Rewind to one year ago. August 2016.
The morning of my best friends wedding, we received a phone call from the agency confirming that all the visa process was complete and the job offer was official. That’s exciting right? Nope. Because what came next meant that I felt like a tonne of bricks fell onto my shoulders.
We had to leave in two days.
But why? “It’s too soon” I said. “You’re already late” he responded. “No negotiation?! I have a child you know” (hoping that would make a difference). “None, I’m sorry Nabila. School starts this Sunday” he said. (It’s now Wednesday). “So I have no choice but to go on Friday?”. “No you do have a choice, can you tell me whether you prefer an afternoon or evening flight?!”. “Afternoon please” I said with my sad quiet voice but secretly wished there were no available seats that day. I told him not to confirm anything just yet. I needed time to let it sink in and tell my husband.
This is supposed to be an exciting time.
I finish my conversation and call my husband. I tell him in a panic. “How are we gonna do this?!”. “Don’t worry, just drop (daughter) to her grandma. Get yourself ready for the wedding and have fun. I’ll sort it”. I was a bridesmaid – basically maid of honour. Bride had me doing all sorts and I had to be there early to make sure everything was ok. But how do I do this knowing I have a million and one things to do before I leave?! If I leave?! I’m in panic mode and call the other 2 bridesmaids. “Omg, guess what? You know the job interview I was telling you about in Dubai? I got it”. Screams of excitement from them. “No. Wait for it, I’ve got to leave in just over 48 hours”.
I may look young, but I’m no young back packer living life on the edge. They realise this. I’m a wife and a mum and a family girl with a job and loads of friends and responsibilities. “How?!” They ask. “I have absolutely no clue!”. “Ok ok, don’t worry, we’ll sort this tomorrow, let’s just keep this between us for now. Let’s not tell Sabz (bride) and try to have fun tonight for your last day with us”. “Ok, I’ll try”.
The day was lovely, the bride was gorgeous, the setting was great because I got to see everyone one last time before I left. But it was always there in the back of my mind. “Shall I just decline? Shall I chicken out?”. “Hmm, let’s just hope hubby says no it’s too soon and demands we stay”. He doesn’t start his position till a couple weeks later than me.
I was counting on that.
All sorts of emotions running through my heart. Saying goodbye to the bride 5 times like a weirdo. She was probably thinking, “alright Nabz, I’ll see you in a weeks time in the bridal after party”. In my head I’m saying “see you in a years time“.
I was reluctant. Hesitant. So worried almost pessimistic about it all. I didn’t know what to anticipate. We’ve been to Dubai, but that was just a holiday. This is moving my whole life. I was emotional and felt over whelmed by it all.
Hubby said something that put me at ease a little. “Let’s just go. Try it out. Give it a month, if you don’t like it, we’ll book a one way ticket and come home. What do you say?”
“I’ll let you know tonight“.
It was tempting. But scary.
I confided in my family, they all agreed and said the same thing.
I realised that it was fear that was holding me back. I’m a big worrier. I over think things and don’t like to rush big decisions. But I convinced myself this decision was not irreversible. I could come back to my beloved London and family.
I message my husband.
“Ok, let’s do this…”
And off we went.
🇬🇧 ✈️ 🇦🇪