Thursday, February 12, 2009

Making the Decision

Today marks a countdown that in many ways I am very excited about; however, it also brings me great sadness. 30 days from today, I will be boarding a plane to Memphis, ending my expatriate assignment in Europe. It is a bittersweet time as I start to pack up and leave an experience, which I will NEVER forget to start a new chapter in this book, I call, life.

What an amazing ride it as been. I remember when I first moved over here mom and I were talking and we both said...23 months left! Oh, how that seems like yesterday!

I wanted to repost something I wrote on December 17, 2006 titled, "Making the Decision".
One might think that if presented with an opportunity to live and work in Europe for 2 years there is nothing to think about...the obvious answer is yes! Well, not so fast! For me, there is so much to think about, consider, decide, and can become consuming.

Here is some background as to how this all came to be:

As part of a big reorganization in my department, we are expanding and opening audit offices in Brussels and Hong Kong. When this reorg was first announced, I never really considered one of the positions overseas. It wasn't until one Saturday in June when it hit me like a lightning bolt....I need to give this some serious thought. I have always said God talks to me in the shower...well, this day, He seriously did. I literally jumped out of the shower, emailed my manager and emailed a friend that is currently living in Brussels. I thought that if I did not tell someone immediately I was interested in learning more about this opportunity then I would never follow through.

From that moment on all I could think about was Brussels...what it meant to me personally, professionally, what about my parents, my sister, other family, friends, and, of course, my precious Maxie (my spoiled rotten dog).

Lindsay, my friend currently living in Brussels with her husband who is doing a 2 year assignment with KPMG, called me immediately when she got my email. She told me the good, the bad, and the ugly about her time in Brussels so far. Although her experience is very different from what mine would be (she is not working), the immediate culture shock and emotions of missing family and friends is the same.

The many months from when the position was announced to when it was actually posted and we could apply for it was planned. And now, after having gone through the past 6 months or so of thinking about this opportunity, I am very grateful for that time. There is so much to consider before committing to something like this (more than I first realized). I am very very very lucky to have Lindsay already in Brussels and can share her experiences and be there to answer the unlimited questions I have asked. She has no idea exactly how appreciative I am of her friendship and honest information.

One of the first conversations I had was with my parents. I had to break the news of the possibility of moving to another country gently. Mom was receptive, Dad...well, let's just say he is struggling...still. As part of my thought process, I had to think about their health and the unthinkable...the possibility of something happening to one of them or to my sister while I am not here and my Grandmother and my many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. I am blessed that my parents, sister, Grandmother, and the rest of my family and friends are in good health. I had to think about what I would do in the event that something did happen. I am blessed to work for a company, which would move Heaven and Earth to get me home in the event I needed to get back immediately.

I also had to consider if this was the right time for me personally and if I was in a place in my life where I could do this and not have any regrets. Maybe this is the reason God has allowed me to be single all of these years. There is a reason for everything, right? After months of really thinking about ALL of this...the answer was yes, I was going to apply for an opportunity of a lifetime.

So, I applied, interviewed, and recently accepted a position in Brussels. They are telling me we will be moving in the March/April time only a few months to get my stuff together and start a new chapter in my life.

Now, the details begin...sell or rent my house, sell my car, what to take and what to leave in storage, obtaining a work permit and all the MANY documents required with such a move, getting Maxie ready with the required documents, shots, the proper Euro microchip, and her doggie passport (yes, I know, who knew??), and MUCH MUCH more. The list is never-ending!

Whew, I am tired just thinking about it! So, I am off...

Until next time...


By the way, my adventures are not over! I leave for South Africa and Egypt next Saturday!!!


  1. Awe....this means you have 30-days left of getting all the cute pictures you can with the puppy of your last days there....

    I wonder what the next chapter in your life will bring.

  2. I love that you have this blog as a record of the whole thing! Here's to hoping the next adventure is equally exciting!

  3. Enjoy your last month - it will fly!

  4. I decided that I needed to stop by and say hi!! You've been a committed follower of my belly and my baby, and I have not been over here often enough at all... shame on me!

    Your journey seems so amazing and fun; I need to catch up! I lived in Rome for four months, just long enough to get an itty-bitty taste of how fun it is to travel once across The Pond. South Africa should be amazing—have a fantastic time!!!

  5. I love this! So very cool to see it full circle like this. I am glad for your daddy that he will have you back again. :)