Lots of travel updates lately, so here’s a quick life update:
I recently signed for a job in New York at a Jewish private school just outside the city and I have a flight home. Mitch and I don’t yet have a place to live, but that’ll happen all in good time. Moving to New York City is now a real thing!
I’m feeling a lot better about the move now that work is settled. It’s a middle school social studies job, which will be new for me, but I’m pretty confident in my pedagogy and I’m excited about the school. I wouldn’t have taken the job if I didn’t think it was a good fit but too many factors aligned for it to be anything else. As it happens, I attended a Jewish school for kindergarten through grade eight, overlapped with my new head of department when I was an undergrad in the program in which she was a grad student, went to my new principal’s alma mater for grad school, and – here’s the part that sealed the deal – grew up in the town where my new head of school’s relatives live and was a member of the middle school youth group that his sister and brother ran when they were in college.
That last part, friends, is called playing Jewish Geography. Fun game. I’ve made lots of acquaintances and even friends that way, which probably makes us a rather insular group. I’d argue, though, that it’s fair to say that about every minority ethnic group. 🙂
I’ve written before about my excitement to be with Mitch again and that’s still true. If not for him, there’s no reason to leave Singapore.
And that’s what is making this so hard.
I went out for coffee with my friend Jamie this afternoon and we started talking about all the things we need to do before I leave in (gulp) just over two months. Two months and three days. Time flies. As Jamie and I chatted and planned where in the world we could meet up in the coming years (compatible teacher schedules help!) I decided that I’m ready to go, but I’m not ready to leave.
I felt such a cold sense of finality when I clicked “confirm” on my flight payment tonight. The hard part is that I feel that I have unfinished business here. I have such wonderful friends who I love and who, in some ways, I’m still getting to know. I’m not done with that.
There are students to teach, inquiry questions to address, and curricula to plan. They can get along without me just fine, but I don’t know how I’ll do without them – both the students and the teachers!
There are neighborhoods of Singapore I haven’t seen, cafes and restaurants I haven’t tried, parks I haven’t explored, and hawker food I haven’t tasted. There are amazing countries to visit that I’m closer to now than I’ll likely ever be again.
Ever is a long time.
Even after a year, plus six trips to Singapore before I moved, I feel like I’ve just arrived. I’m still learning and I’m still excited. I was so ready to leave Malaysia by the time that finally happened and I could not feel more differently now.
I also feel like I have a home here but homes are portable. Home has come to mean people, not places. I already have a lot of people in New York City and I am looking forward to being much more present in their lives. So, I’m ready to go.
Leaving? Not so much.
As Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson said in one of my favorite scenes in Titanic, “To making it count.”
I have 63 more days here. And I intend to make them all count.