December 23/2013: Wheels on the bus go round and round
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to travel, love to laugh (loudly), love to learn and love to, well, talk about unmentionables. It’s no big surprise that I’m stalking international teaching job sites, blogs, you name it. If you teach overseas and blog about it, chances are I’ve stayed up past my bedtime reading about your life — and I thank you for that.
What no one in a gazillion years would suspect is that I’d apply for a job in the middle east. I’m not what comes to mind when you think of the women underneath their abayas. I love pork, alcohol and raunchy folk (god bless you all).
BUT, here’s the thing I also am genuinely tolerant, respectful and curious about other people’s cultures. I don’t want to “save” anyone, just share with and learn from them. I love who and what I am, and part of what is good about me is I never stop loving and learning from who and what others are. I thrive on the chaos of making the unknown known.
Soooo, here we go, after years of checking out expat teacher blogs and recruiting agencies, I hit send on a TeachAway application. A week later I was interviewing via the phone with someone in Toronto, and now I’m on a short list (not bus), being considered for a teaching position somewhere in Abu Dhabi, including its outskirts. So, yep this time next year I could be staring at the waters that lead to Iran, or watching camels race across sand blown in from Saudi Arabia. How poetically insane is that?
I honestly don’t know where any of this will lead, but I do know just applying for the job has already set the wheels of change into motion. Even if I don’t get the job, there’s no turning back now. I’m officially moving into the next phase of my life, whatever that may be, and I’m embracing every moment of my now as I can.
It’s the day before Christmas Eve, and I’m spending it with my daughter (whom I love beyond words. Seriously folk I made this person, who is an amazingly, complex, wonderful soul — and then I made two more versions, with penises. I’m going off on a tangent now, so back to my abu application). I would’ve loved today even if I didn’t apply for that job, but now it means more. Yesterday I baked cookies while my sons watched football, and my heart warmed every time I heard them yell over a play. Later while watching a movie, I didn’t get annoyed at their bitching at each other because I also noticed Kyle leaning against Aaron. They’re almost men now, but they’re still boys with each other, which they always will be. I’m rambling off onto thoughts about my children while trying to conclude this post, but that’s okay because it is all connected. My life, my choices impacts their lives, their choices (oh good God now I have to think about how my own mother’s path intertwined with mine, but let’s save that for another day).
And this is why applying to go overseas now is a good thing — where I go isn’t as important as the fact that I do try to go. It’s something I have always wanted to do, but I’ve put it on hold for the right reasons (and I’m sooo glad I did; I may have ‘made’ my kids, but they’ve molded me into something better than I was before them).
I need to give them the space they need to discover their paths forward while I continue to find mine. It’s a wonderful gift to show that our dreams don’t die, and that, yes, we keep moving forward, even when our bodies age (oh cellulite how I loathe thee), because a good life does not stand still in traffic; it manages to continually roll to where ever it needs to go (even if it doesn’t quite know where that is).
And now for whatever reason I’m off onto another tangent. That silly little song I used to sing with my kids (completely forgot about it until now):
and the wheels on the bus go round and round
round and round
round and round
all throughout the town.
And the people on the bus go up and down…
So, yeah, our wheels are turning and we’re moving forward. Holy hell that’s exciting and scary and amazing, and oh wow how truly lucky and blessed am I? Or, is it just insanity?