The Crazy Part
The crazy part about us moving to Houston is that it felt like a difficult decision to say no to moving to Angola. Some of our Canadian friends were surprised that I would be up for Angola, but that's because they haven't known me for very long. They know me as the girl who does not like to hike, and they mistake that quality for a lack of interest in adventure. They don't understand that I view cultural adventure as more engaging and more worthy of discomfort than physical adventure. I don't want to climb the mountain just for the sake of the climbing the mountain, but if the mountain is blocking the path to something else I want, then I will do it. I think it must be the same reason why marathons little appeal for me, in spite of the fact that I like to run several times a week.
Going to Angola with the company that was trying to hire my husband would have been the most comfortable way possible to go there. Physically comfortable, that is. And still, it very likely would have been uncomfortable. Malaria medication. Little to no in-country access to healthcare. Potential visitors unlikely to get visas. Tomatoes 4 for $20. Hardly any food grown in the country due to landmines remaining from the civil war. What about the cat? What if we want to have a baby? What if we get sick? And the uncomfortable daily reality that our expensive lives there would make it even harder for locals to afford life there. Never driving sounds nice, except never driving because you can't for both practical and safety reasons might lose the glamour feeling within a day or two.
Still, knowing all of that, it was hard to eradicate my interest in us taking the Angola position, and the simultaneous feeling that choosing Houston is a indication of age and time passing. I'm forced to admit that I might be feeling too old to take those kinds of risks. Feeling too tempted by heading back to life in the Land of Plenty (for Cheap).
But I know it's about other things. The quest for more of home in our lives would not be fulfilled by moving to Africa. My friends and family would be even more confused about how to contact me than they are now. They might even give up altogether, and then I would really be lonely. A lot of places need help, not just Africa. We listen to the news up here in Canada; we know what a mess the United States is right now. Maybe we should try strengthening our own country by living in it, instead of earning and spending in other places.
In the past, moving to Houston always seemed inevitable; boring and depressing. We always felt secretly sorry for people who were transferred there. But the weird thing is that I feel like I'm just coming to life. I feel happy. Definitely not because I think Houston is going to make me happy, but I think because I'm just feeling happy in general. It has nothing to do with Houston, and everything to do with us making progress in defining our hopes, achieving our goals, and feeling more in control of what happens next.
The crazy part is that I would have said yes to something which so clearly does not reflect most of my goals, and I have spent much mental energy trying to puzzle what it is in the human spirit, at least for many of us, that kindles these little fires of human curiosity. It's fascinating to me, and slightly troubling, that my own brand of curiosity could easily have led me away from what brain knows to be the currently better choice. Bizarre. Or maybe the universe sent the Angola thing along with the Houston thing to make it clear that while Houston will have flaws, I should remember that things could be a lot worse?