The second thing I'd like to mention is how, along with so many congratulatory messages, there were a lot of notes that expressed how brave and courageous many of you felt I was. It got me thinking...
When I was at the beginning of this adventure I never really thought doing something like this was a courageous act. I can see that from some other people's perspectives it could be seen that way, but it never occurred to me that it was courage that was pushing me to move to Saudi Arabia. To be honest, I was riding a wave of excitement with the idea of diving into a world of unknowns. I've become the type of person who thrives with change. I like to think it's a life-based-generalized-version of Hyperactivity Disorder. I can sit still, yes, but I can't live still.
With change comes the unknown. And oh, how I love the unknown! Not knowing is one of the most wonderful gifts this universe has given us. "I don't know" is a phrase that needs to be spoken with love and passion and excitement. For, when we accept not knowing, we get out of our own way and allow the universe to surprise us with amazing things and circumstances that we didn't even know we wanted, that we didn't even know we needed. In other words, when you don't know what's going to happen the possibilities are endless!
Beastie Boys - "I Don't Know"
Is moving to a brand new country, with a completely different culture, working in an overwhelming environment involving strict protocol and professionalism scary? You bet your ass it's scary. I've had a few mini-breakdowns already. Just ask my best friends Malgosia and Megan. They witnessed a couple and God love 'em for being awesome knowing exactly how to bring me back on track and for reminding me that I will find friends that share my interests, I am in fact a competent S-LP, and I will be able to adapt to the culture. So, okay, maybe you could say I'm courageous since, according to the Oxford dictionary:
But I'm not doing this to prove to myself that I have courage. Really, I'm doing it because I like to watch my life change and grow and to also see myself change and grow. The only way to grow is to challenge myself - step out of my comfort zone and try new things or do things in a different way. When I do that, and I'm patient with myself, and I forgive myself during times that I stumble, I find that I'm learning and becoming a better person. It's like when I'm biking. Sure, I could happily meander my way down the hill and skip all the trail features that come along, but that just gets boring. Instead, I accept the fact that by trying out the cool jumps and the freaky drops I will be scared, I will fall, I will get bruises, I will hurt my pride, but I will also accept that things are always a little rough before they get better. Before I know it I find myself catching air and doing drops and feeling like a million bucks for persevering. I can't get enough of that feeling of accomplishment, the knowledge that I can do something super cool that I couldn't do yesterday, that wholehearted adrenaline rush that makes me want to jump in the air and freeze frame the scene.
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." --Unknown
**Disclaimer - Not that I've ever had a cocaine high. I've just read a lot about the effects it has on the brain. So it's okay, Dad, you don't have to worry :)