There and Back Again
Fait accompli. We have made our journey around the world, and now we begin our journey to create the life we want to live from this point forward. In a lot of ways, it felt like the trip did not end simply because we were in the United States. Some of this was real--once we returned to Chicago, we immediately set out on a family vacation to S.C., something we have wanted to do, but could not for lack of vacation time. But in a more emotional sense, we were still completely unsettled for the month of June. No jobs, no home, and no knowledge of what was in store. A lot of choices needed to be made, unsure if they were really going to get us to where we wanted to be. It was much like the uncertainty of travel, but felt like a much larger test of our faith. We had finally reached the moment of truth: had we changed our lives in the way that we had hoped for?
As I had hoped, a new job in the veterinary field was not hard to come by. Interviews that I had begun in France came to fruition, and in the end I had multiple job offers to choose from. I now work exclusively with feline patients, my favorite pet of all. We found an apartment in the city, on the 23rd floor overlooking Navy Pier. Jenni is pursuing yoga as a full time career, rather than as an add-on to the wine business. It is everything we dared to hope for before we razed life as we knew it--and that every piece fell exactly into place is nearly surreal. We have had the loving support of friends and family throughout the entire experience. It was a joy to know that so many people not only supported our endevour, but were as sad as we were to see it come to a close. We owe huge debts of gratitude to both our parents for their support in pet-sitting and allowing aged children to move back in until we could jump off again into independent living.
We turned crazy into courageous simply by having it all work out.
Did I say fait accompli? Ludicrous. The journey continues. I am now in the great City of Chicago, a life-long suburbanite living in a completely urban setting. I don't know how to use the public transportation, need to learn the street names, and still don't know the best places to have a cup of coffee or a fine dinner. Everything is new, exciting, and engaging. My batteries are at full capacity, and I can't wait to begin using that energy in creating my new life (for example, joining Alliance Francaise to keep my French from sliding away again). All through the trip I would tell people I was from Chicago (after all, who has ever heard of Lisle?), but in truth I am a stranger here myself.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time" (T. S. Eliot). I can't think of a greater truism for this journey. Time to get back to exploring--the only difference is I will be earning less air miles.