There are a hundred titles I've thought of for this post...
I can't decide.
With a bit of a breakdown this morning, I had a bit of a breakthrough (they go hand-in-hand, I think. I'm also channelling my inner Brené Brown). What started as an email to a friend about a lack-lustre prayer life, ended up turning into a confessional. Except not so much to them, as to myself. I'd given a voice to what has been silently bothering me for the last 3 months. With my lack of talking to friends (like, real conversations, I don't mean "how are you liking it there? or What's different? or How's the weather?")** or blogging, I've been keeping inside what (I think) makes me - me; expressing my vulnerability, really talking about life and it's meaning or impact on ourselves or each other or challenging ourselves. Needless to say I've been stuck in my head a lot... and for whoever's been there... that's *not* a good thing. After said email, I spoke to a friend who gave me things I needed to hear and helped raise some awareness. So it's time for me to get honest. Brutal truth, guys. Brace yourselves (or maybe I should...) :/
I feel stuck.
I shut off way too often (Facebook? Pinterest, anyone?).
I rush through situations that are uncomfortable (usually per language barriers).
I see my admitting overwhelm as a sign of weakness and it is attached with guilt (how can I feel overwhelmed? I'm not working a 50-hr week, have 5 projects on the go or involved with 3 clubs).
I've been using food as comfort (my ever-expanding waistline is a proving indication).
I've had much higher expectations of myself coming here than I was willing to admit (part inflicted by me, part inflicted by society and friends).
The kicker is I hide all of those points. Even to W. sometimes (s'ok, you can judge).
I have now been challenged to re-write what I see as 'overwhelm' and conversely, 'successful'.
Overwhelm is not always having 50 things on the go. Sometimes overwhelm is having one major thing on the go, with maybe 5 baby things trailing behind it. Overwhelm is being reminded *every minute* that I am in a situation that has no "quick fix" and that it will take a lot of time and effort to get to a point where I will be completely comfortable (like with the language, or not being able to find a job). Overwhelm is trying to be okay with the fact that I have control issues and I am in a situation that in part, I have no control over. Overwhelm is wanting to learn a language in 5 minutes so I can move on with life and not feel like an outsider. Overwhelm is having my bf's mother encourage me to look into getting a Dutch drivers licence when I have (yet) no desire to drive. Overwhelm is feeling happy in a life I wanted to be in with a man that loves me but feeling conflicted because I miss my friends, my town, the comfortable flow I had in my life, my sociability, my (let's get real)... safety zone.
Success is not always becoming CEO, or having lots of friends, or the biggest house on the block. Success is moving to a new country, leaving everyone and everything familiar behind. Success is, when you do have the nerve, to smile and say hello to your neighbour and comment on the weather - in your new language. Success is admitting overwhelm. Success is feeling like crap but seeing the positive anyways. Success is being gentle with yourself. Repeatedly. Success is giving yourself permission to feel ovewhelmed, in any situation. Success is after you think that by moving to a new country you're starting over, that three and a half months into said move, do you indeed need to state again that you are "starting over" (see explanation below).
It's hard to find a point of where to start (moving on, moving forward) since there's so much to do. What's the indicator that tells you how and where to begin? That's the hard part. So, for today and moving forward, I will look at things with a fresh perspective. This is a big deal. There is a lot of effort involved. It will take a lot of time. I will need to make baby steps to get to the bigger things that I visualize in my head I see happening for me. Now that I've given it a voice, I'm okay with it (instead of running away from it). I'm okay with there having to be effort. There is now a sort of peace (temporary, I'm sure). Or maybe I should say.. I've reached a point now that I can relax a bit and let life come to me, instead of pushing through to get to it.
On that note, I am going to make a late lunch and get out for a bike ride. I hope you're having a fabulous week!
** Not to say I don't enjoy these conversations; I just find I need a bit more of the dig-deep, feeling-connected ones.