What It Feels Like to Leave Your Job to Move Abroad When You Feel Like You Have No Idea What You’re Doing

Last Friday, I walked out of my office for the last time in what is going to probably be some time.

I’ve been in denial that I’m leaving for Madrid in two weeks, and as a result, this unhealthy coping mechanism is slowly catching up on me like an avalanche.


These kinds of experiences, the one I’m about to embark on, are not typically ones that my people, black people, usually embark on. No really, we make up 5% of the study abroad students, and while I couldn’t find stats for those of us teaching abroad, I have a hunch…I have a hunch it’s 5% and below. This is for a variety of reasons, and it’s something I want to help change, but it leaves me in rather uncharted territory.

I am extremely fortunate to have traveled as much as I have, and I have family members who have gone abroad a few times as well, but none for as long as I’ll be away, 10 months. I’ve been fielding a lot of information from coworkers, family, and friends, but so much information all at once has left me feeling rather overwhelmed, if not a tad… burdened?

Guys, if you’ve reached out to me with a contact or some info for me to follow up on and I haven’t got back to you, this is why. I will, I promise, I’m just a bit….. scatterbrained right now.

A Throwback gif, if you will

I’ve got so much to do for the now, like packing, moving, and boxing up all my stuff. A while ago I was preparing to move out from me and my sister’s shared apartment, and now I’m planning to move to a different country altogether. So much of what would have been useful before is now useless now – for the time being – and I have to pack to move again, except this time, I’m moving stuff back home to my parent’s place, as well as moving stuff to Spain, aka, 1% of my stuff is going to Spain.

I keep wanting to make exceptions, you know? Like for my Gyarados Hockey Jersey,

or Lisa Frank “Hunter” kigurumi.

They won’t fit in the suitcase. Neither will many of my wonderful shoes. I’m just… I’m struggling on packing right now.

I also have aspects of my life that are going to continue without me, such as my car needing money to do car stuff monthly, and other bills. I’ve got family and friends with birthdays, parties, and a whole host of other celebrations that I’m denying myself. There’s responsibilities I’m going to miss, as well as burdens I’d wish would just uh… sleep with the fishies, if you know what I mean (Russia, if you’re listening, please hack into my credit card bills and make them…a non-muthaf*cking factor, please).

I have stuff I need to prepare for in the loooooooooooong term future, like completing my PhD applications, putting myself in a position to hit the ground running once I get back home, getting a job, having enough savings for an apartment, so on and so forth.

Then there’s just preparing for 10 months in Spain. The aformentioned packing, the teaching, the language learning, the putting myself out there to fully enjoy a new city. I have so many dreams and so little budget and so little time and my God, time isn’t promised, and life is so short, and how on earth will I ever figure out how to do all of this in my teensy tiny lil’ lifetime?

So yes.

I say all of that to say,

When I walked out of work last Friday, I did so fully understanding that my life was going to change, for the umpteenth time, and to get prepared for it. I hope I can handle this. I’m really excited, but also really anxious. I’m going to put on my, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” audiobook as I attempt to pare down my packing materials and pack up my life once more, in a hopefully effective attempt at managing my anxiety.

If you’ve emailed me offering some support or contacts or encouragement and I haven’t responded, I’m going to reply to you. I promise. I’ve just got to get myself together.




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