Although this post would be an ideal place for it, I do mean taking stock, not making stock. ~Waving goodbye to anyone who dropped in looking for food.~
We’ve been here five months. I’ve been told it takes about six months to feel adjusted to a new country — or, really, anywhere from six to eighteen months. Before we moved, in my massive arrogance and naïveté, I thought: “It won’t take me that long.” Like the soon-to-be new parent who thinks she’s figured out this mothering gig before she’s even felt a contraction, I knew it all. And like that same new mother, life is teaching me — hard, fast, and with no mercy whatsoever — that I am a complete idiot.
I’ve moved before — often, almost. Moving to a new country is not like that at all. Everything is different, from small things like how to make coffee, to big things like the position of the sun. There is no moment when you can throw your head back and say ‘ah, everything is different but at least this one thing is familiar, and having found this one place I can relax here and renew myself for the future.’
Maybe that place does exist, but I haven’t found it yet. And seriously people, I have been around.
Hm, this post is getting off track. I’m feeling positive overall. Six months is enough time to build up some routines. I could drive the kids to school in my sleep. I know where to buy milk. I am madly in love with English bacon. I have food in the fridge and my very own kitchen to cook it in — or if we want to go out, I know where we can go with the kids, or where to go for a nice dinner out with my guy. I can drive through town without the satnav (tho’ not anywhere else). I can ride the bus, ride the train, call a taxi, get gas, get on my feet, get around. I’ve found some other ex-pats who like to explore. I’ve met the neighbors — we have a ladies lunch, which is so charming I want to bust, even though I feel young and silly next to everyone else. I have this blog, which has been rewarding in completely unexpected ways. Some days I look up over the Cotswolds and just can’t breathe for beauty.
But … but. It’s not home. Right now it doesn’t feel like it ever will be home. I miss honeysuckle and barefoot walks by the Chesapeake Bay and my picnic tables and iced tea and American friendliness. It’s not just that I miss summer and sunshine — which of course, I do — it’s not just that I miss feeling competent and self-assured — which of course, I do — but I miss the me that I was at home, and haven’t yet discovered the me I am here.
Sigh. That’s sufficiently tortured for one day, I think. Since a post without a photo is like England without rain, here’s one from our recent trip to Puzzlewood — magical, mysterious, enticing yet forbidding — and lacking any clear path — just as I feel about our life in the UK right now.