I think back a few months ago and I remember all the things I wanted to document about my life I Kuwait. I had so many ideas to show everyone that I lived a pretty normal life despite Kuwait being a dry country. I knew from life that I was running out of time. It took me all my twenties, but I’m starting to realize that all the time I thought I had at my disposal is an illusion. Now I’m here thinking about the little bit of time I had being cut short.
Bittersweet is the term we use to describe moments like these. I’m more delightfully somber. I get to be reunited with my significant other. I get to start a new unknown path. I get a break from teaching. Those are all the things that motivates me to keep pushing past the things I’m leaving behind. One thing I will miss are the amazing people I was able to meet. I also worked with a solid team at my job. Being a teacher is a pretty decent job despite all the negativity that surrounds it. Now I’m sitting in the airport waiting for my flight to New York feeling delightfully somber because there were a lot of things I didn’t get to do in Kuwait, but also I’m moving in a new direction in my life.
This past week has been the most downhearted week I’ve ever experienced. It all started when the Ministry of Education in Kuwait announced the suspension of schools for the rest of the school year. Not only that but they announced the airport would be opened so expat teachers could go back to their countries. That was great news that left me filled with tons of questions. I had already been out of school for three weeks and teachers were required to incorporate virtual learning. Kuwait at this point had already closed its borders and shut down the airport. I was excited about the idea of leaving Kuwait early, but I wondered how. From that point the whole week was filled with good news that made things more unclear. Yes, I would get paid, but I didn’t know how I would leave. I didn’t know what to do with my school equipment. I didn’t know how I would in fact get paid since I was leaving and had to close my account.
Every day since I received that message from the Ministry of Education I constantly checked my email, Whatsapp messages, and Kuwaitup2date so I didn’t miss anything. I can admit this lead to frustration because a lot of times all I saw was useless information like funny memes. Funny memes aren’t funny when you are waiting for answers that are going to change your life. Speaking of life-changing I saw a headline back at the end of February that life as we knew it was about to change. I brushed it off even though at that point we had an additional two weeks off from school. My life was already changing at that point and I didn’t take heed.
All through the week I was up and down even up to the last minute. I was approved to get on the flight from Kuwait to New York. I had my taxi set up, but the the Cabinet in Kuwait decided the night before to suspend all taxi services. I completely lost it. I was livid. Then, the problem was solved as quickly as it came and I was left without feelings. I will admit I let these circumstances have my emotions all over the place. I realized that I have some growing to do. I also still have traveling to do and who knows how JFK airport will be. I’m excepting the worse, long lines and delays. If I can wrap my mind around disappointment now I can focus on solutions instead of how the problem is making me feel. Feelings are real during this time and it’s important to not allow those feelings to cause you to lose it. They are just feelings, when you are upset it is just life testing your ideas about how things should be. Life is full of frustrations, but you have to be able to not to let the problem overtake you. It is really hard to solve a problem when there are a lot of unknowns. This has been the biggest challenge, knowing what to do with so many unknowns and restrictions such as curfews, closed borders, and social distancing. When there is nothing you can do, it’s hard to be in good spirits.
I am headed to more unknown circumstances, but at least I’m closer to where I want to be. There are a lot of people that chose the safe route and I don’t blame them. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to be safe at home. Me, on the other hand, I chose to risk the safety of my apartment in Kuwait because I am moving toward something that I want. Sometimes staying safe is the best thing you can do. Sometimes you have to take a chance. No one can really tell you what the best thing to do because we are all in the same boat and do not know what’s going to happen. An opportunity presented itself and I decided to take it. That was my choice and I’m willing to face the consequences. While there are a lot of negative things that can happen, there are also a lot of positives.
Life as we know it has changed. We are facing a pandemic. Thousands of people are dying a day. The take away is to adapt. Change is uncomfortable but if it means staying healthily it is good. I now this sounds ironic coming from the person that is taking a flight to be with her boyfriend, but I mean it. We have to stay safe during these times and be our best selves. Crack jokes if that’s your thing, take steps to relax and decompress if that’s what you want, binge watch Netflix shows until you make a new dent in the couch. Do whatever you have to do to keep yourself together. Eventually things will get back to normal and everything will be ok.