The Fear of the Known

The fear of the unknown is what I imagine most people feel when they are about to move to another country. And while I certainly fear that as well, (I fear not knowing the language, not knowing how to do my laundry, or ride the bus, or open a bank account) what I really fear is what I already know and love.

I am afraid that everything I know will not exist when I get back, that the reality I live in now will be gone. I’m afraid that, the next time I see them, my family will look older. I fear the sacrifices that I’m making of behalf of them, they didn’t have a choice in what I’m doing but still they will feel the effects of it. I fear that I’m choosing sadness for them. I might miss Christmas, or my sisters graduation, or when my little cousin starts talking.

The hard thing about moving away is not only what I’m going to face, which will be difficult and overwhelming, but also what I have to leave behind. People keep asking me if I’m scared to move, and honestly I’m not. Scared is not the dominate emotion that comes to mind when I think about moving.

But as my time to leave the U.S. gets closer and closer I’m realizing that what makes me nervous isn’t what I’m heading towards it’s what I’m leaving. I’m nervous that I will lose people because of the time difference, that I won’t be able to talk to my old roommate almost everyday like I do now. I’m afraid that people will stop thinking that’s it’s worth the effort to try to stay in touch with me.

A lot of that is selfish. I’m the one that’s leaving them, but still. It still worries me.

The remedy to this is of course, to remind myself that it will be worth it. What I will learn when I’m there will be worth the cost of an added layer of difficulty in all my relationships. It will be worth it because hopefully it will make me a better person. A better sister, daughter, and friend.

But that’s hard to feel now. It’s hard to remember now that I’ve been away from my international community for so long, away from the things that pushed me to make this decision in the first place.

I still know that it’s right, I still want it more than anything. But living at home for the past 6 months has served as quite a serious reminder of just how much I am sacrificing by leaving.

6 months went by quickly, much quicker than I expected it to. And now here I am with only 5 weeks left before I leave. And while the nerves and the stress of having to start actually preparing to move beings, I hope I can use these 5 weeks to fill up on as much of the comforts of home as possible. I need to remind myself not to let the stress cut into these last precious moments in my own country with all the people who I love.

Happy New Year to all of you! And thanks as always for taking the time to read any of this. 2017 is going to be amazing.



5 thoughts on “The Fear of the Known

  1. Devon-your words are so wise. Life is full of unknowns which makes it so interesting. Then the
    unknowns become knowns & we move on to the next set of unknowns with exciting things around the corner or in the next block. We make choices everyday which leads us to eating a Big Mac or going halfway around the world. Small choices bring big changes and big choices-who knows! With your wisdom and intuitive thinking you will do amazing things. Yes your family will miss you and do the normal worrying but this is what good parents do-prepare you to make good choices and embrace the choices with love & unwavering support. Bravo to you! Happy that we are part of your family. Love from Jed & Rita


  2. I’m planning on teaching in Korea next year, and though I’m excited and not so much afraid of going, everything you’re explaining in this post is exactly what I feel. I’m sure things will get better and I’m excited to hear your experience!


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