Life just seems to work out differently than expected.
We came back from Korea five months ago. At the time we thought we had a pretty good plan. I was heading to grad school to make a huge change in career path, Jordan was looking for work and we would find an American city to take the place of the beloved one we left behind in Korea.
In the waiting and string of opened-then-closed opportunities that followed, plans changed. Many times. Each promising opportunity, conversation with the manager, and even a few interviews, ended in “Thanks… but no.” This process was much harder than anticipated. I had always considered myself a fairly patient person. But never before had I been in a state of limbo for so long. Give me culture shock, eating new wiggly things and getting lost in subways over waiting for purpose any day.
We still had fun, of course. Time spent with family and friends has been sweet. We had the flexibility to attend events, help out and travel as needed. A great in-between stint as video chat English Tutors helped pay for gas. (If you want details on early morning (USA) tutoring requiring only an internet connection and that you are awake and clothed, let us know. It has been a good company to work with).
Before this post takes five months to come to conclusion, let me just say once more: it was really rough at times. The waiting, combined with lack of purpose in the meantime, was not good. Though in the end, I suppose it’s what grew my faith the most.
The gist of it:
1. I am not going to grad school. At least not now. The major decision was that I’m not switching career paths to speech pathology. But as I looked for part time work before “starting school”, I kept finding jobs that were exciting and I was qualified for, or could be before long. These were not in the field anything related to speech pathology, but roles that included words like “coordinator”, “planning”, “events”, “communications”… you get the idea. When it came down to it and had an acceptance letter in hand, I was simply not passionate enough about speech pathology to invest the time and money into it. I could go on with reasons, but when I realized that my last big hesitation was my aversion to quitting things that I invest in, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.
2. After months of nothing, we suddenly had options! Within days of my decision to not pursue speech pathology, and with our enthusiasm to find work and at last get settled somewhere rekindled, Jordan received an email that upset it all. Our alma mater, Taylor University, presented him with an opportunity to join the MAHE program. (MAHE = Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Development. A masters program he considered doing a couple years ago that would allow him to work in higher education, and has been a consistent dream/vision/passion for him.) While our first reaction was to literally LOL at the timing of the offer, I hopped onto the Taylor HR page and found several intriguing positions that I could easily see myself enjoying for two years.
But wait- life is never that simple! Within the same week, we both had interviews in Nashville. This city had been a top contender all along, and it was easy to see the ways we’d enjoy life there. Mine was a second interview with a non-profit, his was a first interview with a company he knew very little about. While lunching and chatting with a friend post-interviews, Jordan got a phone call and was offered the job he had just interviewed for. WHAT!? We were delighted to have the problem of choosing where to go.
3. We’re going to be Hoosiers again! This was harder than we thought it would be. At first it seemed crazy to go back to Indiana when we’ve talked for years about how we love Nashville. (and were maybe a little excited to shake the corn dust from our feet last time we left) Yet while the job Jordan was offered in Nashville seemed very attractive, it was in a completely new field with potential risks. Risk in job security, as well as whether he would even like doing it for more than a month. Through much conversation and prayer it became clear that now is the time for Jordan to focus and pursue a passion that has been building slowly within him for a long time. Plus, colleges aren’t going anywhere. They will change, of course. But the adaptability of my amazing husband, as well as the field of higher education, offers a future much more in line with the dreams we’ve come to share. And I am thoroughly excited for him and could not be more proud.
So it’s not that we don’t love Nashville. There are dear friends, coffee shops, and a general vitality that we still get so excited about. But this decision was about more than that. And I still intend to put my GRE scores to use in the future, and in the meantime look forward to developing my professional skills. This season of sorting priorities and options has taught us a lot. Not what we expected to learn, but we are both at peace about it and looking forward to planting our feet for a while.
We’re coming back, Indiana. And we’re bringing our cats with us. (Thanks, Becca!)
A big, ginormous thank you to all the friends and family who have supported, encouraged, cajoled, and cheered us on during these months of transition. Your support and prayers have been invaluable!