Friday, May 18, 2012

And so, we begin...

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a Buffalo Gal.  Born and raised in the Queen City, I'm proud to be from the city of good neighbors and call it home.  Therefore, the news that I'm gleefully uprooting myself and moving to the other side of the world could cause some raised eyebrows.

Let me explain.

My ultimate goal is to live and work in Buffalo.  But like the proverb goes, life is a journey, not a destination. I recently accepted a job through the University at Buffalo's Singapore Program to be an instructor at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) in the UB Communication program for a year or possibly longer.  Having just earned my Ph.D., I'll be earning both credentials and a financial boost that will set me up for life.  College loans, down payment on a house, and hopefully a job in the Greater Buffalo area.

But in the mean time, as an unattached, educated, nearing-thirty girl, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to live and work in such a fascinating part of the world.  Although I haven't been there yet, I understand that life in Singapore could not be more different than Buffalo.  First of all, there's the weather.  With highs in the 80s every single day (and nights, too!) that's the first bit of culture shock I'm expecting.  I'll be trading in my wool sweaters for cotton sleeveless dresses - which just gives a girl a REALLY good excuse to go shopping... One of the many benefits of this position is that housing is covered.  And not only is one housed, one is housed well.  Fraser Suites will be my new home, and I know that living in a chic modern high-rise apartment will differ vastly from the life I've lived in charming 1930's-era house apartments these past 10 years.  And the distance... that is something quite new. During a conversation with a friend who recently moved from Florida to Washington, D.C., I shared my hope of getting this position and moving to Singapore.  "Have you ever lived outside of Buffalo?" she asked. "No," was my reply.  "Wow..." she said, "You don't do things halfway, do you?!"  Thanks to the miracle of Skype, I know I'll be able to talk to my family and friends daily, and hopefully this blog will also help to bridge the gap.

After learning that I had indeed gotten the job, I prepared to vacate my apartment and move in to my parents' upstairs addition (a move that would give me more family time over the summer AND save considerably on rent!).  When contemplating packing a decade's worth of "stuff," I entered a sort of bohemian bliss at the thought of how easy this move was going to be, considering I'd be donating as much as I could and keeping as little as I dared.  My bliss bubble was promptly popped, however, upon the realization that deciding to donate one's stuff does not make it magically disapparate from one's dwelling.  Whether keeping, storing or packing, things still need to be boxed up and moved out.

And pack we did.  The "we" in that statement would be my endlessly patient mother, who, after enduring my emotional ebbs and flows caused by a life-changing job offer accompanied by the process of writing and defending a dissertation, ponied up an even greater amount of tolerance for me as we set to going through my things.  In the end, after two weeks of sorting, selling, packing, tossing and donating, I was able to successfully keep 1/4 of my possessions, donate 1/4, sell 1/4 and trash 1/4.  I recruited three amazing undergraduate students-turned-friends who volunteered to help me and my parents load and transfer everything into a storage shed (pictured here).

Now, I find myself happily settled into a "studio" bedroom at my parents' house in anticipation of a full summer which will include, of course, preparing for my trip to Singapore, but also teaching a summer course at UB, helping my mom prepare her business for the autumn season and of course, rest and relax a little.  Follow me as I prepare for and dive headfirst into a great adventure!


Sandie Lohiser said...

I am proud to be your first member AND your biggest fan! Love, Your Mama

Debra Hartzel said...

Amanda....I know we don't know each other very well, but I can't tell you how very excited I am for you as you start this new journey in your life. I look forward to hearing all about it via this wonderful blog! You go girl!! Love, Debbie (Hunt)Hartzel

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