Lessons Learned

Living in another country is a challenge. It doesn’t matter that it’s an English speaking country, it’s still a challenge. There are days that if I don’t speak to anyone else and I don’t listen to the radio or watch the telly or drive my car, I’d think I was still stateside. So basically, those days are rare, but what I’m trying to say is, sometimes it does feel more like home here. And I know, I know this is my home and trust me, more and more each day I feel that way; it’s just that it has taken me some time to get to where I’m at emotionally and some days are still harder than others. You really never realize what you have until you don’t have it with you all the time. Whether it’s things or people or conveniences or just nonsensical items, the stuff of life is what makes life real and tangible and honest. The people you have around you, they make up the reason for life, your reason for love and living and adventure. When those things and when those people are no longer around you, no longer at arms length or a short car ride away, you begin to question exactly what it is you live your life for. Or rather, who you live your life for.

I’m a social being, I need to be a social butterfly and I’ve been this way since I was a little girl. Sure I have my shy moments (yes, it’s true) but to be rather honest, they don’t last for very long. I’m outspoken, I’m opinionated, I’m loud, I love to laugh, and I love to interact over a pint of beer or a cup of coffee. Moving here has made me retreat into my shell a bit, something that is a little foreign to me but also something that has had quite the humbling and yet somewhat confusing effect. I think being forced into my shell has made me flourish in other ways and I’ve been able to recognize a deeper sense of living through that, a deeper sense of self. I’ll not stay in this shell for too long, for most of you who know me and know me well, you know that it’s not possible for me to be quiet for very long.

I have within me the insatiable desire to live, to explore, to create, to share, to laugh, to listen, and most of all, to love. I’ve lived outside of my home base before and I bloomed just fine; it took me a while, but it happened. I have faith in myself that it will happen again, it’s the remembering how to put one foot in front of the other that proves to be the difficult part now and again. Which of course is a valuable lesson to learn early on in life, you just have to keep moving forward.

As I look outside this very moment and witness the sun bow down to the clouds, I understand that all parts of life must change, it’s not just one thing over another, it’s everything. I understand that it’s not just me who changes in this process, but everyone I share my heart with. When you change your life, you learn what you can handle and those things which you think you cannot, well somehow you handle those, too. And in the end, everything changes, everyone changes. I think for me the key is to realize that it’s within those changes that we find out who we really are and how much we can really handle; a lesson I’ve learned on this 4,000 mile journey.

Something else I’ve learned? That I only get one shot at this life, so I may as well live it, no matter how difficult it may be from time to time. I need to embrace the good, the bad, the ugly, and the confusing. And I need to do it not because it’s just what you should do, but because it’s a part of what defines who I am, how I learn to deal with and live my life.

It was love that brought me here but it’s the hunger for life and love, challenge and adventure that will keep me here. I just thank God I have Si with me, by my side for every second of it.

Maybe this adventure is less about traveling 4,000 miles for love and more about going any distance for the chance to live life and embrace all that goes along with it.

Oh and I’ve decided, I’m living life for me.

 

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