I was recruited by a defense contractor to serve as a translator and interpreter for the US Army in Romania last month. Being born in Romania and speaking the language fluently, I considered this to be an opportune moment to wrap up my life and live out of a suitcase for 1 year, effectively placing all my other activities on hold. I should be ready. Most of my stuff has been KonMaried, I know where all my documents are. I have scanned copies on Evernote.
During the in-processing with this company (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty), I was asked to provide a slew of documents, get physical examinations and was presented with the restrictions on what I could take with me. After having read all the documents, I understood that my life was to fit into 2 rolling duffle bags and anything else had to be mailed to me once I was in country.
THIS was THE opportunity to pop open my planners and belt out my lists contents in operetta form, because I had been preparing for this since forever. I had whittled my planner collection down and was prepared to carry 4 planners in a backpack for 3 weeks until I got to where I needed to be.
I had all the travel loyalty cards and new all their access codes. I had logins and passwords written down for my husband to access all accounts in my absence.
I told my clients to be patient.
I bought new clothes
I closed out loose ends
I deposited checks, sold last minute items, posted things to the mail.
Brand new computer bought (smaller than what I need for editing but perfect for 1 year abroad).
I GOT IT ALL DONE.
Still paperwork kept rolling in. With a week to spare to my leave date, we decide to take a family trip to the Virginia Tidewater area to look for a house because our lease was up in January 2016. Ten + hours each way with my husband, mother and puppy, with pee pee stops every 2 hours or so. None of the houses we had selected worked out.
One of the houses the realtor suggested worked.
Still paperwork was coming in. No time to respond, no sleep to speak of. Clients pay no attention to "we are closed until the new year" sign. Orders keep pouring in.
"Stop at the underwear store, I need new underwear for one year" Underwear bought
Offer placed on house, Offer negotiated.
Thanksgiving Day Offer is accepted
Next day. We get word my mother in law passed away. My husband starts making plans to fly out for the funeral.
10+ hours driving back in torrential rains.
Phone calls, Pack up husband. Make more lists. A few loose ends still not tied up and now new loose ends with powers of attorney needed for my family.
Now, the family will be moving without me present. All my life will be packed in boxes and stay in boxes until I get back.
It's all going to be worth it. This is the job you've been waiting for, K.
More vaccinations needed for new job. Stop working, start driving to meet all the requirements.
New requirements for new job spring up. Meet requirements. Check.
Tickets? I need tickets? Call company... tickets on the way. Tickets arrive. One business day before weekend of travel:
Mom wants me to follow her in my car to get to Carmax to have our cars appraised. This. Now.
While at CarMax...
We will need the following original documents for your processing-COPIES WILL NOT DO.
"Um, I only have copies." (Friday Morning, flight slotted for Sunday)
"That won't do."
You never said you needed copies before, I have provided you everything in my life and thinking: why would you NOT list such a specific request on day one?!
Friday Afternoon "Am I flying out Sunday or not?"
No phone call, no email. Notice of flight cancellation sent by airline.
Executive revelation had and decision made Sunday while at the dog park with husband and puppy:
You didn't have your life together at all. You had the framework for getting it together. You have now just started to get your life together. What's it worth to you to be away from your life now that you know what to do in order to get it together? What's it worth? Is it worth your health?
These people still haven't called or emailed me. It's Monday afternoon. I have only words of gratitude to them, for allowing me the massive stress, the upset to my health and the horrific last-minute , mad-dash planning on my end to pretend my life was in order.
We are getting ready to move to our forever home. FOREVER HOME after being moved around almost every year for the last 15 years. There is an office for me in our new home (which we haven't closed on yet but are very close to). This office is upstairs and in the back corner. It's a sunny corner of a corner house in Williamsburg, Virginia. It has french doors to it and when you walk in to the rectangularly shaped room, you notice the sun beaming down on the hardwood floors-floors that were reclaimed from a pier during the Boston Tea Party. My planners want to live here and not in boxes waiting one long and lonely year for me. I want to meet my friend Steve during designated hours and record our radio program. I want to start putting down roots. I want to take my dog to the dog park. I want to plan it all out so I can see it from the comfort of my home, which I have earned every square inch of.
I'm calling Apple today to see if I can swap out my very tiny laptop for a 27 inch iMac so I can clearly see the wonderfully horrid resumes my clients send me, so I can help them move past their unhelpful resumes and move into what they need, a document to serve them.
I'm scoping out yoga and pilates studios, and making pedicure dates with my girlfriend in DC and wrapping my head around what it might feel like to not have to ever pack up and move again. Being an interpreter is still my dream job and I don't want to have to live in a self-induced nightmare to get it. Because when a dream shows up as reality, the effort needed to get there should have already been made, gracefully and not in a panic, without the terror of not knowing if one has enough underwear to last a year.
Getting ready to KonMari the rest of the house before the move. Now that's a dream I can look forward to.