Feelings are never easy to navigate...
and when you're 1000000km across the world from home, they're even less fun.
We've only been gone two months and it already feels like a lifetime already. I've noticed the kids are interacting less with friends from home and I've noticed I'm becoming less interested too. It's by no means because I don't miss or don't love my friends, but because as their correspondence becomes less and less it's easier to protect myself (and I assume the kids are doing the same thing) from the heartache of not hearing from them. It just hurts being away.
"You could message too" I often get told, and you're right. I could.
I have days where I want to write but don't know what to say as a continual "hey, how are you?" seems like a waste of time right now. I have no idea what life for you is like, and no matter how I phrase that question, it's always replied with "good, how are you?" I know life's busy and I don't want to interrupt that either. So where else can I begin?
I miss conversations with people who understand what we say, from an area that I love and cherish, filled with laughter because it was never funny in the first place but somehow we are straining muscles from laughing so hard.
"Life's so hectic here"
It is here too but in a shell of a way. I'm so glad life is thriving for you and it's busy. That fills me with so much happiness for you. Deep down inside I miss that, I'm only surviving... lost in a new country bound so hard by red tape my brain is at a loss as to what to do with my body each day. The waiting and utter bullshit we have to sort through each day is debilatating and exhausting. By not having a community around us or any semblance of support, we easily feel lost, left out, and even vulnerable. I'm sure it's just another transition period of relocating overseas, but I never expected to not hear from friends from home. But then again I sort of did because of previous experiences of moving overseas. It's a weird space to be part of.
I find peace in knowing these feelings are not just mine, we have other families here who feel the same and are going through many of the same feelings as we are.
"You look like you're having a great time."
Well, we all know social media is the highlight reel of life, don't we... We are getting out and about as it helps to ease the loss of being away from home. It is a loss and one where you do mourn your old life. Everything changed in a blink of an eye for us and we were suddenly ripped overseas in a myriad of crazy circumstances. The final few months were stressful, frantic, depressing, exciting but also deeply heartbreaking. Change is genuinely hard and this move felt like we never got a chance to catch our breath. I'm not even sure we have yet.
We landed and the bear was back at work within days, which left the kids and me alone in a crappy hotel room struggling to work out our location and direction. I've always been raised to 'make the best of it' which is what we are trying to do.
A great bestie of mine once said to me, when you move to a foreign country, even when they speak English, you will get culture shock. Everything is different. No one will understand you. Then you'll grieve for your old life and everything left behind. You'll have hope soon enough because your posting is nearing the end and then you go home... Where you get reverse culture shock. Everything at home will have moved on and changed. People have moved on and changed and life isn't the same one you grieved for while you were away.
You will have changed.
She was and still is 100% correct.
“Culture shock” is a normal process of adapting to a new culture. It is a time when a person becomes aware of the differences and/or conflicts in values and customs between their home culture and the new culture they are in. Common feelings may be anxiety, confusion, homesickness, and/or anger.
As you move through the process of understanding and adapting to the new ways things are done, you may face a wild range of emotions. These emotions track back to the 5 stages of culture shock: The Honeymoon Stage, Negotiation Stage, Adjustment Stage, Adaptation Stage, and Re-Entry culture shock.
Reverse Culture Shock:
"Symptoms of reverse culture shock include boredom, withdrawal from social situations, a feeling of isolation, a longing to leave again and unduly criticizing your home country. ... An experience of disorientation and despair upon returning to your home country after an extended period abroad"