Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Elephant in the Room

I'm not sure how I'm doing with the move, I think its just that it really hasn't hit me. I'm excited to go to Egypt, I'm definitely excited to see my habib, but the fact that I'm going to be there for an undetermined amount of time still hasn't reached the surface for me.

Trip? Way excited. Not seeing my friends, family, and mom for a long period of time? Wha...

I feel like I have a concrete wall built up between myself and that reality. And its not as if I've never been away from home before. I moved down to Arizona with the full intention of living there for if not the rest of my life then a huge chunk of it. So I've said goodbye psychologically to Minnesota before, maybe thats why I don't feel the need to do it again. But I think what is getting me is the idea of no longer living in the United States.

Am I scared? No. Nervous? Ok, maybe a little. But its my lack of trepidation thats concerning to me. I should be scared, something...

I should be more emotional, I know I would be if I could only convince my psyche that this is real.

I am really moving to Egypt.

Fo' reals.

The other day my mom was talking about having a dinner party for me because "her daughter is moving away" and I was totally blindsided. Oh thats right, this is a slightly momentous occasion. I'm so focused on myself and getting things set up that I didn't think about the rest of my family- except when they are reminding me that they think I am moving to my doom and enslavement. I'm focused on everything I have to do, and all the days I have left, and my cousin's wedding.

There is so much I should be doing and feeling, but instead I'm putting my head down and trying to make it through each day until I leave.

48 days today. 47 days tomorrow.

I know there's an elephant in this room, I'm just having a hard time finding it.


janene said...

I'm leaving for Egypt approximately the same time and a few nights ago it hit me -- I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with the thought of it all...

Molly said...

yes! but are you visiting or moving? I know you were talking about traveling with kids, have you got a gameplan yet?

Amanda said...

wahhhh...dont go! lol, jk...you totally gots to be with your habibster! just promise you wont change ok ukhti? dude your mom must be sad that you're going so far away? my mom is sad enough and I'm only moving to Oregon.

UmmLayla said...

OK, maybe ultra personal and all... But are you going to do anything to make sure he can be here if you decide to come for some reason. The reason I ask is once you leave the US and have no gainful employment here you can't sponsor your spouse should you decide to move here. SO I am asking (I guess) is this a permanent move? Is Egypt it for you two?

You know my perspective... We have been careful to keep all options open.

janene said...

It's a different type of overwhelmed than yours -- at least I'm comin' back (plus I can always play the 'get outta dodge' card i.e. I can leave earlier if need be, insha'allah)! Although I am travelling only for a period of three months, my husband stays only for three weeks, then returns to Canada. I and my kids, however, will be living with my husbands' parents and sister in the heart of cairo.

Several years ago I went to cairo for the first time, it was great and unsettling at the same time.
Everytime I set foot outside I felt disorientated. I felt very fragmented, like a piece lost amonst the others in a jigsaw puzzle box.

And God help me, my husband want's me to drive in Egypt -- using a standard (which of course, I have no prior operating experience). Drive Molly! In Egypt! DRIVE!!! I don't want to even think about it...

L_Oman said...

I am excited to see how things go for you once you get there, Molly. Life will have a totally different meaning for sure.

The day you leave though - it's going to be rough (been there, done that). Nothing can prepare you for that.

Ummlayla has an excellent point. Unless someone in your family is willing to sponsor him, keep that in mind.

L_Oman said...

p.s. Just a curious question (that you may not have the answer to, but I'm just wonderin'). I see that it's so common for the wife to move from the U.S. to Egypt only to have the husband then move back the U.S. How does this work? I mean, practically speaking, it's gotta be expensive, it must cause a deep strain in the marriage and if kids are involved, what role does the father play if he's not around? I'm not trying to stir up anything, just genuinely wondering why it happens so often?

Mama Kalila said...

I don't like elephants.. Well, no I do if we're talking about the live in Afrika kind lol.. but the "elephant in the room" concept bothers me because I had to deal with a major one last year... We got past it, but was rough.

I hope your move goes well... It may not hit you like you're saying.. or it may be closer to when you go. I wouldn't worry about it until it does though.

Umm Yehiya said...

Molly Wolly,
My husband often talks of moving to Egypt. When it sounds nearer rather than farther away, I get nervous. But the only way I can truly, deeply contemplate it is to shove away those thoughts of leaving my family, my culture, my....everything that I know and those things that I love here - i.e., to build up the proverbial concrete wall.

When I moved abroad 3 other times, for varying lenths of time (the longest was 9 months, the other was INTENDED to be 2 yrs, which I told you about, but then I came back...then there was one other time for somewhere else in which i intended to never come back - but that was before i was married and had kids, yadda yadda), it sounds pretty absurd, but I didn't THINK about it at all.

You know how many people cannot bear the thought of moving far away? Many. And it's often logic and heartstrings that stop them.

Which makes sense.

For me, what allows me to entertain thoughts of uprooting, or even to go so far as to do it, is because it seems I have a basic instinct to flick off my naturally high voltage supply of EMOTION EMOTION EMOTION when it comes time to do something that for me is THAT BIG.

Otherwise, if I pined away about this n' that, I think (wallahu alim) that I couldn't ever do it.

Since I am faced with, and have been faced with, situations that to some extent required of me to go far away in order for x, y and z to happen, I have to accept going away, the fact of getting there, and I save the emotions about it for later, when there's a better time to deal with them - other than the actual time of moving.

I'm not sure if that's a wise thing to do or not. It's just what I see that I do.

For example, I have a friend whose husband is pretty determined to move back to his home country with her. Because this dear friend dwells on the logistics (not saying it's wrong, just saying it's how she does it) and consequences before this even happens, it causes a lot of heartache for her.

My husband is also pretty determined, but we have only foggy clues (hmmm that would be a good name for a band...."The Foggy Clues" LOL) about when this will happen, so I set it on the emotional backburner. I say, "Okay, habibi. Whatever."

And if there were times (I belive there were) where I was less than supportive about that plan, it just causes strife.

So. Bottom line: For ME, with this particular type of task, I just DO. I feel later.

:) Sorry for writing a book.

Molly said...

Amanda- Me? Change? I love myself too much the way I am. hahaha. I bet your mom is sad, you can't really hop into the car and drive to phx in 5 hours from Oregon. I was sad when you moved and I'm not even your mom!

I wish I could see you again before you/I left, we need to have some more gloria jeans.

UmmLayla- actually my mom has already come to terms with the idea of sponsering my husband, plus I have had a couple of brothers from the community here have offered their help as well. So alhumdulillah. The move to Egypt is NOT a permanent move yet. My husband wants to get his JD inshAllah from a school here and then we'll see where the best opportunities are for us from there. To stay in the US, or to move to Egypt.

But for now I am just moving there until all of our legal problems are fixed. InshAllah that won't be too long.

Janene- my husband wants me to get a car and drive in Egypt as well. I'm about as enthusiastic on that idea as you are.

Is he at least going to teach you how to drive a stick before he sits you in the car? If not I offer my humble services, my car is a manual and I wouldn't ever want to drive anything else. Although traffic in Cairo is not exactly conducive to happy manual driving. You'll be constantly clutching.

*sigh* which is why I don't want to drive there. I'd rather pay someone else to deal with that hassle.

LO- I'm scared of that day when I leave, thats going to be the hardest day. But also the most exciting cuz I'll be going to see my husband.

As for your question on him moving back to the US and me staying here, its out of the question. After this almost one year of being apart I don't think he'd ever LET me be away from him again, and I certainly would never allow it to be a permanent situation. And even moreso once we have kids. I can't imagine that this would ever be a healthy situation, and we've seen where it will often go.

Mama K- I don't like elephants in the room either, especially when I can coax them out and deal with them. Which is the bigges thing for me, I'd prefer to embrace and get over any fear I have now, rather than find myself petrified a week before I leave.

Which I think is whats going to happen.

Molly said...

Umm Yehiya- I know exactly what you're saying, and I think thats closer to how I will be doing it, maybe it won't hit me until three months after I've arrived in Egypt. I don't know.

I just want to feel it now, DEAL with it now, say all the mental goodbyes, hug all the trees I need to hug, see all the things I feel like I want to see "one more time" and then move on, rather than finding myself in egypt wishing I had done that one thing once more before I left.

Its just frustrating.

I'm glad you know exactly what I'm saying though.

Safiya Outlines said...

Salaam Alaikum,

I think some times your brain just switches the emotional side off, so you can just deal with the practical side and get through things, after all it is a massive huge life change... but one that you know you have to make.

You're in my du'as

P.S Which part of Cairo are you going to be living in, insha Allah?

The DP said...

Living abroad is worth it. And not as scary as it seems. You can do it!

أبو سنان said...

I was born abroad and have lived outside the US off and on for my entire life. The last time I loved out of the US to live and work in Europe for three years I was nervous as well and I had done this my whole life and spoke two of the languages involved.

Insha'Allah, you will have a great time. Work hard to learn Arabic well and keep your options open!