We want to assure everyone that this is not something we’re taking lightly. Tim and I have actually been talking about this for a few years. We both had our issues, and only in the past few months did we come to the point where we were both comfortable enough to apply. These are just a few of the problems we had initially, but we are slowly coming up with answers to. Any of your input, help, and thoughts are much appreciated.
Emo and Sammy: Not to offend any of you, but they are like family. We are so close with them that they really feel like children (although we obviously have no idea what it’s like to have children, and we obviously would not leave if they were children). But they are both very important to us, and they have been the biggest impediment to leaving. Obviously, pets are not appropriate in the PC. It would not be ethically or culturally appropriate to feed a dog where other people are starving. Also, many other places do not pamper pets like we do here. So they would both really be happiest staying. We would like to find someone who knows Emo well, is willing to throw a ball, and will return him when we get back. We would also be willing to set up an account that gives the person access to funds for food, vet bills, flea treatments, etc. He’s so sweet, we just can’t imagine hurting him by leaving. But I tell myself that he really doesn’t know the difference between us leaving for two hours or two years. That’s what I tell myself. This is so silly, but I really try not to cry when I think about leaving him. I know I will miss all of you, but I hope you can come visit, we will be able to video chat, communicate through the blog, and send packages and pictures. I can’t do any of that with him. So it feels different. I think Sammy will be happy anywhere. We would love not to separate them. They really are best buds, and we even think she thinks she’s a cocker spaniel because she started modeling Emo at such a young age. But I think she would be happy anywhere. They say when a dog looks at his master, he sees God. A cat just looks in the mirror. I think that pretty much sums up her attitude toward us, and she would be happy either way. We just need to find somewhere that has no other cats, and the same funds situation would apply to her.
I did hear about one girl who had her dog shipped to her once she got settled. But I think that’s pretty rare, and I couldn’t imagine sending Emo in a crate on a plane across the world. Those would have to be some serious, serious tranquilizers.
Possessions: I don’t bat an eye when I think about leaving all of this behind. Most of it I just like because I think of all of you when I look at it. Wedding gifts, pictures. I also am saving a few things from my childhood for my own children someday. But all of that will be fine in a storage unit, and it will be like having new stuff when we get home.
Cars: This is quite a big one also. We have been trying to sell Tim’s car for some time, although we have only told one person that we pester to buy it. It is a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer with 27,000 miles on it. Yes, that’s right. It has been driven a handful of times since I moved up here in December. So it sits in the parking lot while we walk everywhere/drive my car. It’s a great deal right now because it is worth exactly what we owe on it, so we would be willing to sign over the payments to anyone who qualifies with the bank. We will also try to sell my car. A 2008 Yaris with 13,000 miles. When we bought it, we thought PC was completely out of the picture. I wish we had leased or something. Anyway, PC gives us each a relocation stipend to be used for travel, housing, whatever at the end of our service. Or we can get it increments (this is completely separate from our living stipend) to be put toward making any payments on cars or finances back home.
Other debt: We are proud to say we have absolutely no credit card debt. All of our student loans are deferrable, and Tim has Perkins loans. PC will cancel 15 percent of those for every year of service. So that’s a plus.
Careers: We actually feel PC is a great step for these. Tim will of course quit his job, but he asked a supervisor for a reference, and everyone has been very supportive. They love him there. He hopes to leave on good terms, and hopefully start with them again when he returns. If nothing is available, however, we completely understand, and we are open to looking in other cities. Employers love the commitment and passion that a PC service shows. We also think our language skills (we get three months of language training and two years of immersion, so hopefully we’ll be fluent) will be a big plus in a global economy. I also think this will be great for me as a journalist. I think every journalist dreams of traveling the world as a foreign correspondent, so maybe this will help with that. Our attitude right now is Que sera, sera. Whatever happens, happens. We’re basically living our lives how we want and leaving ourself open to options. We’ll figure it out as we go along. I don’t think plans ever really work out the way you think they will, so you might as well go with the flow and be pleasantly surprised.
The author Donald Miller once said, “Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how God does things.” I think that pretty much sums up the approach Tim and I are taking to life. As long as I do what makes me happy in life, and what I’m supposed to be doing, God will take care of me. I trust in him that he would not lead me into something that I cannot handle or will not support me. I have felt for a long time that my job in this world is not to serve myself or others, but to serve God by being myself. I sometimes wish that I was one of those people that could be happy working at an everyday job. Those jobs, and helping solve the problems in the United States, are important. And it would certainly be easier to stay here with all of you, Emo, and Sammy. But they’re not me. And they’re not how I want to serve. As long as we can keep slowly paying off our debt, have a roof over our heads, and food to eat, I’m totally fine.
Wow! This has turned into a massive post, but I think it’s good. Although we have sorted through these together, getting this all down on paper (metaphorically at least) has really helped sort my thoughts. And now when anyone inevitably asks about these things, I won’t have to repeat myself. Haha. Anyway, if you’re still here 1200 words later, thanks for reading. Keep throwing them at us!