Saturday, December 09, 2006

Back and forth and back again....

The past week I haven't really been able to see straight since when I close my eyes all I see are lists of pros and cons scrolling past. It is, of course, the age-old classic question: Should I stay or should I go? More exactly, should I stay here and continue along in my fairly comfortable if vaguely unexciting life, OR should I take off for three-ish months (depending on whether you use the lunar or the julian calendar), live on the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia working as a private nurse for a foreign dignitary? Complicating the matter are the issues that I've just started a new job which I love, I would have to give up my apartment and find someone to take care of my dogs, but I would be making nearly a year's salary in those three months time. Then throw into the mix other random worries which creep into my will I get my prescription headache medicine? Will I have to eat lamb? Am I really okay with the government keeping my passport and visa while I am there, having to where a niqaab and abaya, and not laughing in public? My boss turned out to be super supportive, and said that I should go, and I'd always have a job here when I got back. Phew. My friend S offered to take care of my doggies for me, and nobody except me loves them as much as her, so double phew. My friend J offered to help me sit down and literally make lists of lists in order to prepare to go, so phew again. Then my family said uh-uh. Don't go. And other assorted things related to public beheadings and misogynistic theocracies. *screeeech.* (those are the brakes.) My family has never ever asked me NOT to do something. Well, not since I was four and I was told never to cut the cat's whiskers off again. But they've otherwise been very supportive of everything that I wanted to do, whether or not they truly agreed with me, they stood behind me. So now I'm all a-fluster and rattled again.

I'll admit, the money, whether it be blood/oil money or not, is really tempting. The carrot dangling in front of my face, promising paid-off credit cards, student loans gone, a down-payment on my very own house, a pony, is almost more than I can resist. Then there's just the whole experience of it all, the opportunity to see a part of the world and a culture that I would never otherwise be able to.

I need more headache medicine, these lists are making my head hurt.


Jaimie said...

WOW! What a dilemma? What an opportunity! You are you EVER going to have an opportunity like this again??? I am going to go out on a limb and say no. However, I can't say that I wouldn't be terrified to be an American in that vacinity of the world. I can understand why your parents would be concerned. I would do or go just about anywhere to make enough money to pay off my CC and student loans and then to have extra for a down payment... Of course then I want to know what you are going to have to do to make that much money? I mean that is a lot of money! I think I would have a very hard time in a culture that is SO different. Are you going to have the equipment/supplies (technology) that you are used to having for taking care of this person. Obviously you know what is going on with this patient and if this person is a dignitary you should have the best there is... I just can't help but thinking what an opportunity. I would be too chicken, but won't you kick yourself if you don't??? I'm sure you have talked it over with your family and have heard their concerns. They just don't want anything to happen to you. I want to be a traveler but it doesn't fit with my life and my family. (I'm very frustrated with my hospital, my supervisor, and my charge nurse).

Kim said...

This is an amazing opportunity! Even back in the 70's and 80's there were nurses who would go to work at the Saudi hospitals because the money was good.

And you'd be private duty! Wow!

So, you have to cover up for three months, you'll see another culture from the inside out and probably realize that under all those hibabs and jibabs or whatever, we are all more alike than we are different.

If it was a year, it might be different - but three months!!!!