It was cold, dark, and snowing. It was only 4:30 in the afternoon. We were texting from our respective classrooms about who would be picking up which kid from where. My husband and I had been talking about living abroad together since we met 20 years ago. We finally went to the international educational job fair, and lo and behold, we got offered jobs teaching at the International School of Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. Me teaching art, him coordinating the special services program, both our 6-year-old and 15-year-old could attend the school. In the abstract, it had always sounded like a great idea. Being faced with the reality of accepting or declining this offer was an entirely different kettle of fish.
Fear set in. Maybe even panic. We had lived in this wonderfully rich community in southern Vermont for sixteen years. We had settled into a very comfortable niche here professionally, socially, artistically, and it truly felt like home. Pack up everything and go? His Carribean-Leo-self wrapped its brain around it much more readily than my New England-Cancer-crab-self could ever do. Lists of pros and cons were made, over and over, and still I couldn’t make the commitment to cut the strings and say yes.
Then I got the text: “Let’s jump off the hamster wheel before we fall off.” A warning? A promise? A premonition? Whatever it was, the visual image in my head was so strong, I knew it was the right thing to do. We called that evening from our cold snowy Vermont home and accepted the offer.