The ups and downs of moving internationally...
It has been a while since I last updated you on my move... so I apologize for the information overload.
Where to start...
Well, I finished my Masters in Special Education on May 7, 2011. I hopped on a plane to Europe on May 11, 2011. My friend Claire and I backpacked through The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, and Portugal. It was amazing. I will elaborate on the places, events, and adventures in the next entry.
Well, my last entry detailed the intricate steps involved with moving internationally. I thought I had successfully navigated the list. I was wrong. When I returned from Europe at the end of May, I learned that my fingerprinting process had not passed through the State Department. Lo and behold, the US Mail is not the best idea for international time-sensitive documents. Lesson learned. My Dad's cousin works in the State Department and after her directive, her employees searched through piles and piles of mail to find my documents and attain the necessary clearance. While this search was taking place, I was looking for plane tickets back to Texas to get more fingerprints made and start the process again...as we believed my documents were lost in the mail. It was a complete panic day, to say the least. Now, my fingerprints and police clearance are attested and ready to go to the Qatar Embassy in Houston.
I am currently living in Orange County, California for the summer. I am spending my time nannying for a precious 5 month old baby girl and refereeing water polo games. Although I am in a beautiful area, I don't know all too many people here and it can be a bit lonely. This loneliness prompted my complete meltdown over moving to Qatar. I babysat a pair of horrendous Egyptian children and when I confronted their parents about the lack of discipline and complete defiance (keep in mind that my graduate treatise was on emotional disturbance), they told me that it was Arab culture and I should get used to it if I plan to move to Qatar. I lost it. I spent a few weeks crying every day, completely dreading the move. Compounding my loneliness and anxiety regarding moving was the amazing guy I was dating in Texas and knowing that 2 years of distance dating was not reasonable or fair. Horrible timing...but hopefully we can manage to be friends and keep in touch while I am gone and while he keeps rocking and rolling with his water polo ventures. I feel lucky to have dated him.
Anyway...there were many other reasons to doubt moving... The school building isn't finished yet...I will be living alone- which I didn't think would bother me, but after having amazing roommates forever, I am terrified. My roommate in California is wonderful. My Texas roommates were all fabulous. I have come to realize just how much I love coming home and chatting with someone, or even having someone to eat my cooking Hopefully I can make friends in Qatar and overcome the loneliness. Another reason that I have been worried is women's rights...but more in the water polo realm. Many of you know how much trouble I have had being a female referee in a male-dominated world...well, I feel like I am finally enjoying my job and not having to watch my back everytime I walk on a pool deck... and moving to a country where I am not even allowed in a pool area with men definitely makes me feel like I am moving backwards. Yes, officiating is a hobby and not a career, but I do love it and I do love the ability to referee without (much) discrimination. That will not be the case in Qatar. The two-year contract is daunting. After my 3 weeks of travelling through Europe, I realized that as much as I love to travel...part of me just wants to be still. To stay in one spot and be able to see my friends and family whenever I like. To not be called a free spirit, gypsy, nomad, and loner. It appears that despite my independence, I do care what people say about me and to me...and a lot of the things that people have said to me regarding my move to Qatar have been negative and hurtful... This makes the competitive side of me want to prove them wrong...which is no reason to move across the world.
As you can see...my thoughts are scrambled, random, and confusing. I have been back and forth on the issue...to the point of applying for teaching jobs in Texas... of course, those are few and far between.
I will admit that I do change my mind almost daily about this, but for today, I am moving to Qatar. It is a great opportunity, a great resume builder, great benefits, and a great cultural experience. That being said, I will need a lot of support and reinforcement to maintain this decision. It is awfully hard to watch most of my friends get married and settle down while I run off to be a free spirit in the Middle East. I'm not sure which is better...but it is what it is.
Whew. I hope you've all survived the crazy stream of consciousness. I know it isn't very coherent...but neither is my life right now
I promise to post on the Europe adventures soon. I wanted to catch you up on the latest Kat-happenings first though.