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So What's Next?

19 March 2012

If you remember, I shared the story of our journey to Australia.  It seemed impossible to answer the question of "what's next", without a proper understanding of how we got here.  After all,

"All of life is a journey; which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there." -Unknown

Remember how my company could only offer us a one-year contract?  And how we made many arrangements based on that time frame {subleasing apartment, sister taking the dogs, etc}?

Well, an interesting thing happened when I started work.  Everyone simply assumed we were staying in Oz.  At the very least, they thought we would stay 2-3 years.  They acted like it was a given that I would have the opportunity to work there as long as I liked.  Even my boss started talking this way.  Soon, the Director of Sales jumped in the mix.  "Emily, I think you would make an amazing manager.  I really hope you'll consider sticking around so we can make that happen."  Are you for real!?!?  Now, not only were my colleagues assuming I would stay, but people in very high positions were talking about my management potential.  {For the record, I'm not particularly interested in climbing the corporate ladder, but it's flattering nonetheless.}

So J and I started talking.  Mulling.  Debating.  Do we stay?  If we stay, how much longer should we stay?  How do we make that work?  What about the dogs?  What kind of money would we need?  Would J be able to finish his school here?

Naturally, my logical mind wanted to sort this decision into pro's and con's.  

We felt very torn.  There were advantages and disadvantages to both scenarios.  Part of what makes me good at my job is my commitment and ownership over my territory and my customers.  I feel like the business is my baby and it's up to me to make it shine.  I also thrive on exceeding people's expectations--particularly managers.  For those reasons, a huge part of me wanted to stay in Australia.  I knew my territory was going to have a stellar 2012, and I would be beyond proud to reap the rewards.  I also knew my manager would be ecstatic if I stayed in Oz and began training for a management role.

So J and I started putting out feelers to see if we could sort out a few items on the "Cons" list.  We emailed our tenants to see if they wanted to continue subleasing beyond the year.  We checked with my sister to see if they'd keep the dogs a bit longer.  And we started researching universities in Sydney--would they take J's transfer credits, and how much would it cost?

We lived in limbo.  Not knowing if we were staying or going.  

Finally, one day I'd had enough.  I ducked into our second bedroom and sat down to meditate.  "Lord, please give me a sign.  Show me what your plan is for us.  We're happy in Sydney.  We're happy in California.  The most important thing is that we're following your divine plan.  Please, give me a sign."  I had a lovely, peaceful meditation....but nothing came forward.  I felt no more sure of which direction to take.  However, I've learned to have patience with these things.  

As it turned out, I didn't need to wait long.  That afternoon, I received an E-mail from our tenants.  "Hi Emily, Rachel and I discussed things and we are not interested in continuing the current arrangement for longer than a year.  If you were to stay in Australia, we would like to rent directly from the landlord, and you would need to sell your furniture."

And there it was.  My sign.  The one thing J and I agreed upon from day one is that we wanted to keep our apartment in Redondo Beach.  So if that piece didn't fit, the whole plan fell apart.

Now the cold, hard truth is staring me in the face.  In exactly 75 days, we leave Sydney.


  1. WHAT! 75 days?!

    I might cry now :'(

  2. Shame that you couldn't make the con's work and stay longer, but things happen for a reason. I am looking forward to making the most of your last 75 days in Australia!

  3. Oh Emily, I'm sorry. Every time I spent an extended time in Australia I would have anxiety about leaving! Of course, somehow on my last trip I ended up bringing one home with me. I didn't see that in the plan. Like you said, it all works out the way it's supposed to. I am sure your life will wind you back to Australia at some point. You can ALWAYS visit later on in life.

    It sounds like your life in Redondo Beach is pretty awesome. You'll settle back at home in no time!

  4. Oh wow! I'm glad you got your sign ... enjoy the time you have left, and soak up as much of that lovely Australian lifestyle as you can:)

  5. Em,
    I'm so proud of you and all of your accomplishments. I'm glad your going to do whats best for your family. Your amazing

  6. Em,
    I'm so proud of you and all of your accomplishments. I'm glad your going to do whats best for your family. Your amazing

  7. hey emily!!! thanks for checking up on me... whoa i have been just super lazy, busy, blaaahhhh...not checking email and messages, etc... but i am glad you stopped by... i am back in action =) and yes, lets button swap, for sure!!

  8. Ask for a sign and you shall receive one hah? Well, look on the bright side, you still have more than two months to take it all in! Enjoy more weekend trips and know that in 75 days you'll be reunited with your friends, family and DOGGY!

  9. Oh Emmy, I teared up reading this. You know that we recently had to make a very similar decision. Transition can be so hard, either result would have been bittersweet in some way for you.

    You can feel good about it being certain though, not in limbo any longer.

    p.s. I'll be back in soCal in August too, so I think we need to plan to meet sometime!

  10. I can only imagine how stressful a decision like that would be! Enjoy the rest of your time there, and get excited about returning to your dogs, family, and friends! And hopefully we'll be able to connect sooner rather than later!

  11. Emily - my heart just broke a little for you! Leaving Australia was one of the hardest things I've had to do! But then again, you have a lovely life waiting for you in Redondo - I came back to nothing but a huge ???

    I do still get teary eyed (uh, just this morning) when these great ads singing "there's nothing like australia" come on. It's been 7 years, so the nostalgia is sweeter I think.

    Best of luck on your new phase! Just take advantage of the next 75 days to the fullest!

  12. Maybe you see it now, maybe you don't. But I guarantee that one day, you'll look back at this and say, "A-ha! It totally makes sense now why it all worked out like that." And then you'll smile :) To which I shall smile too.

    Enjoy those 75 days!!!! :)

  13. What I respect and love about this process is your pro's and con's list. I make those CONSTANTLY!! I also love how you went straight to the source, and got down on your knees to pray... I honestly believe that through talking to Him, you'll (eventually) get your answers.

    It was a win win either choice you made... so congrats on going home and make the best of the time you have left in Oz ;)

  14. What a hard decision! I'm so sad for you that you have to leave in 75 days (which is longer than it sounds!), but at least you made your decision and don't have to worry about all the "what if's" anymore since you've decided! I can totally relate to this post (I live in Dominica with Katie) and we also just had to make big decisions about whether to stay or leave. Now just enjoy your last 75 days there!

  15. it is awesome how He wants you to lean on Him to let you know what His best plan is for you and when you finally do the answer is very very clear. congrats on moving to Australia!!

  16. How exciting!! Crazy how it all works out. Loving your blog!

  17. You are a girl after my own heart...I love a good list ;)

    But on a serious note - like a lot of your readers have already said, enjoy your time left there! You're going places, girl...keep moving!

    Hope you had a lovely Monday!

  18. Even though you've got 75 days left you will leave with so many memories. I completely can relate to having to leave a place you love when maybe you aren't ready yet - but it's good to take the signs. Try to enjoy every moment you have left in Australia and then start looking forward to your next adventure.

  19. O man, this is a tough one! Any chnace you can sublet to someone else? Or has the decision been made? Im sure whatever you decide, it will be perfect!


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