"Here's what you do. If they offer you the job, you take it." So said my sister Terez in 2005 as we discussed my possible work assignment in London, England. I had never even been outside the USA and was afraid of letting go of my home, my garden, my cats, my life (which come to think of it was actually not going so well at the time).
And because Terez had lived in London for two years with her ex-pat husband Peter, and because I knew she knew what I was going through, I said "OK.” So, after weeks of belaboring the pros and cons and hopes and fears, it was instantly settled in my heart. A few days later the offer did come, and I said yes, and my world opened up - big time.
There is a game called Two Truths and a Lie, often used as an icebreaker at team building or social activities where people do not know each other. When I first played this many years ago I struggled with what I would say, wishing I had something remarkably unusual to share. Not a requirement in the game at all; still it niggled. But now I look forward with the greatest humility and anticipation to the next time I play the game. I have lots of truths from which to select:
- I am an OR nurse with about 20 years experience
- I have five sisters and two living brothers
- I am an award winning belly dancer
- I had dinner with Archbishop Desmond Tutu
- I performed the Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London
- My favorite food is fresh squeezed orange juice
- I was married for almost 23 years
- I lived and worked in the Middle East for a year
- I am an international volunteer
- I lived and worked in London for four years
- I am fluent in French
- I can play the piano
- I have trekked through the Sahara Desert, the lower Himalayan Mountains below Annapurna, and across the Jordanian Desert to Petra
- I worked in Healthcare Informatics for about 15 years
- I attended sunrise service Easter Sunday at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem
- My favorite color is blue
- I own my own business
- I am an expert haggler
- I went sky diving over Stonehenge
- I am an artist and writer
- I have traveled to more than thirty countries
- I have three cats
- I have moved six times in the last ten years
Surprisingly, as my world opened up, so too did long-repressed trauma and immense unresolved grief. I would walk a prolonged healing journey through virtually unbearable darkness and pain, even as I was blessed with opportunities and adventures. My personal growth during this time proved life changing, in its simplest form a shift from fear to love. My life work has become something beautiful I would have never thought possible, and for which I am profoundly and eternally thankful. In thanksgiving I proclaim my mission statement: I nourish the world with what nourishes me.
I can’t wait to see what other adventures are in store for me. I think I’ll go to Russia...
By the way, I am not fluent in French. Je parle Francais, mais un petit peu.
Author's update 2015 September - Russia was great.