Tomorrow will be exactly a year since the boys and I travelled back from Chicago after our very first visit. I remember so well what was going on in my mind at the time. I was full of excitements, fears, worries, doubts, certitudes and a To-Do list that appeared never-ending.
Sell the house
Tell the school
Get quotes from shipping companies
See my mum and sister one more time before we go
Get the dog vaccinations in order
Close our utility bills
Book a hotel for our first two nights
Say bye to our friends and family…
This is just an excerpt of the mess and overwhelm that was going on in my mind, because in the middle of all this, I had to seize, fight and understand emotions that were getting in the way.
I wanted to go and I didn’t want to go.
I wanted to experience a new life and I wanted to stay in the comfort of life as it was.
The ball was rolling anyway and we were going to do it.
And we did it and it is now a whole year since I started preparing for this huge move.
A year on and if I could go back and give my nervous about-to-be-expat-person a word of of advice it would be to trust the process. All of the questions and worries I had back then seem totally redundant today. If anything, I have learnt that our mind can play huge tricks on us and imagination is not always a good thing.
I would also say: “be kind to yourself and surround yourself with people who will soon feel like a family away from family”. Meeting the circle of friends I have now, has changed my life and it has reassured me and make me feel safe in many ways, so let down your guards and let people in to support and care for you. I should have done it a lot earlier.
Accept sadness and even sometimes anger, once you let them out and deal with them, everything will look brighter.
This year has probably been one of the most intense and life defining of our lives and all I can think of is how grateful I feel for being given this opportunity. For being able to experience first hand what it feels like to go through such an intense change. To really feel the good, the amazing and the ugly a life change like this can bring.