We’ve been busy these last few days. On Thursday, my husband told my father in-law about our plans, and it went well. Let me put this in perspective: My father-in-law is a disabled veteran in his 60s who has difficulty communicating and interacting with others. He has a strong sense of justice, hates dishonesty, and for the last 18 months or so, has been living with my husband in part because he has difficulty leaving the house. My father-in-law also despises “faites accomplis” or significant decisions concerning him that have been made without his knowledge.
Thus, while there was a larger emotional toll in telling my parents about our plans (to move to France indefinitely beginning this summer after quitting our jobs), telling my father-in-law loomed large in our minds for months. My husband was concerned that his father might feel seriously abandoned and have significantly reduced functionality for weeks after hearing our news.
In spite of all our concerns, my husband told his father on Thursday, and it went very well. My father-in-law was curious about our plans and later, concerned about how he would manage if left on his own for as many as 12 months. However, he remained supportive, and from what I can tell, attentive to ideas about what he could do to stand himself in better stead before we, though reachable, are separated by the Atlantic and seven hours.
Over the past week, we also spent much less on going out and entertainment by using gift cards, getting some help from my father-in-law, generally going out less, and chosing cheaper options like renting movies (you still can!) and watching Netflix or DVDs we already own.
In addition, my husband and I co-wrote an email to the French Consulate in D.C. and Houston with specific questions about requirements for documentation and about the visa process to find out what we have to get done before we go over.
And finally, we went over our finances and found out that we can absolutely support ourselves on a budget of $2,000 or about 1 500 euros per month for 12 months. This will give us enough time to explore and look for jobs along the way. I’m ecstatic! This is the solid ground that I’ve been needing, the proof to show me that my dream is possible, that our dream is possible and not just hopeful thinking. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had this year, and I’m soooo ready to move on to new challenges and to return to the place that continually calls me back. Each time, I feel like I’m going to my spiritual home. The place with which I connect more deeply than any other, and I’m delighted to wake up and see that the dream is coming true.
Yet, the sweetness of all our blessings is tempered by some bitterness: We have to keep telling people about whom we care, that we are leaving and that our relationships will change significantly from here on out. My parents are very supportive and positive, but they are still sad. I am their only child, and we are very close; I know it’s hard on them because it can be difficult for me at times if I really stop to think about it. People I work with ask me about future plans, and I have to be a little evasive, which I hate. Some of my favorite people to be around want to know what I’ll be doing in a year, and I can’t tell them definitively, yet. Because I have to be careful about what information I share and and what time.
I’d like to leave you with a quote that moved me this week. I hope it touches you as well:
“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of imagination. What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth – whether it existed before or not.” John Keats