Monday, February 24, 2014

Being Honest About Transition

I moved a lot as a kid. I went to 5 elementary schools in 3 cities and 2 different countries. By the time I graduated high school I'd moved 2 more times, and once I hit college I went on 2 study abroads and an international internship.

Then I met that blond guy and moved for him too.

Last night I was talking to my mom about moving. How I was so sick and tired of saying goodbye to friends and family, how I was tired of suitcases and moving boxes and uprooting my life and starting over and being the new kid.

Man, I am SO SICK of being the new kid.

A familiar sight in my life!

My mom, who is full of wisdom and good advice and has moved tons of times in her own life, told me I'd get through it, just like I always have. "This isn't an easy life, and it takes a strong person to get through it. But you have and you will. You always do."

Next week our mini vacation with family ends and we head to our new duty station in Georgia. The Army pays for 10 days in a hotel so we can search for housing and then we're paying for it out of pocket if we don't have a place yet. Ten days is a lot, but when I think of all the stuff we have to do in the next few weeks I feel a little panicky. Pick up the cars we shipped from Germany, tour apartments, find a place to live that doesn't suck, buy stuff for our new place, unpack boxes  and arrange furniture, get Fionn all squared away in his new job...

Even with all this upcoming stress, what I am dreading most is a few weeks after that. When we have an apartment, our stuff is put up, Fionn goes to work, and I am...there. When Fionn leaves that first morning and I sit alone in an empty house thinking, "Ok...now what?"

Empty house...
 
I dread this period because I know it all too well. I'm sure lots of you do too. That part where you've got to start rebuilding your life. The part where it's easy for resentment and bitterness to creep in during those quiet, lonely moments.

Why did we have to leave our old life? Why did I have to leave my friends, my job, my hobbies, all the things I loved? WHAT am I doing here? Why does my husband get this ready made life to just walk into with a purpose and place to go every day?

Sound familiar?

I'm trying to keep my thoughts captive, to avoid going down that rabbit hole of negativity. But it's hard, because there is nothing easy about starting over.

The worst thing about my move to Bavaria was that I felt so alone in these feelings. It seemed like everyone else was happy and perfect while I was lonely and miserable. When I finally got the courage to admit on the blog that no, life wasn't all roses and sunshine, the response was incredible. I realized that people didn't want to see perfect, they wanted to see relatable. And more importantly, it showed me that I wasn't weird or a failure and I certainly wasn't alone.

So as we get on with this move, I'm going to try to be honest about how I'm dealing with reverse culture shock, integrating into a new home, and all that jazz. Hopefully this transition will be a lot smoother than my last one, but if not, I'm ready for it. I hope that by being honest I can feel less alone and whoever is going through something similar will feel the same.


11 comments :

  1. I've recently written a similar post about how the transition feels. I'm a serial mover too, and most of the time it doesn't seem to affect me, but this most recent move has been tough. Your Mum is right though; you do get through it, even if it feels tough at the time.

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    1. It's weird like that, isn't it? Some moves I breeze through and others stop me in my tracks. It just makes you stronger in the end.

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  2. I know what you mean about him getting to step into his carved out place, with purpose and structure... it's the same here, and I'm left to my own devices. Resentment is SO easy. This is a new thing to me, unlike the seasoned adventurer you are, but you're such an encouragement to me, and I'm so glad through your honesty I've felt a little less alone.

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    1. Aww thank you :) That is something I struggle with all the time. Especially in a marriage, it's so important to guard your heart against that kind of negative thinking because it sneaks in and causes a rift between you. If I start getting resentful I take a step back and refocus. Even if this isn't my plan for myself, God's got one in mind.

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  3. It would be hard to move around a lot, but you sound like the type of person that makes the best of it - and YES, people want the truth and stuff that's relatable. it's not ALL roses and sunshine and that's okay!

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    1. I hope so! I'm just trying to stay positive and look on the sunny side :)

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  4. I really admire your positive attitude through everything! We'll have to move this summer, and even though it's probably only across town or a town over I am already getting that panicky feeling... You're inspiring me to keep cool, though =)

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    1. It's not easy! I have good days and bad days. Just yesterday I was a mopey sad panda and poor Fionn couldn't get me to cheer up. Just gotta keep on keepin' on and get through that period of suck. I hope your move goes well! New job?

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  5. Isn't it amazing how our blond guys can get us to follow them anywhere?!
    And remember, I'm here to virtually hold your hand through this process of being the new girl again, if you'll hold mine too :)

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    1. It's the blondness...I'm like a moth to flame. ;) and I will hold your hand anytime! Definitely going to need the support through the next few months..

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  6. Hi! I'm a newcomer to your blog. This post really spoke to me, as our family moved from TX to England last summer. I also was a kid that moved a lot during the elementary school years (5 moves, 6 schools, in 3 countries...LOL!), but only one of those moves can I remember that being the new kid sucked. Now, I'm getting to experience the move abroad as a parent, and thankfully, my kids have adjusted fairly well. But that's not to say, it's all been easy. The part you said about being alone and feeling some resentment initially. My husband had his job to go straight to and my kids straight into school. And then here I sat alone. It's better now, but sometimes those lonely feelings do still creep in from time to time. I like your honesty and look forward to reading more of your blog!

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