arrival journal: day two

I could write about so many wonderful experiences today.

For example, I could write about how we slept so soundly almost to 11. Or about how we were so worried about hearing the sounds of birds, yet we hear them throughout the day. Or about how sometimes we are awakened from our naps by the sounds of children playing and laughing in the streets below. Or about the conversations I had at dinner that lifted my spirits. Or about how we had this really cool tour of a local soccer stadium. Or about how awesome our shower pressure is. Or about how great our view is. Or about how lucky I am to be sharing this experience with my bestest friend, my rock and support and cheerleader.

But I won’t.

Instead, I’m going to write about how I am having a hard time.

Not many people are saying that in our group. In fact, I don’t know that anyone is. I don’t know if this is because so many of them are experienced at this overseas thing. Or just because nobody talks about it. Or because nobody thinks about it. I don’t know. All I know is that I had to fight back tears most of the commute to dinner tonight.

As an overshare, I am currently hosting the monthly visitor we ladies love so much. So that could be the source of my emotional state.

Or it could be that we moved all away down to the other side of the earth, to a place where I don’t even know how to order water at a restaurant. So perhaps, I’m just dehydrated.

But the more I’ve been reflecting, the more I’m wondering if my current emotional state is not so much because I am an expat living in a foreign land as much as I’m an introvert operating according to an extrovert schedule. Everyday this week, from the get go, we have been with people, doing things. The booze is flowing, the laughter is contagious, the conversation is the awkward but memorable dance of two strangers, and all I can think about is when can I get to my home to be alone and to take a nap. So much stimulation, especially with so much riding on it, is short-circuiting my wires.

As my friend wrote to me just yesterday, I am trying to show myself grace in this transition and accept all the things: the good, the bad, the ugly. And I think this journal entry is an attempt to do that.

On the flip side, part of me is desperately seeking someone else who will just come out and say, “wow, this is hard.” In fact, some of these sentiments came up tonight during our dinner, and immediately my spirits were fueled just to have somebody talk about the challenges rather than easy advice or chipper one liners that seem to flow so naturally. I recognize this is my innate mode of operation: I would much rather talk about weighty matters of the heart than have chit chat.

Maybe I just need to start an expat support group. Or maybe I just need to get past this week.

For now, I am just trusting that this is part of the process.

And that is OK.

Thank you for reading and sharing this journey with me. For those of you who asked, pictures of the staircase are on the way.