Two weeks left and I am happy to say I think we survived our first year. Living the life of international teachers is amazing-the travel, the new experiences, and the amazing schools, but it is also wrought with challenges and obstacles that, although chosen, are not easy.
When you make the decision to leave one country and school-essentially your life-and pack up to start a new one-you don’t always realize what you’ve signed up for. In many ways it reminds of childbirth, all the pain and agony melt into a distant memory that doesn’t seem so bad when it remains in the past. But the reality is hard, and long, and tiring, and while you’re in the thick of it, the end is hard to imagine. Deciding to make a move is difficult, but when it is the right decision for your family then you move forward regardless of the long path of uncertainty and newness that lies ahead.
That’s what we did moving to Doha. For us, it was time to leave Mumbai and our amazing school there. Paul and I have always tried to leave while our memories are still mostly good and we treasure our time in a certain place, and I think we did that leaving India when we did. Without a doubt, coming to Doha was the right decision for our family.
But this first year? Tough.
Being in a new place you’re challenged to redesign your personal and professional life. It’s exciting for sure, but also intimidating. These people have no idea who you are, what you believe in, and what you value. And we, on the other hand, have all of the same questions about our new community.
It’s like navigating a high school cafeteria with no idea where to sit for an entire year. And I don’t think I’d really wish it on anyone.
But then May rolls around and suddenly you find yourself generally knowing which group you belong at. You know how to navigate the lines and you understand the lingo. Suddenly, things don’t seem so tough. You’ve almost found yourself fitting in.
That’s where we are. Next year will bring many changes, including the not so small ones like a new job and a new baby, but it won’t be our first year. And for that I am grateful.
Doha and ASD have become our home, and while we can’t wait to spend our summer back on Bainbridge, these people are now our people.
We’ve found our table in the cafeteria.