Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to. ~John Ed Pearce

The Tibbs family is moving back to the US!

Well. . .most of the Tibbs family.  The children and I will move to Atlanta this summer and Sam will return to Sharjah in late August to complete his first year of teaching at the American University Sharjah.  It's not the best of circumstances, but we will find a way to make it work.  That's what a family does.  And we're hanging in there.

An update on school:  I was not accepted into a gender studies program.  And, interestingly, I found myself ambivalent to that rejection.  This was a revelation--in that I truly thought I wanted an academic career.

Sam and I were discussing the "rejection" and how I was a little disappointed, but not upset.  We followed that by discussing why I wanted to go into academics and study LGBTQ issues and my response dealt with equal rights, and he asked, "Have you considered law?"  Admittedly, a flash sort of went off in my brain.  No, I hadn't even thought about it.  Which is rather ironic, given my penchant for arguing (yes, a little self deprecating humor, although very true).  It had crossed my mind several years ago, but I just snorted and shrugged it off.  For some reason, when he suggested it,  I was like, "Yeah, I could do that.  Wow.  That makes a lot of sense."

When I went to the States last February, I toured Emory University Law School and had the great fortune of meeting some professors in the International Humanitarian Law Clinic.  They were gracious in offering their time, support, and wisdom.  They have been most encouraging in regards to the LSAT and also very generous in their time as we continue to correspond regarding LGBTQ and human rights issues (especially in South Africa, east Africa, and the Middle East).

So, my Plan B (or rather, Plan A?) is law school.  I'm taking the LSAT this June and will apply to schools this September-December.  I'm sure it will surprise no one that I'm continuing my interest in LGBTQ equal rights and HIV status rights.  Now, this?  Law school?  This is exciting.  And it's something I can see myself doing.  Well. . .forever (being an attorney I mean, hopefully not law school forever). 

I'm under no delusion I can save the world, but maybe I can change someone's mind along the way.  Education is the key.  Edward Everett said, "Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army."  And as the nation strains under the pressure of equal rights (or lack thereof) and the upcoming election, education is more relevant than ever.

Continuing my education was not the primary reason for our returning to the States, although it does provide an excellent opportunity for this new venture.  Thomas had a better year than last, although he continues to struggle in certain regards.  We discussed moving back with the guidance counselor at his school and asked for her opinion and she replied, "I think you need to consider it."  This is a multi-faceted issue and no one person is responsible for the move.  This has been a difficult family decision, but it's what's best for us currently.

I realize that participating in the "blogosphere" does open your life to your family and friends on a global level (and apparently the world?  How have I had almost 3000 views?!) in a way that just sitting around a kitchen table drinking coffee does not.  And from this realization, I understand this allows people to make comments and suggestions I might find offensive and brazenly off the mark.  However, I try to remember that quite often people will email or text things they would never say to you in a conversation.

That being said, I/we (Sam and I) have given a lot of thought to what my change of career would mean for our family.  My long term plan was never to be a stay at home mom.  In fact, I've done this longer than I ever expected.  But, it's not what I want to do and I'm not happy being a full-time, SAHM.  So, I'm changing it.  My children will be happier seeing me happy and fulfilled.  My children are part (admittedly, a BIG part) of my life, they are NOT my life.  When you make something your life, you lose your identity.  And, I don't want to be invisible.  To my children, to my friends, to society, but most importantly--to myself.

But, I'm a little nervous.  Okay, a lot.  Really.  A LOT nervous.  It's a big change.  Moving back across the world with four children.  Single parenting for at least the next year (although, not exclusively solo during the entire year--thank goodness for the academic calendar) and hopefully, starting school next fall.  It's daunting (maybe I'll blog about law school with children--lol).  But, I'm lucky that my immediate family understands my need and is willing to support me in this endeavor.  Oh yeah, did I mention Mom is moving in, too?  Welcome to the "Sandwich Generation."

So, we're going for it.  For better or worse, guts and glory. . .all that.  And, I'm happy the people I love support me.  Because it'd be exceedingly difficult doing this without them.  I'm not trying to build the world, just renovate myself.

No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself. ~Rabbi Sofer

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