Pairs Well With… “Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn’t come before.” – Shelby Steele
My alarm went off after an all-nighter of thinking. My mind was preoccupied with a handful of things, including future direction for my life. It was a Monday, and I haven’t worked a Monday in over a year so why I even set my alarm the night prior was beyond me. Already annoyed for no better reason than it was Monday, I grabbed my phone to scan my morning emails.
Within my inbox was an email from Remote Year titled, “You’re In!”
I stared at it a while soaking in feelings of excitement and “Holy Shit… this is happening.” I began thinking that my next year, hell, my whole life was about to change in ways I didn’t even know yet. I faced great opportunity. With opportunity usually comes change.
Not having read the email yet, I picked up the phone to call my sister. She’s always my first dial for good or bad news. From the sound of her voice, she was even more annoyed it was Monday.
Sarah: Hello? (Flat tone, no emotion, can’t be bothered)
Me: Dude! I got into Remote Year!
Sarah: What? Seriously? What did they say? (Finally, Sarah perked up. Apparently, she must have realized my news was better than anything she would do at work that day.)
Me: I got an email, but I haven’t read it yet. I wanted you on the phone. I’ll pull it up, and we can read it together. Okay, okay. It says…
I’m so excited to be able to offer you a spot as a participant on Remote Year! It was such fun learning more about your background, especially the tight bond you share with your sister. I can already…”
I started choking up and couldn’t pick the words back up. As it turns out, Sarah was crying too. I could hear the sniffles, deep breaths and even the attempts to recompose.
“I can already tell that you’ll be a great fit in the Remote Year family,” I continued. I think I have to do this.
Sarah: It’s going to be hard without you here, but I know that you need to do this, too.
See, my sister is my go-to, my confidant, peacekeeper, voice of reason, sounding board and other half of my music video Christmas card – my best friend. She plays a lot of different roles in my life. Thinking about being apart for a year saddened me, something I would have to overcome.
Through the tears, I vocalized what appeared to be my first biggest concern. Brace yourself.
“But what about my taxes?” I sniffled with tears streaming down my face. (WHAT?!?!?! Who says that??? No joke, yet utterly laughable.)
After hanging up the phone, I lied there dazed and blank. No excitement. No more tears, just a state of “huh.” But after that, the thoughts came. And they didn’t stop. And the scary started creeping in. Believe me when I tell you that not everything I say, do or think is logical all the time:
“But no, seriously, how will my taxes get done from another country?” (Why I was SO concerned about taxes that day? No clue. Not like I have anything sketch to hide from the IRS. But guess what?! They. Are. Done. Shameless plug here for the best accountant ever at Stovall & Associates. Ask for Nick.)
“Oh my God. If this means I have to miss 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis….” (This has been the #2 concern for everyone. I’ll share #1 later. While I’m worrying about things like getting Malaria, Tetanus, Japanese Encephalitis, Typhoid, and all the Hepatitis’s, everyone else is worried about my being at Super Bowl. Nice, guys. Rest assured I’ll be back – and may end up making it the bonus round of Remote Year. Month 13 in Minneapolis anyone?!)
“Do they have hair color in other countries?” (I don’t have any plans to go back to blonde anytime willingly.)
“Please let it be warmer. Please let it be warmer. Please let it be warmer.” (When you live in Minnesota, anything above 40 feels like a dream.)
“I hope my new passport photo doesn’t look like the one I took for Rio.” (God bless us all if that happens again.)
Little did I know, my taxes would be the least of my concerns. As I began preparation for my departure, I faced many more obstacles including one big one tied to a little something called…an income source.
The first question that should have run through my mind was, “What are you going to do about work?”
Days Until Takeoff: 17
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