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Monday, November 3, 2008

The Move

Before the overseas job offer, I had just separated from my wife and moved into a co-worker's condo and felt like I was a college student moving out from my parent's house for the first time. You see, I had lived the so-called American Dream for the last ten years with a wife, house, long term job and pets. Now I had thrust myself back into the situation of living in a single room with two male roomates downstairs, just like an 18 year-old. It was kind of liberating in a way to be back on my own with nobody to answer to but it felt odd too. I ended up buying the condo as it's owner, a good friend and co-worker of mine was going through a major change in his life too, he was starting a new business with his wife in another city.

After I was offered the position, I was very excited, I knew I was going to take it. After all it was a great opportunity to live, work and get a tax-free income overseas and represented what I consider the peak of my profession. I had a lot of vacation time accrued and I told my future employer that I needed 8 weeks to get things squared away in the U.S. and I was surprised they agreed. I thought this would be plenty of time. I told my current employer that I had accepted another job and don't expect me in to work very much in the next two months as I was taking my vacation days.

I soon found out that I had tragically underestimated the time and effort required for me to settle my affairs in the U. S. in preparation for my move overseas. First of all, I had to get 10 years of accumulated crap out of what was now my ex-wife's house. Then I had to find a place to store all the crap, and I had to figure out where to put my new crap I bought for the condo and what to do with the condo I had just bought. At the time I also owned 2 motorcycles, a Chevy pickup truck and a Mustang GT convertable. Those vehicles would have to be disposed of too.

Did I deal with this well? NO! I would wake up in the morning with the best of intentions for getting a lot of stuff done but I would always revert to staring into the abyss I had created for myself and go into "brain lock"and end up sitting passively around the condo. I swear that I could invent a new psychological malady called Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was a zombie and near catatonic in the weeks prior to my departure. Many thanks to my friends who took up the slack. I vaguely remember driving myself to the airport the morning of my departure but I do remember the good friends that saw me off. It felt very strange leaving the U.S. for what I knew would be a very long time.

When I now look back, it's amazing the rationalization one does when facing a stressful situation. I imagine it is like skydiving for the first time and just saying "Oh, screw it" just before you leap into space. Iam not proud in the way I handled myself in the weeks leading up to my move. I could have done better!

2 comments:

Roger said...

I get to be the first commenter! I forsee an interesting story/history. It's amazing how therapeutic it can be.

Rashida Sarraf said...

Being an expat is really hard especially if you don't have any clues on the place you are trying to fit in. You can always try Abu Dhabi Apartments on your first step in Abu Dhabi