I can’t say I was unhappy, but I can’t say I was exactly happy anymore.
I first moved to the DC area in June 2001, right before 9/11 happened. I moved to Takoma Park after a few months of staying with my friend in Virginia, and stayed there until I moved to Japan in 2003. I moved back to Maryland in 2005, intending to complete my master’s degree in teaching and then go abroad again. That means I was planning on leaving in 2007. I didn’t leave until 2010.
Life happens, right? I don’t regret staying longer than I originally intended. I learned a lot: about myself, about living by myself, living with another person, work, relationships, and friendships. I made friends who are like family to me, and who I miss every day I’m away from them. I had students who made me a better person and made me rethink who I am and how I interact with people. I also had students who I pray I never meet again, but that was the minority.
2009-2010 was actually the best year I’ve had in a really, really long time. I remember at one point last September, listening to music in my car with the windows down on one of the those perfect Maryland fall days, when I realized–Oh my god. I am happy. This is what happy feels like.
But it was still time to leave. I was comfortable. I’d been in my apartment for five years, and I adored it. I still felt happy every time I came home. I imagine it’s what a good marriage is like–still in love after all that time…only, you know, apartments don’t talk back!
I had probably the best year of teaching I’d ever had, but something about my life in Maryland wasn’t quite satisfying to me anymore.
And then…Brock and Josh decided they were going to move to Bangkok. They told me I should come. I said, Yeah, yeah, I know. I should come. I knew I wasn’t exactly happy, but I was comfortable, and the thought of leaving my comfort zone scared me.
I thought about it a lot. I talked about it to a lot of people. Two people really made a difference.
A friend I adore and respect very much told me, “I think you want to stay in Maryland because you’re comfortable. But you’re not like other people–you don’t do things because you’re comfortable.”
My mom told me, “I don’t want you to leave, but I don’t want you to regret anything in your life. I think you should go.”
Well, geez, when your own mother is telling you it’s time to go, you listen up.
So, I finally faced my first challenge: Quitting My Job. I was terrified. I thought my principal would be mad at me, and I thought, deep down, that I was actually really, really stupid to leave a job. I mean, hello, do you know what the state of the economy is? Also, remember the whole comfort zone thing? Yeah.
But I totally gave the smackdown to Quitting My Job. As these things often are, it was completely anti-climatic. I was like, Oh, I’m not coming back next year, and my principal was like, Oh, we’ll miss you. Have a nice life! (She was actually very nice and excited for me.) And I was like, Huh. Well, that’s that.
And then the summer passed both slowly and crazy fast.
I was a bridesmaid in a wedding:
I got lost with my cousin and we ended up at a cave in the middle of Missouri. I cannot wait until she can drive–I drove ALL DAY LONG.
I got to see my sister:
And then, on August 11th, I faced my second challenge: Move to Bangkok. I totally gave the smackdown to that one, too. I hopped on a plane and a mere 26 hours later, I landed in the hot and humid tropics. To live. For…I don’t know how long! You know, until I got on the plane, I’d just been on auto-pilot. Then, as the plane was taking off from San Francisco to Seoul, I thought, Oh. My. God. What have I done????
Anyway, here I am. In Bangkok. Here’s my new apartment building:
I live on the 26th floor.
I kind of love my apartment. It’s new, and modern, and clean, and quiet, and there are two (freezing) pools, and it’s just awesome. The coolest part is that I can control my lights by remote control. I don’t even have to leave the couch! It’s the ultimate in laziness!
Also, my best buds are a 5-minute walk away.
Quitting My Job: 0 Megan : 1
Moving to Bangkok: 0 Megan: 1
That’s two for two, people. Those are good odds to start with.