That's when I started feeling really guilty about my recent attitude. You see, over the past few weeks, I haven’t felt too enamored with the whole ‘living in Scotland’ thing. I’ve been negative and complaining and frustrated over the cultural differences. I’ve been homesick and longing to move into the same neighborhood as my parents.
To see my best friend’s baby boy grow up.
To hang out with my brother on weekends.
To attend crawfish boils and LSU baseball games.
To just float seamlessly back into a life that requires no effort from me. Where I don’t have to struggle with understanding accents. Where I don’t have to throw a fit at the doctor's office when they suggest Tylenol for my upset stomach. Where I can easily park my car for free at any store or restaurant of my choosing. Where I can just go to the grocery store and buy some Easy Mac, for Pete’s sake! Where I know how to navigate the roads, the culture, the expectations, and the relationships.
This frustration and homesickness that I am feeling is right on cue. The novelty of an ex-pat adventure has worn off and now I’m left to face the facts: I live here. This is home.
It isn’t that “pinch me, I must be dreaming” fairytale romance that it used to be. It’s just life. It’s just home.
“See the times are changing, I’m sure of nothing that I know, except this is us, and this is love, and this is where I’m home. In a world that's breaking, where nothing is for keeps, this is us, this is love, and this is where I sleep.” – Emeli Sande 'Where I Sleep'
You know how when you listen to a certain album during a phase of your life, every time you hear it, it transports you back to that frame of mind? Back when I first arrived to Aberdeen, and was head over heels in love with Scotland, I listened to local girl, Emeli Sande, on repeat.
In an attempt to get back 'that lovin' feeling', I dug out her debut album this past week and have been listening to it constantly while I run my errands. It reminds me that even though I am going through a tough phase right now, I do love this life and this city.
We have great friends.
Our dogs thrive here.
The dairy products are delicious. The crime rate is low. There is history around every turn. The summers are mild and the Fall is spectacular.
And though it is rare, when the sun shines, it’s nothing short of magical.
So thank you, Ruth, for reminding me that I am upbeat and positive and that I do give Aberdeen a rave review the majority of the time. So now that my rant is over, let’s get on to this week’s highs and lows.
1) Still feeling a bit under the weather. This week, I’ve spent enough time in bed to complete seasons 4&5 of Friends, which is only about ½ the amount of time I spent bedridden last week. Each day gets a bit better so I’m just glad I appear to be on the mend!
2) The winter weather.
Bleh. This has probably been the worst 2 week span that I’ve experienced in Aberdeen. It’s a windy, freezing, icy mess and I just don’t have the patience to endure it anymore. Though I usually love mild climates, I find myself lately daydreaming of beaches in Mexico.
Fortunately, the days are at least a bit longer than they were in the height of winter. The sun rises around 6:30 AM and it doesn’t fully set until 7 PM, which is a vast improvement over the 6 hours of daylight we were getting mid-December. I just can’t wait until those ‘warm’ (aka 50 degree) temperatures follow suit.
1) Feeling better. Though I’m not 100% yet I am so much improved that I have been giving thanks to God constantly. More than anything in my life, I am so thankful for Jonathan and I’s health and I try to never take it for granted.
2) Book club. Belonging to my very first book club has exceeded all my nerdy expectations. I love having a designated group where I can get my literary geek on. This Month’s book was The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.
If you haven’t read this comedic historic novel yet, I definitely recommend it. It’s witty and charming and, at times, downright cute. The plot follows centenarian Allan Karlson on his many adventures, where he brushes shoulders with many of the 20th century’s world leaders and obliviously plays a hand in world changing events. You’d probably like it if you’re a fan of Forrest Gump (and if you aren’t, I don’t think we can be friends).
Jonathan read it as well and really enjoyed it. I think it’s the sort of book that appeals to both genders and multi-generations, which is a great feature. The lady who recommended the book for our club did so because she, her husband and teenage children all enjoyed it. I think you would too!
3) Mahjong winning streak. As in, 5 games in a row.
Seriously. I finally got my mahjong mojo back and it made my week!
What made your week?