July 28, 2006
You know how, in horror movies, something will be happening and the character is trying to run somewhere, but the world seems to be in slow motion? And then suddenly, the slow motion (“running in molasses”) ends, and real-life speed ensues? At that moment, real-life speed seems REALLY fast!
I seem to be living that effect. The packing, sorting, organizing has been *seemingly* endless for the last two months. I have been working and working and working, and there is still a houseful of mess and nothing is ready to go to Cairo. We received our travel itinerary, and the endless plodding of the same old, same old, has ended. Everything is rushing in at seeming break-neck speed.
All the freight materials need to be packed and inventoried within the next week to 10 days. It will all disappear from our lives within the next 2 weeks – to reappear whenever Egyptian customs decides the time is right, insha’allah. We then have a week to live out of suitcases, clean the house, take everything else we own to either the Goodwill or the dump, before we climb on a plane. At that point, the reset button of my life gets pressed, and nothing is the same!
I am both excited and apprehensive about this. It has all seemed adventurous and fun until recently. Now the reality of the move and life change is coming to realization. I got over the first round of sorrow at letting go of things, and now I’m down to the last (and often most tenderly loved) items. They are now going away. The sadness is weighing in and tinging the excitement right now.
We have a set deadline for leaving, and all this WILL get done. Unfortunately it is all on me for this, as Jack is working right up until we leave. That puts extra pressure on me to make sure that everything is done correctly for two people’s lives for the next two years. Everyone keeps telling me it will be fine. I’m sure that everyone is right, and all will happen – One way or another. I am just plunging, headlong, into this adventure and I’m not sure where I’m going to end up!
July 17, 2006
Today I finished packing up my office, throwing away files and giving away crap. Today I turned in all 8 keys that I’d accrued in the last 7 years, and my electronic key card. I no longer have access outside of “normal” business hours. How distinctly odd, and scary, and (MOSTLY) liberating.
I have found that, like most people, I have been in the service of my stuff and my job. Getting rid of the stuff and separating from the job, although only temporarily, is an amazing feeling. I am no longer active faculty at one institution, and am not yet active faculty at the next. I am in limbo. I approve!
The house packing and getting ready for air-freighting our stuff continues to be a constant, but having the weight of my office/previous position off my shoulders makes the house seem less overwhelming.
July 6, 2006
So much has been happening lately. In the last month, I’ve finished teaching at Highline. I’ve submitted my grades and left my job of the last 7 years. (Interestingly enough, without any marking of my departure. Ah well.) I’ve married the man I’ve loved for the last 10 years. We have begun to divest ourselves of the majority of the stuff we own.
Through all of this, the pervasive emotions have been those of excitement, anticipation and a bit of trepidation. Recently, those emotions have been joined by another, new emotion – Sorrow.
I have moved more times than I can begin to recount, however this time has a distinct difference. I am not leaving Seattle permanently. Every other move was permanent. I left home with no thoughts of returning. Each move has been a definitive end to some chapter of my life with a closing off of all things associated with that chapter. This excursion to Cairo, on the other hand, is an interlude in a very happy life in Seattle. I have very good friends here, with whom I am not closing off communication. I look forward to coming back to my house, my friends, my pub, and rejoining a very good life.
That being the case, I am looking at my upcoming departure with sorrow and a feeling of loss. I will not see or be with these people for 2 years! Life here, with all its minor victories and tragedies will continue without me. My life will continue, on a different continent and trajectory than that of my friends. Things and people that I care about will change in my absence. I will change in their absence. Does that mean that I am regretting my opportunity in Cairo? Of course not! I have, however, recently realized that Cairo will be an amazing adventure for me and Jack, and will separate us from our current life in Seattle in ways that we do not yet understand.
My feelings are still primarily excitement, anticipation and a bit of trepidation, with a distinct tinge of sorrow.
July 4, 2006
So, as a relatively type-A individual, not knowing EXACTLY how and when everything is going to happen has been very taxing. I, intellectually, understand that this is how it is done, but it will take me some time to get used to it.
On that note, I received e-mail from a soon-to-be co-worker. Very welcoming, pleasant and friendly. It was fun to begin getting acquainted with someone from my department. We chatted about moving, Cairo etc. My favorite part of the discussion, and the bit that makes me feel more comfortable about everything, is that the recommended items to bring from the States were:
- heavy stainless cooking pans
- SCUBA gear
- good wine glasses
- duct tape!!!!
I think I’m gonna be ok! I’m still unclear as to what I will be teaching when I get there, but I’ll have SCUBA gear, wine glasses and duct tape, so all will be fine.
On the teaching front, it has been indicated that I may be teaching a section of Scientific Thinking – a general education course for all students. And in the most recent Biology department newsletter, it indicated that I may be teaching Invertebrate Zoology as well. However there is still no “official” word as to my teaching assignment. I am hopeful that I will know my teaching assignment before we leave. My office nameplate, however, has been discussed and determined and will be in place when I arrive!
Things are going to be different. “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not (going to be) in Kansas any more”