I have made amazing friends- not many..but numbers don't matter. I am grateful for their love and support and the fun that we all have together. Yet I feel conflicted because although I am so grateful for these new relationships I am also very much missing my friends in the states. Those who have been by my side through some of the best and darkest times in my life. Those that I share a history with. I am sad that I am missing out on their lives.. their their pregnancies, babies growing up, heir adventures in marriage, and just being able to share life by going to get a mani and pedi because we can.
I am missing my niece and nephew. The sweet little Jillie Bean who likes to dress up and say things like, "I got your buns," "I love you" who adores disney just like I do, and the little Wyatt who I have only met once but now through a computer seems so happy and aware of the world around him. They say that missing out on the little ones growing up is one of the hardest parts about moving away and I believe it. Watching them grow through a computer via google chats and Facebook videos can only fill so much. Sometimes watching them just make you realize how much you are actually missing and makes your heart feel pretty blue.
Cultural adjustments are not easy. In the beginning it is full of excitement and you are in awe of everything.. and then one day you wake up and realize, "I am so different"- I am the loud American, I like to talk to strangers, I am not reserved about my thoughts and feelings. How do you handle this? Do you suppress who you are just to fit in and be respectful of the other culture? And then there are little things like simply missing American TV (its so much better), wishing you could dry your hair in the bathroom and not the kitchen, and wondering why people don't really leave their doors open at the office. The doors are always shut.. and this makes me completely uncomfortable just popping in- as knocking always feels like you are interrupting. Of course there are adjustments that have been easy- like the chocolate, the NHS, the expected holidays etc.. but this isn't a post about those. This is a post about missing what I know.
Yesterday, I sat in a cafe in Paris and I actually cried silently in the corner as I reflected. And let me tell you I began to feel really guilty about being sad while being in Paris. I mean, I do recognize that I am living a life that people could only hope for. And I have been torn because although I am sad I am equally joyous about traveling independently for the first time in my life ( I will write about this experience soon). But with traveling alone comes massive amount of reflection.. you begin to think about the good the bad and the ugly. You begin to reflect on the parts of yourself that you are most proud of, but also the parts of yourself that are flawed and just what you are going to do about those things.Now, of course my sadness has not just the cultural adjustments there are other things have gone down that I wish I could blog about but know that there is a space for all things.. and some of them are not to be shared on the world wide web.
However, I am fighting for happiness. I am fighting for self awareness and growth and I look forward to the day that I can look back on this time in my life and be proud of how far I have come. So at the end of my crying day, I reminded myself that I want to be happy. That even though I am adjusting to my new life and missing out on so much on the lives of the people back home they are routing for me, that we are staying in touch as best we can, and that this is the opportunity of a life time that I need to embrace fully. I have spent years of my life enabling, and taking care of other people that this is my time to be free, be happy, live fully, love deeply, and laugh often… its ok to finally have this time for me and to continue to move forward.
I watched a ted talk tonight about being happy.. the kid had a great philosophy on being happy and I am going to share the video with you. The young man passed away this year which even further reminds us that life is short and we don't know what obstacles are waiting for us… so we might as well not wait on implementing some type of "be happy philosophy"