Friday, August 17, 2012
9 Days and Counting
Yesterday was my last day in the New York office, and it was packed with hand-over meetings, closing up projects, emotional good-byes over the good and the bad, and all the minutia of leaving a job. Phew. It's been hard to set my sights on what lies ahead while still working in my current position (not to mention caring for two young children on the homefront, fitting in the doctor's appointments, immunizations, shopping, international school searching, etc.). Amidst the back-to-back meetings, I had a one-on-one, in-depth security briefing. It's important, I know, but disconcerting to spend an hour and a half delving into worst case scenarios. Needless to say, without any space or time for decompressing or integrating it all, my heart rate was a bit higher than usual, my nerves were on edge, and I barely slept an hour last night. Sometimes I'm riding the wave of infinite possibility and excitement and other times, I'm scared beyond belief.
Course, it did help that two dear friends came over with boxes for packing and oils for protection - and an eagerness to help pack. What I really needed was the safety and comfort of good friends. Another reminder of how grateful I am to know such giving, authentic people that make up this community we have come to love. All of the women I've grown close to over the past four years since being pregnant with Ruby really do feel like sisters. One of the best parts of the journey ahead may just be how rich it will feel to come home.
In the morning I was greeted by the heroic efforts of my dear, dear friend, Richie, who's in New York for his yearly return visit from Japan. Early this morning he got a ride, took the Staten Island Ferry to the subway to Grand Central Station, where he took the train to Tarrytown, and then the bus over the bridge to Nyack - all to have a final afternoon together before we both ship off. He came bearing gifts - a book and CD on learning Swahili, a game he made himself with photos of Africana animals, English and Swahili words - truly ingenious (Matthew was rivetted), and an unbelievable openness to following my lead with errands and wall spackling. Richie's been reading up on the culture and customs of Kenya, and he invariably reminds me of the wonderment that could come from this adventure.
This is just a taste of the outpourings of support we have received. Course, there was the sweet call from my cousin, the surprising and heartwarming words from my Uncle "I'm so glad you are living out your dream." We had a send-off dinner party from our neighbors, replete with cake bearing a Kenyan flag, high school friends who journeyed from far and wide to say "good-bye".. it just goes on and on .. I couldn't possibly mention everyone. It's overwhelming. Just so ironic to feel so deeply rooted and nourished where we are, while preparing to leave for a place so far and unfamiliar. But then again, maybe that's why we have the courage for this to begin with.
Somehow tonight the fear's taken a back seat to a very full heart.