[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]I[/dropcap] can confirm that German-American Day 2014 was a wonderful success.
I can confirm that the table was decked out with German, American, and Bavarian flags, and that we feasted on bratwurst, kartoffelkloesse (potato dumplings), spaetzle, sauerkraut, and asparagus soup, and beverages (beer for the adults, ginger ale for the children) from our traditional frosty beer steins.
And I can also confirm that we are moving to Germany later this year … as we revealed in yesterday’s video post.
Oh my goodness.
It is so nice to actually say that.
After several months, I am in the final stages of the administrative hiring process related to my new job, and we will soon be given a definite departure date. If all things stay on track, we’ll be overseas before the Christmas holidays.
But really, this process started almost exactly a year ago when a combination of events sent me spiraling into a sort of existential crisis. Some of it was work related: the craziness of all things related to … well, you know, health web sites and health care in general … and the furlough and not being paid for three weeks. A lot of it was stuff at home: Martin’s broken finger, dealing with the Air Force run-around involved with his care and his eventual hand surgery, the toll that took on our household routine which (for better or worse) depends on him being fully functional, and how all of that was affecting us.
And then there was all the usual everyday stuff that drives most parents batty: rearing children, school obligations, caring for the pets, battling the laundry monster, household chores, you know how it goes. Things weren’t awful, but they weren’t awesome either. And thankfully, all of it passed. Martin healed. The furlough ended. Life returned to normal, or rather, we were able to glide through our days again on a semi-comfortable routine.
But that storm of chaos left me questioning everything. It wasn’t that I was unhappy: it was more that I was feeling unsettled. The more questions and perspectives I pondered, the more I kept ending up at the same thing: is our current lifestyle merely sustaining, or improving, or hurting us?
Needless to say, Martin and I had a lot of conversations about a lot of things. And from those conversations, I was able to really identify and flesh out the things I really love about our life, the things I really don’t like so much (hello, this DC commute is a bitch), and the things I really wanted to change about my life — and by default, our lives. From there, the idea of moving to Germany formulated like a big, bold exclamation point. We decided that if we were ever going to move to Europe again in our lifetime, this phase of our life would be the time to do it. Or at least, attempt to do it. Job opportunities within my career field overseas don’t open up often, and they are very competitive. And the hiring process takes forever. It’s not uncommon for several months to pass between the time a job is posted and interviews are done and offers are made. So we decided that for one year, and one year only, I would apply for any relevant job opportunities in Germany that interested me, and nothing else. In the meantime, of course, we would focus on enjoying our lives here in DC as best we can.
And if, after one year, nothing happened, well, at least we tried, right?
So, that’s what we did, beginning around Thanksgiving. We clued in my parents and a few close friends to our plans. Whenever an interesting job opportunity opened up, I applied. All in Germany. One in Italy. (Because, why not?)
Most of the time, I never heard anything back.
Winter rolled by.
And then spring.
And then … bam.
Summer arrived and so did the interview requests.
And then … there was waiting.
And more waiting.
And as the waiting stretched through those hot, humid weeks, I felt myself wilting under the stress. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I broke out in shingles over the summer. I joked to my friends that my muse was choking. This blog and a bunch of creative projects around the house got abandoned. I focused on work and planning for Disney to keep my mind occupied. For the longest time, I told Martin that whoever made an offer first, we would take it because all the jobs I interviewed for sounded amazing and wonderful.
But as more time passed, I began to think, what if I don’t even get ONE?
As it turned out, though, just before our trip to Florida, I got offers within 72 hours of each other. All within equal distance to Martin’s family in Germany. All with incredibly important organizations staffed by wonderful, positive people. Each bringing its own unique experiences and opportunities.
It was an incredibly surreal and overwhelming few days. And after much research, delegation, and tears (from me), Martin and I made our decision, and just an hour before departing for our trip to Disney World, I submitted my tentative acceptance for a public affairs position in Stuttgart, Germany.
Once this final administrative part of the process is complete, we’ll be ready to roll in a short amount of time. As if that isn’t exciting enough, Martin’s supervisors at his military unit are already assisting him in finding a Reserve position over at one of the bases in Germany.
Isn’t it crazy?
I can confirm that yes … yes, it is.