What the Fuck Have I Done – One Year Later
- Today is my blogoversary. I wrote my first post (What the Fuck Have I Done?) one year ago.
When I wrote that entry I was scared out of my mind. I had just agreed to jump into an abyss. I was preparing to move to Tanzania.
I would be lying to say that I didn’t have any idea what would be ahead of me. I had a vague idea that ex-pat life can be nice and the child care would be cheap. I had heard a constant refrain that Dar es Salaam was a family-friendly and safe post from a whole choir of people who knew someone who knew someone who lived in Dar.
I also had some friends who were pretty unhappy living in Tanzania.
So I didn’t really know what to think.
I was obsessed with the things that would be missing from my life in Tanzania… friends and family first and foremost, of course. But I was also focused on material things – like tampons and blue cheese salad dressing and Elmo DVDs.
I spent a lot of time calculating how many Super Plus, Super, and Regular tampons I would need to last me two years.
The answer is, more than I thought.
But guess what? It turns out they have things like tampons here. If I run out before my post is finished, I’ll buy some.
I can also find blue cheese salad dressing (although not my preferred brands), an infinite supply of DVDs (although not Elmo – but the kids have long since decided that Elmo is too juvenile for their advanced age of 3 years 3 months) and almost anything else I might be searching for. (But with one caveat – I might have to go to 3 stores and 2 markets before I find what I want.)
Before you think that all of my concerns were material – there were other things I was worried about….
- Exotic wild animals
- Really large bugs
- The 24 hour airplane ride out here
- Living well among poverty (and all the various dimensions of that)
- Finding adequate housing
- Finding a decent preschool and nanny for the kids
- Making friends
- Getting our friends and family to visit us here
And the most dominant concern: Whether or not I had lost my mind deciding to leave FHI after 13 years for a mega company like AED.
It was a giant leap into an abyss. I wasn’t (and still am not) a risk taker.
(Don’t tell me I am because I decided to have kids on my own. That was more of a biological/emotional/physical/need for a legacy thing – not really a thinking decision to leap. I only realized I jumped into an abyss AFTER I was pregnant.)
On March 31, 2006 I was way way way outside my comfort zone.
What the fuck did I do?
I made a decision that turned out to be wonderful for my family. The kids are thriving, our life is semi-exotic and semi-adventurous, I have all the help I need to be the best parent I can be, and finally, 11 months into this adventure, I am actually enjoying my job.
And to do my job I don’t have to leave the kids and travel for two weeks every three months like I did before we left.
That’s not to say that there haven’t been challenges.
I miss you all so much.
And the 7 months of no electricity was no walk in the park.
But we survived. And we have thrived.
And I also discovered (maybe really rediscovered) writing and my creativity. I like it. The act of keeping a blog has been good for me and helped me stay in touch with you.
This is my 67th blog entry. I don't know that I've ever managed to stick to something so religiously for so long. I'd like to thank Liz (Mom-101) for the inspiration.
But really, today is less the anniversary of Mahlers on Safari, and more the anniversary of a decision well made.
It was a great fucking decision.
Thanks for coming along with us for the ride.