Traveling has taught me a considerable lot, each time I thought I evolved a bit more. Moving abroad long-term has made a considerable impact though.
I arrived knowing who I was & what I was doing.
Only to have that upended by my inability to speak the language.
Then, I found my footing only to become pregnant & give birth. Where was that old me? Was this takeover of body, of duty & obligation to this new living being all that I am now? What?! How could I simultaneously feel like myself but not?!
These were not only new international roads to navigate. ‘How to live abroad’ became ‘how to raise a child abroad’. Always feeling out of the loop or late to the party.
The number of times I heard “it’s not my job to tell you, you should know.” was numbing. “But if I don’t know & you won’t/don’t tell me, then who should?! 👀
Then, I found a community of international women & mothers in a similar boat. This helped me feel much more ‘Alice’, less Mad Hatter.
Enter global pandemic. Once again I felt late to the party & out of the loop, only ever playing catch-up. So, I decided to attempt to control my reaction to the world instead of feeling lost, while still moving forward-ish.
Change is the constant. Growth must be the equal. I may not always be in the calm waters, but I can be my own lighthouse in the storm. It means doing the personal/intercultural work to not get tossed by the waves of change or the constant evolving weather event that is navigating life outside one’s home culture.
This doesn’t mean going it alone, independently. Rather, it means finding those who speak to your heart, if not your vision, who feels like home, who support your progress as much as you support theirs.
Tell me in the comments:
What do you think you’ve learned the most from recently?