October has been a difficult month for me this year, and it’s not even over yet (though nearly). But I sincerely hope the hardest things I will encounter this month are now behind me.
October began with some rockiness in my personal life. Now, three weeks later, I can look back with clarity and see that what happened was for the best. But at the time—well, I was a mess for a little bit there.
And then, one week after my personal life had been turned upside down, the school called the foreign hire teachers into a meeting and informed us that they wanted our decisions about whether we wanted to renew our contracts at the end of this year or not soon. Like within the next week, soon.
Last Christmas, I had decided this would be my third and final year living in Guatemala. I felt the time was right and I would be ready to return to Wisconsin after this school year.
But then eight months later, I came back here after summer vacation, and I was reminded about everything that I love about my life here. I am happy in almost every single aspect of my life. So I began to question my decision. Maybe a fourth year in Guatemala wouldn’t be such a poor decision, after all.
My gut kept pulling me home, though. I had thought I had another month to decide for sure, to make sure of my feelings, and to let my school know my plans for the following year. When they asked us to inform them by October 21st, I suddenly felt less sure than ever before. (My indecision also may have been influenced by my mostly-stable-but-recently-damaged mental state at the time of the meeting).
I spent the next five days agonizing over my decision. Crying. Trying to reason with myself. The thing was, something inside me told me moving home was the right thing to do. But when my friends here asked me why I would leave, I didn’t have a good answer. I love everything about my life here, and there are many things about moving back to Wisconsin that scare me, that I worry about, that I fear will make me less happy than I am here.
But by Day 6, when I imagined how it would feel to tell my principal I was staying, it felt…wrong. So, I told him I wouldn’t be returning.
I really think it was the right decision, though I still can’t define, exactly, my reasons why. They have something to do with my future goals and where I want to end up years from now, however. I feel it was the right move. So now, the decision is off my shoulders, and I have the next seven months to enjoy my life—every single minute of it—and also mentally prepare myself to return to Wisconsin winters and public school teaching (but also to family, fall, the Mississippi, and safety on the streets).
I lead a lovely life.