Moving Abroad

Andras and I have been talking more seriously about not spending the rest of our lives in the great state of Texas. The truth is, while Texas is great and yes, my family is here, if you’ve been following closely, you know this isn’t really my home. It’s taken me a while to understand, but I do recognize that I could find fulfillment anywhere if I was true to my awesome self. I don’t have to live in a some magical place in order to find that. I know it’s all up to me.

But being away from my home town, getting some space between me and my family, would certainly help. I’ve already distanced myself from certain friends that I struggle being myself around.

But why leave the country? I love and feel very comfortable in most of the European countries I’ve visited. I also click more easily with the Europeans I’ve met than I do with Americans. A LOT more easily. But honestly, this one comes down to Andras. He’s just not happy here. He’s not the same, confident energized guy here. He’s depressed here and it’s affected all aspects of his life and many aspects of our life together.

So, we’ve done more than just talk about it. We’ve set goals for what we each want to accomplish, listed what we need to accomplish/do together before we can make the big move. Right now we’re thinking Rotterdam, The Netherlands where Andras did a student exchange. A place with some of the best architecture in the world, mild, rainy weather year-round, tolerant people, and bike lanes galore. 🙂 I should probably visit first though. Don’t worry! That’s on list too. It’s looking like a 5-year plan right now. We also have a couple USA cities to visit too, just to keep our options open.

So, what made me share all of this? I’m waiting for Andras to finish up a meeting, and I found a coffee shop next door. (Actually a espresso / gelato specialty place – man I wish my digestive system wasn’t so angry!) Being in this new place, all by myself, a few people speaking a different language, is taking me back to that feeling of being in a new place. A place where no one knows me, and I can just be.

I know I can always just be, but since it’s a constant struggle for me, I appreciate the chance for it to be easier than usual.

I’m looking forward to this future with Andras, and I’m also happy to be reminded of what it’s like to travel somewhere alone. It is so quiet, so liberating. It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. And I’m grateful for that.

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Changes

The last few weeks have been some of the hardest I’ve ever had. I felt very rejuvenated during the last post, but by the end of that week, I was really struggling. Basically as soon as my husband and I started actively looking for a new place, anxiety set in in a very powerful way.  Normally when I’m anxious, my  work distracts me – Not this time. Panicky thoughts and physical discomfort found it’s way into my classroom, even though I had a concert and a competition to prepare for.

One sick day taken, a trip to Urgent Care and the ER, a concert, a competition, and a 36 hour whirlwind move later, here I am.  It seems like the anxiety likes to set in during the late afternoon and hang around until I’m ready to sleep.

Anxiety is such a strange phenomenon. How can something that feels so real, be a creation of my own mind? How can my emotional upheaval take over my body? And why oh why do the symptoms have to be the same as a heart attack, so every time I call a nurse hotline, they have to recommend I go to the emergency room?

The last few weeks have been the hardest for my marriage as well. This was the first difficult period when we, I guess because we were in such shock, didn’t cling to each other for comfort, but rather pulled away from each other. Not in a huge way, but the distance is noticeable.  Now that we have all of our things with us in our own home – no more bouncing between friends’ houses, living out of suitcases – I think we’ll find our way back. There is definitely already more communication and laughter.

Change is one of those things that gets  set into motion when you least expect it, and won’t budge into being when you most need it. I think it comes down to who is in control. When change is in control, it’s frustrating, maddening. But when we have the ability to make good changes happen, we’re hesitant to do so.

I think the build up of anxiety has a lot to do with me wanting control of this situation. Maybe in some twisted way, my sub-consciousness is saying, “Oh yeah? If I don’t have a say in this, I’ll just make you believe you’re physically ill, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

The good news is, there is something I can do about it. I can acknowledge and let go of the feelings, redirect my thoughts, talk to friends, family, my therapist, go on long walks, DO YOGA, cook yummy food, go back to work, organize my house, love my husband, play with my dog…

Favorite recipe from this week: baked chicken legs.

Breathing until next time. 🙂