This post is a bit of a warning to those of you who regularly see me in daily life… or maybe a public service announcement? For the rest of the month and a half that I have left here (or at least at my job—not sure yet my precise leave date for Ukraine, but probably between Nov. 1 – 15), I will probably vacillate between these frames of mind:
- Excitement: I can’t wait to live with Alex again! Plus, I’ll be able to devote dedicated time to my dissertation, have a break from fulltime work, travel a lot, and experience living in another culture! Yippee!
- Overwhelmed: So now I have not only the fulltime job and the dissertation proposal and the house/personal stuff, now I’ve got to also wrap up existing work projects, document processes for the next person, pack/store/sell/donate all our stuff, keep the house spotless while it’s on the market, and somehow mentally and emotionally prepare for moving out of the country. *rolls into fetal position and shuts eyes*
- Terrified/Grieving: Why did I decide to leave an area I’ve lived in for over a decade, where lots of my friends and family live? I’ll be far away and in an obnoxious time zone that will make social contact difficult. We won’t get the house sold! I can’t learn Russian! I won’t make new friends! I’ll fail at my dissertation! Aaaaaaack!
Sometimes all three assault me in one day, but typically I’m stuck on one of the three, and move on to the next one the following day. It’s a real thrill ride, let me tell you!
I feel like I’m in one of those Calvin and Hobbes strips where Calvin’s dad’s answer to anything frustrating or awful is “it builds character.” Yippee, LOOK AT ALL THE CHARACTER I’M BUILDING. By the time I’ve been in Kharkov for a few months, I bet I’ll have enough characters to populate War and Peace. Hopefully they won’t be running around in my head screaming… hrmmm.
I don’t want to turn this blog into a documentary of my mental processes or a journal of my frustrations, but I do feel the need to preface this transitional period with a kind of emotional disclaimer. Basically: a lot of crap is going on. It’s more than will fit in my brain at any given moment. I’m going to seem really peppy one day and really down the next. It will pass.
Chant the mantra with me, everyone: THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS. Very good!