I actually sat down and wrote a blog post last night that I intended to publish today. However, when I read through it this morning it came across as extremely bratty. I guess the stress of the move is getting to me because I had written 900 words worth of complaints about moving, about Scotland, about myself.
As is often the case, a good night's sleep can often provide new insight and perspective. I refer to my anxiety patterns as sun-downing. I wake up in the morning feeling cheery, energetic, and optimistic but as the day wears on an impending sense of doom slowly comes over me and by bedtime I'm one American Idol elimination away from a complete mental breakdown.
Yes, it turns out that moving internationally is quite stressful. Imagine that. The anxiety is simply part of the package. I am resigned to the fact that I’ll be a bundle of nerves for the next 2 months or so, so I better go ahead and brace myself.
I think of sky diving as a good analogy for ex-patriating. You decide to do it, plan your jump, get excited, brag about it to all of your friends and then comes the part where you actually have to jump out of a perfectly capable airplane.
I’ve never been skydiving before but I can imagine the thoughts and emotions that would run through my head in the moments before jumping. Thoughts like, “I don’t have to do this. There’s still time to back out.” contradicted by thoughts like, “But I already bragged to everybody about doing this. I can’t chicken out now.” Emotions of paralyzing terror, panic, and adrenaline.
Yes, right now, we’re about to jump out of the plane. And I’m scared. And I’m having second thoughts. And honestly, I want my Mommy. But dangit, I still want to jump. I want the excitement, the challenge, the life experience. I just have to close my eyes and jump.
And I’m only human. It wouldn’t be a realistic picture of an international move if I didn’t complain every once in a while. But I do believe that one of my biggest strengths is disallowing myself to wallow. I’m good at encouraging others and giving pep talks, so I’ve just got to turn that skill inward and pump myself up.
This time in our lives is hard; it’s stressful; it’s uncertain and unsettling. Or in the sage words of Jonathan, “Our lives kind of suck right now”. But this part, the actually moving part, is just a piece of the bigger package that we signed up for. And dangit, I still want to jump.
“You don’t get to taste the honey without the sting of the bee.”- James Morrison