Vacating Space

30 May

The past week has been busier than normal with packing up our apartment, posting photos of our furniture online, communicating with potential buyers, and getting ready to move across town with our wonderful friends, the Bullards, until we fly home on the 19th of June.

Tomorrow is our last day in the apartment.  It’s sad because this apartment has been our home for almost 2 years, and we’ve had so many friends/family visit and so many fun memories here.  We’ve lived in this place longer than we lived in Timothy Terrace together (that’s our Atlanta house).  Wow!  And actually, we’ve spent the majority of our married life in Jordan.  I guess we’ll have to learn how to function in America again!  That shouldn’t be too hard though ;).

My favorite little morning routine (which I’m doing right now) is to make coffee, pull the shutter of the kitchen window up, crack the window to let in a cool breeze, and sit at the kitchen table with my computer looking at the little tree across the street blowing in the morning wind and sunlight.

I am thankful for the success that has come to us as a result of our Jordan investment.  For me, this whole process was quite frightening when we started talking about it, and even the first semester we were in Amman.  There were so many unknowns, and my worry-wartness was probably clinically out of control.  But, Phillip has worked & studied so hard and gotten into the best Arabic PhD program in the country, and been asked to teach (for pay) starting his first semester.  And I have gained Admin experience of an EFL program, which I’m sure most likely, I would never have aspired to in the U.S.

Celebrating 3 years of marriage this month!  (And the fact that we got to go eat sushi for the second time in a year right after taking this picture!)

Celebrating 3 years of marriage this month! (And the fact that we got to go eat sushi for the second time in a year right after taking this picture!)

Yesterday, I booked a day trip ticket from Atlanta to Austin.  My former boss in Atlanta recommended me to an ESL program there (thanks, Thomas!), and I’ve been given the opportunity to interview!  It will be early July and also my first time in Austin.  Both Phillip and I have driven through Texas (shout-out to the 2011 Lucas cross-country move!), but we’ve not explored very much of the state.  We’re looking forward to it, that is, after some time in Georgia with family & friends!

So what does it feel like to make a major life-transition like moving to another hemisphere?  Well, I’ve done it once before (from the U.S. to Japan, and then back to the U.S. a year later) before I was married.  I was glad to have the support of my family during that time.  There were lots of cultural adjustments and re-adjustments to get used to.  This time around, I’m thankful not to be experiencing the transition alone.  I’m sure that Phillip and I will have “whoa” moments frequently during the next couple of months.  And certainly, we will be recounting (to ourselves and to you) stories of “when we lived in Jordan…” for the rest of our lives.

The saddest part about leaving one place in order to go to another is having to say goodbye to friends.  As much as I think about it, at the end of the day, the checks on my “to-do” list will be of no consequence, and the amount of money that I earned or lost won’t be at all what people remember about me or how I evaluate myself.  And I really don’t think that stuff matters very much (if at all) to God.  But, when I think back to the various people whom I associate with the various places of my life, I can immediately recall how we related to each other and whether the overall demonstration of each person’s life was kindness or selfishness.

Isn’t that interesting?  That distinction is something that even very young children can make.  I’m glad to say that I have been met with a lot of kindness and generosity in Jordan.  I have tried to take note from the people who displayed it.

So, this weekend, as we vacate our home of 2 years, let me raise my (now twice emptied) coffee mug in a toast to our transition and our friends in Jordan:  “Here’s to you, and how much you’ll be missed!  May the space vacated in your lives by our leaving be met with new kindness & friendships all your life long!”

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One Response to “Vacating Space”

  1. Reg Stokes May 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Great stuff, Rachel..I know the transition won’t necessarily be an easy one for y’all…But, in many ways, your story is still being written with the next chapter on the horizon…You guys have a very special calling and a unique opportunity to touch so many lives with what y’all do..proud to know y’all.

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