited as I am.
We are going to China!!