A Giant Leap Into the Unknown
Last Tuesday night I took one of two final steps in committing to a decision I recently made: I signed the papers to terminate my tenancy. After 3.5 years of living in my apartment, I will move out at the end of September.
The next day I dropped the papers off, then, after an appointment, headed to the office where I would take the second step: informing the managing partner of the firm that I intend to start my pre-approved leave of absence at the end of September. While it still has to be officially approved by the other partners in the firm, it really shouldn’t be a problem.
Folks, it’s official: I’m leaving Ottawa, at least for the time being.
I’ve started to pack up my life (oh the joy of boxes!) and with less than two months to go, I’m planning to make the most of my time here, visiting museums I’ve never been too, checking out restaurants that have been on my list of places to go for a long time, wander around the city, have picnics, and, of course, spend
as much time with friends as possible.
I don’t have all of my plans finalized for what I’ll be doing, but some of my rough ideas include heading back to Peru to learn Spanish, possibly visit a friend who will be in Honduras for a few months, find places to volunteer, and, hopefully, apply for and secure an internship so I can get some international development experience. My leave of absence will be for about 9 months, but there is room for flexibility so if other opportunities arise, I’ll seize them.
It was a pretty big decision to make, one that was inevitable for me, so it was more of a decision of timing. After my recent trip, where I had a lot of time to do some thinking, I realized that the time is now. I’m young, I don’t have a mortgage, don’t have a partner, don’t have kids, have some savings, have family and friends who are incredibly supportive, and I have the strong desire to get out there and experience the world.
A big focus of this adventure will be gaining the experience I need to get a career in international development and humanitarian aid started. I’ll be learning another language, gaining “field” experience, become more comfortable traveling and living in other countries, and developing valuable networks. What kind of work I’ll be doing, I do not know.
What I do know is that I am taking some long-held dreams and turning them into goals. Those goals, hopefully, will become a reality.
As I’m sure you can imagine, I’m pretty excited. I’m also nervous. It is a big step to take and obviously a decision I didn’t take lightly or make quickly; it has been years in the making. The hardest part will be saying goodbye to friends in Ottawa as I don’t know when I’ll be back. These people have become an integral part of my life over the past four years and I know that wherever I go – wherever any one of us goes – we will remain friends. I wish I could have told more people in person about this decision and my apologies to anyone who feels hurt that they are finding out here or via facebook rather than face-to-face. I also know that anyone who knows me well will not be surprised by this announcement and will also support me tremendously. For that, I thank you.
So there you have it! I’m taking a giant leap into the unknown, fortunate to have a safety net comprised of wonderful family and friends. I’m planning to keep blogging about my upcoming adventures, including fitness and food, and I hope you all will enjoy reading about this new phase in my life.
Have a wonderful weekend!