I moved to Europe seven weeks ago. It took me this long just to begin to hear a clear dialogue in my head instead of a loud and confusing mass of conversations over-talking each other. I lived in Paris for five weeks, with a week trip to Heidelberg, Germany and a five-day trip to the UK mixed in there. Two weeks ago I moved to my home in Germany (read my previous blog as to why). I've had some bad days and some good days and a lot of mixed emotions:
- "What the hell have I gotten myself into? Was this a mistake?"
- "Maybe I should learn French...am I capable at this age of learning another language?"
- "Jesus, I hope this all works out, cause I just got rid of all my shit and I need to make this work!"
- "Hmm, I maybe I'll see the Eiffel tower today."
- "Do I really want to be an English teacher...can I even do it?"
- "So that's what foie gras taste like?"
- "I've always wanted to travel to Europe. I can't believe I'm living here."
- "OK - this is gonna work. Just take it one day at a time."
Moving to a new country and culture kinda feels like a break-up. You know how it goes. It's hard at first. You miss that person and even though you know it's for the best you still hope in vain that maybe someday you will get back together. You forget about all the bad times and only think of the good times. All your new experiences are compared to those you had with that person. You think you could never possibly meet someone else - that you will be alone and miserable the rest of your life. I wonder if I will ever fall out of love with San Diego. Can I have feelings for Germany?
A lot of people have described my move to Germany as an "adventure", but I have always equated that word for meaning only fun and excitement. So I looked up the word "adventure" in Webster's dictionary and here is the official definition:
1 a : an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks
b : the encountering of risks <the spirit of adventure>
2 : an exciting or remarkable experience <an adventure in exotic dining>
3: an enterprise involving financial risk
It's easy to become comfortable in one's life and expect that risk is something that only happens to others, or in the movies, or to those historic figures we read about as kids - but in "real life" there is a negative connotation with word "risk". It certainly isn't easy and there will be most likely a phase where you will be uncomfortable, but with risk there can be great rewards!
I can already see some benefits to living in my new town and I'm looking forward to getting to know this new place, eating new food, meeting new people, and exploring new places - but for now I'm taking it one day at a time.