Just before I got to Vietnam over 13 years ago, I bought a box of J&J waxed, mint dental floss. I liked the type of floss... it wasn't tape and it wasn't the floss that is lots of little strands "roped" together. It was the type of floss I remembered as a kid, but for whatever reason seems so hard to find these days. I have since purchased several other boxes of dental tape and floss in the search for that perfect floss, to no avail. The other flosses I use in my on-the-road bag, and at work; I even have another box near the bathroom sink, and a box under the sink just in case I run out. But, my go to dental floss is that box that I bought over 13 years ago.
|My 13 year old dental floss|
I believed this dental floss was magical. That it was a never ending spool of floss. It amazed me that year after year it never ran out. The box isn't one of the square boxes, but rather a somewhat elongated box. I have had it so long that the writing on it has faded or even rubbed completely off in places, and I have even had to rescue it from falling apart when I pulled too hard on the floss. It wasn't easy getting the spool back in just right (you may know what I mean if you have ever had the top come off of one of those things).
Anyway, I thought the floss would last forever, and that I would stay here forever in Vietnam, as well. It amazes me that at the same time I have decided my work here in Vietnam is enough that I ran out of floss. It is like the floss knew it was time for me to go and finally gave out its last measure. I still won't be leaving real soon because the process isn't fast, but I have made the decision. It is inevitable. It isn't so sad as it is scary. Even in my imperfect world where I seem to be over anxious to complain about, I am scared of leaving because at least I know what to expect here. I am comfortable. Actually, being comfortable for me is worse than being scared. I like to be challenged, and I really am not so much anymore.
I knew the dental floss was about to spool out for the last few days, but I couldn't rush it. I couldn't pull out more than I really needed to make it happen. I guess my stay here in Vietnam was the same way. I knew I was about ready to go. Once my daughter returned to the U.S. to attend university over a year ago, there was no real incentive for staying. I just didn't want to pull more than I really needed.
So, I have a plan. Actually, I have a plan A, B, and C. A lot can happen between now and September (the end of my extension here), but I have to have faith that I will leave and that there is something better for me where I am going.