Perception is a funny thing. You can spend a whole day just trying to manage it; in essence trying to manage what the world thinks of you. At the end of the day, most people are still going to think what they’re going to think—because it’s based on how they see the world, not on how you’d like them to see it. But it’s still hard to be on the receiving end of other people’s perceptions of you. Recently Jesse and I have received a number of offhand comments about our decision to move to New Zealand for a year. You can tell immediately that people are trying to size you up, judge you, think of you a certain way. I tell myself that perhaps this is simply not how they would live their lives. Comments have come our way like:
- “Oh, you’re hitting the reset button.”
- “Well, once you’re gone, we’ll never hear from you.”
- Or my personal favorite: “You’re not actually going to work while you’re gone.”
This last one was said with conviction, not posed as a question. But here’s the thing, we’re not going to New Zealand to hit the reset button. We’re not trying to find ourselves. Or to reinvent ourselves. We’re not going because we’re unhappy here or hoping to find more meaning in life.
We’re going because we want to see the world – with our children and as a family.
And while we love the life we have here in DC and we’re excited to come back to it next year, we also believe that there’s so much more to see, so much more perspective to be gained, so many interesting people we haven’t yet had the pleasure to meet.
So that’s why we’re going. People may have a lot of other ideas, but that’s the only why.