I remember a few weeks ago being incredibly frustrated with this whole process. Because there’s so many holes in whatever I choose to do.
Go the Czech Republic and cross your fingers that the language barrier won’t be a killer for you.
Go to Italy but, oh, wait, whoops, that whole TEFL thing could be a big scam.
Go to Australia and hope that the fact it’s similar to America doesn’t make you frustrated for maybe not accomplishing the reason you wanted to go in the first place.
Language. If you want to go next spring you’d better make a decision soon, Ally, so you can start studying up.
International health insurance. Uh, hope you can figure out what to do there.
Visas. Holy cow, could I make a load of money if I were to create a web site explaining the ins and outs of visas for all these places in plain, easy-to-understand language. (Maybe I should. I do like teaching / writing instructions.)
I don’t know where, but somewhere along the line one side of my brain had to smack the other across the face, like they do in those movies where someone’s in hysterics. Then I handed myself a mental paper bag to breath while listening to the internal pep talk, “Chill, Alissa! Know what? There are no guarantees! Life doesn’t work like that.”
I think buying my car spoiled me. I knew which traits were most important: fuel efficiency, low maintenance, high dependability, and affordable. So I read a consumer reports book on cars from cover to cover and decided on a Toyota Corolla. And bought one. And loved her. I loved her so much that when I lost her due to horrible black ice incident a few years later I bought her younger sister.
Why can’t all decisions in life be as straightforward as that?
That’s also why I dislike shopping for clothes. In my mind I want to get an item that has X features. And I can never find that item. Just about everything in my closet was a spontaneous purchase rather than setting up expectations and not meeting them.
And the funny thing is that even when you DO find something that looks like the perfect combo, something’s bound to happen. Just like my car eventually was totaled. The company you’re working for could go out of business. Or the work stuff could be just perfect but finding a place to live could be impossible.
So you know what it comes down to? Knowing yourself.
- How have you handled sticky situations and crises in the past?
- Even if you handled them poorly, did you learn from it so you can react better in the future?
- Do you have the confidence to try something new, something difficult?
- If you try and fail, can you be okay with that? Sorry, Mission Control, but failure has to be an option. If things didn’t break, we wouldn’t discover what things don’t work.
It’s a leap of faith.
But you should still look to see if someone’s jumped off that cliff before. Remember that even if you land and sprain your ankle, you survived. You took a chance. And you flew.
Pack a parachute and band-aids.