Danger – reality ahead

12 Oct

I’ve spent the last several days feeling gobsmacked, discovering again and again the distance between my experience and my new reality.  As a wise friend commented: we’ve realized we’re not on vacation any more.

Here the wind seems to blow ceaselessly, driving in rain and sun in succession so quickly I don’t know if I’m hot or cold.  Emotionally, it’s been much the same.  A moment of competence – giving someone directions to our apartment.  (Me!  Giving directions!  And they didn’t drive wrong way into traffic or fall off a cliff!)  A moment of crushing failure — trying to learn how to drive a stick shift.  And failing.  (Desperately.)  Being asked by a taxi driver: “Guess what Middle eastern country I am from?”  (Worst.Game.Ever.)  Discovering a gorgeous park two minutes walk from the house we hope to move to.  Being told we must leave our temporary housing on Friday, and not knowing where we will go.  The big kids stepping up and being responsible for their little sister on the school bus — I’m so proud.  And so worried.  And so proud.  My horrified realization that I sometimes sound like fake-accent Madonna when talking with strangers — otherwise they don’t understand me.  (Apologies, Madonna.  I’ve been making fun of you for that for years.)

Finding something beautiful — like a bacon sandwich — and wanting to share it with friends who aren’t here.  (You don’t think a bacon sandwich can be beautiful?  Wish you were here, so I could show you.)  Being jet lagged and exhausted and confused … And finding moments of pure serendipity, like sitting at a bus stop next to an ancient village inn and having tea in a gentle rain.

I’d like to say I have a grand realization to wrap all this up in a sweet little bow.  (Maybe in a Cath Kidston ribbon.)  But, no, all I have is a cup of coffee and the intention to keep eyes and hands open to new things as they come.

(Except stick shifts.  That may require therapy.)

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6 Responses to “Danger – reality ahead”

  1. Jeanne October 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Have you had a bacon sandwich with brie and cranberry yet? Those are good. There are a lot of unexplored pleasures waiting.

    • Monique October 15, 2011 at 8:15 am #

      I have seen bacon-brie-cranberry sandwiches but not had one yet, your comment bumps it now to the top of my ‘time to eat this’ list.

  2. Andrea October 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    You’ve done it again … Stalked my thoughts and put them into words 🙂 Need help with the stick shift? I have one you can practice on 🙂

  3. greatscott3 October 14, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    I think the first month is just a wash. It shouldn’t even count. You are tired, hungry, awake all at the wrong times and until that gets worked out things just…well, the kind of suck. I have plans to post about this on my site—about the hard parts of the beginning—but have been waiting until I felt fully out of it…fully into the “easy” mode. Until then, I just want you to know that we all feel these things—confused, awestruck, homesick, lucky—and often all in the same day! Sounds like you have some stress ahead (instant relocation–crap!) but so much to be proud of (wow–your kids sound incredible!). If we can help in any way, please let me know. Hope things start becoming more easy than hard very soon…

    • Monique October 15, 2011 at 8:13 am #

      I would love to be through to the other side of the adjustment … in to the ‘easy mode’ (tho I wonder if hoping for ‘easy’ is hoping for the impossible) … I know in a year or two the transition pains will have faded and I might be tempted to forget them. So I write about them now as a reminder to myself for later. (And for the happy connections made with others who are or have gone through the same thing — thank you so much for sharing that we are not alone!)

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