7.09.2014

Limbo

The hardest part about moving is the waiting period. 

It starts once you submit your bid list, then you wait ... until you're paneled by DS.  You wait to be HR paneled.  You wait to hear from post; for a housing assignment, a social sponsor, employment opportunities and information about schools.

You wait for your Travel Orders, your airline tickets, your seat assignments.  For your Travel Tech to coordinate your pack-out, the movers to pack up your house and ship your belongings.

You put your house on the market and you wait for it to sell.  You wait for the inspection to be complete, for the radon mitigation system to be installed, for the buyers to agree to a mutually beneficial closing date.

You wait to finish language school, for your two sets of passports to be completed, for the information in the USG computer system to be updated.

You wait for your girls to finish school, for sleep-away camp to begin, for sleep-away camp to end, for the minutes to pass by as you sit by yourself in your tiny hotel room, while your husband has already been at your new post, in your new home for three weeks. 

On November 9, 2012 we learned we'd be moving to San Salvador for our next three year assignment.  One year and 9 months ago to the date ... and I am STILL in limbo of our next adventure.

The waiting period has never been this long.  After completing his unaccompanied tour in Afghanistan, home leave, seven months of language training and time-filling bridge assignments, we've had 21 months where our future has been (so-to-speak) on hold.  I'm anxious.  I'm irritable.  I'm lonely.

It isn't the same as when Matt returned to Herat after his three-week R&R.  But rather, it's the out-of-body experience of watching my life being lived as I'm in 'no-mans-land' waiting.

My Foreign Service and Expat friends understand. We all know what the transition period is like.  From when a person finds out where they're moving until they clean out their fridge and give you the frozen Butterball Turkey they've been hoarding, because they KNEW you couldn't find one and you needed it for next Thanksgiving.  How the summer cycle moves are never really goodbye, but rather, "until we meet again," as you're sure to do ... like when you visited your friends in Budapest, in Barbados, in Kuwait, in Dubai.  Or when your family and friends visited you in Oman, in Israel, and of course, in India

Here in Virginia.  In Ashburn.  It's been a different experience.  The bevy of questions about our move starting in February.  The calls, texts, Facebook comments and invitations slowly dwindling by June as the friends pull away and invest their time in someone local.  The Wisteria Lane neighbors caring more about how much our house sold for rather than offering any help. 

While the girls are off at camp, making friends and building memories, in this studio 'home-tel' room I wait.  Rather impatiently.  For 11 more days.  As I dream of our impending future.  The short plane ride.  Clearing customs.  The drive to our new home and new life.

Though I enjoy Chubby Checker's Limbo Rock, I look forward to the next song coming on the radio, for I'm just about as low as I can go.  

5 comments:

Naomi Hattaway @ naomihattaway.com said...

Waiting ... right along with you. The period does stink, especially that part where your people start to pull away and stop inviting you to things. I understand why - completely - but it doesn't make it any easier.

Oh, and the offers to actually HELP with this process? Minimal and few and far between. Sad stuff.

BUT we are all somehow addicted to and thriving in the middle of this waiting, the limbo, the craziness, right?

(Sending wine)

Betsy said...

We had very similar issues with the military. It sucks. Hope things go smoothly once you get there. :)

Ms. Kelsey Loy said...

You are strong, and brave, and have already conquered so many difficult parts of this journey. Your kids are smart and sweet, and will adjust well because of the encouragement they have received from you. All of the Perlmans will be missed at CCE. There will be a void in the halls when your thoughtful planning, R's confidence and maturity, S's sweet smile, and G's contagious energy aren't there. Sending best wishes as you prepare to finally leave LIMBO. Jump in, and enjoy this new adventure! You all are such an awesome family, and that doesn't change when you change locations! :) Come for a visit anytime you want. CCE will always welcome you home!

Stephanie Sever said...

Jill, I love your posts. Wishing you a speedy next 10 days to get started on your new adventure. I will be keeping up with your wonderful experiences from afar,I know there will be many! Thanks for always sharing the craziness and fun of this life!

Emma said...

Oh Jill :-( its a tough old game that we all have to play every few years. I know all those emotions so well and I am sending you a big hug and speedy thoughts for a swift departure out of limbo and your next family adventure! x

Blog Designed by: NW Designs