Several months ago, sort of on a whim, I applied for a job in a country called Palau. Palau is an island nation in Micronesia, 500 trillion miles away from where I currently live. Why did I apply to work there?

1. It never gets cold there.
2. It never gets cold there.
3. It never gets cold there.

The position is court counsel for the Supreme Court of Palau for one year. Over the next several months after applying I corresponded with the court, believing it was unlikely that I was ever going to actually land the position and haul my little-old-self to the other side of the planet.

And then they rejected me. I got a polite email explaining that I was not selected for an interview, so I spent the remainder of that day with good friends eating ice cream and making the expected rejection as dramatic as possible.

As a part of my coping, I found incredibly cheap tickets to Mexico City and planned the trip. As fate would have it, Palau changed its mind about me shortly thereafter and asked me to be in LA for an interview on [wait for it] the same week I was supposed to be in southern Mexico.

After exploring every option I could think of, I found that flying out of Mexico and into LA on the day of the interview and then rushing back to the airport to fly back down to Mexico to meet back up with my travel group was actually the cheapest and most convenient option for making the interview.

Cue lots and lots of pre-travel-day-from-Hell anxiety.

Krishelle, Will, and Daniel left me in Cancun and began their 20-hour journey back to Mexico City, where they would meet me 24 hours later. And the next morning I set off for the airport in my suit, carrying with me only a small backpack.

The flights fortunately went without drama, and I caught my connection in Houston with a few minutes to spare after running frantically through the airport on my 3rd degree sunburned legs. And then a few hours later I showed up in LA and quickly found a taxi.

I felt EXACTLY like Miley Cyrus in "Party in the U.S.A."

I hopped off the plane at L.A.XWith a dream and my cardiganWelcome to the land of fame excess (whoa), am I gonna fit in?  [Am I the only one that always thought that line said "fame and sex" until just now?]

Jumped in the cab here I am for the first timeLook to my right and I see the Hollywood signThis is all so crazy, everybody seems so famous
My tummy's turning and I'm feeling kinda home sickToo much pressure and I'm nervousThat's when the taxi man turned on the radio
And a Jay-Z song was onAnd the Jay-Z song was onAnd the Jay-Z song was on
So I put my hands up they're playing my songThe butterflies fly awayNodding my head like yeahMoving my hips like yeah


And guys, I was seriously moving my hips like yeah. Especially when the Britney song came on. When the Britney song came on.

Ok. I'll stop.

Sometimes I feel like I pollute the Internet.

Anyway, so I pulled up to the federal courthouse where the interview was scheduled to take place, ran my fingers through my greasy plane hair, waddled in through security with pain shooting up my legs, and then I thought:

"What the HELL am I doing!?"

But seriously. What was I thinking?! Why was I there!? I didn't even really know where Palau was. Let alone what it might be like to uproot my entire good life from Salt Lake City to move there. And how did I all of the sudden end up in LA after waking up on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Ok, I admit it. I sort of started to freak out. But I was there. And I had gone through a lot to get there, not just that day, but over the course of my whole life that had sort of pointed me in this direction, for better or worse. For stranger or worse. Or is it for better or stranger? Sometimes I really don't know.

I tepidly walked into the courtroom to meet with the chief justice of Palau who gave me a lot of information on the job and the island and the people etc. before asking me a few questions. And then, suddenly, he offered me a job.

Like, a real job. In Palau. Micronesia. Where I would live. Like, actually, really, truly, live.

And that panic that was sitting deep down in my stomach now shot through my throat.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. I am NOT moving to a country I can't even point out on a map. I am not moving away from my life that I love so much with my friends and family that I love so much. No way. Uh-uh. Nope.

But I graciously nodded and told him I would think about it after running out of the courthouse, jumping into a taxi, and rushing back to the airport to catch my flight to Mexico City.

It was just a few days later that I got a phone call with the official offer. They gave me one week to decide. One week. To decide.

How does one go about making the biggest decision of their life in one week?

So I started thinking about it. And calling everyone I know to seek as much advice as possible. And I got great advice from everyone. But the same answer came from everyone I knew: I had to decide if this is what I really wanted.

I felt like such a phony. I was so scared to accept the great unknown. But I preach to you all about how important it is to embrace new opportunities, strange and exciting. About how important it is to not limit oneself to the familiar because there is so much to learn from the unfamiliar. But I also felt like I would be just as phony, and irrational, to accept this just because I need to appear willing to accept the great unknown. And I don't believe that moving to Micronesia is the only way to make life fulfilling. There is much to learn from the seemingly familiar as well.

Nonetheless, I couldn't deny the fact that a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity had just presented itself to me. Nor could I deny the nagging feeling throughout that one week of decision that there were things I needed to experience in that opportunity, as scary as it may seem from this end right now.

So ultimately, I flipped a coin.

I kid.

But I kid you not when I tell you that I chose to accept. My dear strangers, come October, I will be moving to Micronesia. I'm terrified and excited. Determined and apprehensive. Shocked and calm.

As usual, my emotions are inconsistent. Which is usually how I gauge the correctness of my decisions. For stranger or worse.

Please come with me on this next journey. If not physically, I would love to have you there with me electronically. We'll get in our Snuggies and laugh and cry together. Just like we always do.

I hope they have the Internets down there.

~It Just Gets Stranger