A few people are aware, but many are not, that we have decided to change our vocational focus for the next few years. Drew began working on his Masters in Public Administration at Penn State this week, and we’ve been talking for a while about attending the Council of International Schools job fair. We’ve been here in London since Thursday evening attending the fair, discovering and contemplating possibilities for my professional career.
Our big news is: we will be moving to Tashkent, Uzbekistan in August 2015! I signed a contract with TIS this morning and will happily be moving into a PYP Music teacher position, which is what I was doing in Kiev before Drew and I got married.
I know there are many anticipated questions from many friends and colleagues, but the basics are this: Drew will be leaving his position as a government logistician and move with me this summer (of course:). He’ll focus on grad school and try to network with NGOs and non-profits in the region, which is what he’s eventually hoping to move into as a post-GS-employee. I’ll be moving into a full-time position as a music teacher. Of course we’ll both continue being us: traveling, hiking, biking, music-ing, yoga-ing, smiling, occasionally blogging, worshiping, etc. And yes,–in case you were keeping tabs on our tyrannical Tuscan farm cat–Ponce is moving with us.
We’re excited about the school community and I found the process to be very professionally uplifting. Drew participated in the process as much as possible and he was very impressed at the grand scale of it all, having never been to something like this before. I interviewed with 8 different schools and was offered two different contracts. Compare that with Drew, who has applied for dozens of jobs/promotion-opportunities for at least the last year, was offered only 2 interviews, which never amounted to anything. He mentioned feeling humbled by the whole event, contrasting his experience with the understanding that I interviewed with 8 schools in only 2 days and walked away with a job. For us it has been very reaffirming that we are in the place that we should be.
After getting married, I was resigned to follow Drew’s career and happily settled in to being a bride and living in Italy. This year, however, I began to sub at the High School and slowly remembered why I enjoyed teaching so much. I would come home “bubbly” from a day with the Band or Choir students. We’ve discerned that this is how one should feel when in a fulfilling position. Slowly, we began to reassess our priorities about vocation. Yes, we are in Italy, extended until 2017, but after that, Drew will have to register for priority placement into whatever job is deemed appropriate, with no guarantee we’d become internationals again. As two international-adventure-seekers, the lost 2 extra years in Italy are made up for by the gained international experience and opportunity to network abroad.
As I write, I am reminded about two amazing women who spoke into our lives at our wedding. The first was Drew’s Mom, Rebekah, who is a pastor. She preached at our wedding and her message was basically, “Your time is now,” meaning that God intends us to live up to our fullest potential NOW, not in 2 years (for example). My sister gave a speech at our reception in which she presented us with an Etch-A-Sketch and reminded us that we will make lots of plans (especially as a plan-oriented couple with a career logistician), but that as long as we are both involved in the decision-making process, we can feel free to shake out our old plans and construct new ones that will also be beautiful designs.
World, consider the PashbyMauls “shaken out” and etching a new path including Tashkent, Uzbekistan. And, in case you were wondering, Casa di Maul guesthouse will always be open, no matter where Casa di Maul is!