At this point in my preparation, I have informed the most important people in my life of my impending move to Kuwait. It is almost time for the obligatory Facebook announcement. I have informed grandparents, cousins, friends, the local barista, and the lovely staff of UPS who helped me overnight all my documents to Washington, D.C.
Their reactions have varied from blank stares to questions such as “Where is Kuwait again?” I also received the expected “Why would you want to do a thing like that?” Being that Kuwait is in the Middle East and everyone seems to have their own interpretation of what life is like there, I brainstormed ways to soften the news for those who may negatively interpret my news. The following things came to mind:
- Begin with, “I have big news, I am going to jail.” Or “I have big news, and its a boy.” Then, laugh and say “No, that’s not true, but I am moving to Kuwait.”
- Not tell them at all. Just go to Kuwait and check in on Facebook. Then send a “Greetings from Kuwait” postcard to all my relatives not on social media.
- Start by announcing I am going overseas while visions of Europe dance in their heads and then when they ask where, say Kuwait and wait for the open mouth stares to pass.
The one I actually went with was the third option. I was quick to say that Kuwait was actually very safe and pretty progressive and open to Westerners. I followed up with the fact that I would be working at an American school (that educates Kuwaiti children) and that I was very excited for the adventure. I would also be able to save money.
I think the money addendum is when I heard it click in everyone’s heads. That, they understood. Getting out of debt is truly the connecting factor between my news and my inner circle.
That said, I am not doing it just for the money. I want the adventure. I want to be uncomfortable. As much as I hate change and stepping out of my comfort zone, I thrive when I do that. As I write this, I am sitting in a coffeehouse in Manhattan. Eight years ago, New York was way out of my comfort zone. I got similar blank stares when I said I was moving 2,000 miles away to teach in Harlem. Now, New York is like the tattoo on my shoulder, it will always be with me. I can bloom anywhere. I wouldn’t want it any other way. New York is now a part of my comfort zone and my world is just a little bit bigger.
I hope my move to Kuwait will accomplish the same thing. I hope it will expand my understanding of the world and myself. I hope it will allow me to work with kiddos from a totally different background than my own, and teach them as they teach me. I hope it will allow me to break my dependency on Chipotle.
Maybe I will walk away in two years debt free as well. Fingers crossed.
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to craft a witty Facebook announcement post that will make me seem impressive yet humble.