The Ups and Downs of Living Abroad (this country isn’t my home).

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I’ve had a bit of writer’s block the past few months- the truth is that I’ve been sad. This blog has been such a great way for me to process the move and has been incredibly therapeutic but I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything. So much has been going on – figuring out my immigration status (still waiting), trying to get my Irish driver’s license (still waiting), starting the kids in school, and updating our house so it feels more like home. All of that plus trying to make new friends and feeling overwhelmed at all the things I need to do.

We literally still have our bikes in moving boxes in our shed (facepalm). There is ALWAYS something else to tackle, a new project, someone else to call, a form to fill out and send in (AGAIN). Moving, in general, is difficult and stressful but moving abroad, to a whole new country that isn’t familiar – is not for the faint of heart. I’m lucky because I have my husband who grew up here! He knows a little bit about the system and what we need to do. He even still had an Irish bank account open when we moved – which was a huge relief because it can be quite a headache to get a bank account open here – which I’m sure some of you know!

A few days ago I just celebrated my birthday and it was a hard day – which surprised me. I’m one of those people who still hasn’t grown out of birthdays being the most exciting thing ever. I usually get hyped and count down the days for like a whole month. This time my birthday crept up on me and even though the day was so sweet and special (thanks to husband, kids, and family), I just felt sad. I felt like I was carrying around a heavyweight all day.

I just kind of plowed through the day and even though I felt deep gratefulness for my husband making me feel so loved and special – some days are just hard.

That’s a part of the journey. Sometimes the only way out is through.

If you’re struggling with a big life change right now and having a hard time with it just remember that you CAN do this- you can do hard things. Hold on to the knowledge that things will get easier. I know that right now I still have days I just want to fly back to Chicago and get our old apartment back, and call everyone we sold anything to and pay them twice what we sold it for so everything can go back to normal – but that longing will pass. This new place, Ireland, will become my home. The only thing that will help is time, and unfortunately for me, I can’t speed that up. So, I’ll be here calling government agencies, filling out forms, making mistakes, having ups and downs, good and bad days – until one day I’ll wake up and find I was home all along.

Sometimes, the only way out is through.

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