17 January 2006

What I never wrote- the setup (part 1)

A few of my blogging buddies that I know in person have been making the decision to be honest and announce who they really are. In the spirit of honesty, I decided to write about how it really was last year during the whole transition from working in Boston to working in Iceland. I never really said what it was like here for fear of worrying my family, and probably because I didn't want to admit it to myself either. Nothing says "happened" like having it in writing, so I held off at the time. Still, I have had several questions and comments about the process since I started the blog, so this one's for all of you.

I started the thinking-of-Iceland-move process in earnest about this time last year. I sent about 20 letter/CV envelopes to selected companies in hopes I could find people to meet during my trip to Iceland I planned in the beginning of February. When I was here then, I managed to meet with a few people, mostly on the strength of J's contacts and the contacts of his friends. My 20 letters garnered me one meeting with one company that didn't go anywhere after that.

I told my job I was leaving soon after that, on March 3, which was cosmically the same date J heard about his job in Iceland the year before. Before I did it, I would have a surge of fear and excitement every time I thought about it- quitting my job with nothing to go to next, with no idea if this crazy plan to move to Iceland without first having a job would work, and no idea if I would have income again anytime soon.

The next process was moving out, something I'd given myself a month to do, with the plan to store the items I Wanted to have in Iceland with the international movers, return the furniture to my parent's barn where it had come from, and cull the rest, leaving only what I could carry on the plane with me. It was a lot harder and more emotional than it sounds, sorting through two years of my life and trying to evaluate the importance of these things I had accumulated in my house. The things I sent to Iceland I would most likely not see for six months, and in light of that, a lot of the crap in my house seemed pretty pointless.

My mom helped me tremendously during this time, helping me figure out what to take and what not to take, helping me stay sane, and reminding me of why I was doing it. She understood why I had to go, and without her I would never have made it.

Next I had to cram everything into my two suitcases- enough types of outfits to cover the unknown events of the next two months, gifts for J, and little things of my own to make the place seem like home when I arrived. After a teary goodbye in Logan, I was on the way, predictably unable to sleep and uncertain of my new identity. I got used to being defined by my job and my home, and now both of them were gone and I wasn't sure what was going to replace them. I watched the daylight appear on the horizon as I flew north and knew that it would all have to work out somehow- I had already done a lot of the hard work. Someone once told J, "jump and the net will find you", and I was hoping it was true.

Ship sighting: OK, so this snowstorm-a-day stuff is kinda cutting down on visibility for the local goings-on, so have a look at this AWESOME video. It's a time-lapse movie of the traffic at one set of locks on the Panama Canal, and shows pretty much every kind of boat I've been seeing here, without all the waiting. Of course, the Panama is the ultimate for ship-spotting nerds, so if you're wanting more, you can read up here. They've covered topics like how tolls are assessed, and the special tonnage calculation they have for ships that travel through the Canal.


steffán said...

Great post... The thoughts of immigrants like you has always fascinated me. Moving out to another country must be one of the most fantastic experiences, and that's probably why i'm so interested in reading your blog... Tell us more!

CueP said...

This entry is so close to home for what I am feeling now. The aches, pains and fear, are equally balanced with hopes and dreams and an fascinating sense of peace. I recently went to Iceland and immediately knew what is in store. I am grateful for your posts. I feel encouraged and inspired Onward!!!


Jess said...

I know this is an old post, but I am in the throes of sifting and winnowing myself, as new adventures are taking me to Reykjavik in 3 weeks. Jobless, but with a few friends and supportive boyfriend waiting for me, I am trusting that the universe will provide opportunities.

I quite enjoy your writing, as I'm making my way through the archives - it's definitely providing some piece of mind and reminding me with each entry why I want to live there, and how lucky I am to have the chance.

-Jess (currently in Seattle)

ECS said...

hi Jess. I am actually in the same process here now, although I feel less emotional about it this time. Good luck in your move and transition into Iceland. It's definitely a different climate than when I moved so I hope it's easy to find a job once you arrive.