Why have my blog posts been so few and so far between? I gotta admit, I’m having a tough time lately and haven’t been able to find my voice. I love writing. I love sharing my story. But, when difficulties find their way into my life I struggle finding a way to share it or deciding if I should even share it at all. I mean, who really wants to hear about a little identity crisis? But, when I consider what the subject of my blog has been, I feel drawn to share this aspect of transitioning to a new country. Because that’s why many people enjoy reading about my adventure, right? I’ve always been very open and have shared so many things about my experience and this struggle that I’m facing right now is not unique to me. Everyone goes through transitions. And, redefining oneself isnt a subject that’s new to anyone.
Redefining oneself after moving to a new community, a new country, even just a new city is not always easy. If finding your place in a new location is hard, add to that struggle, retiring from a career that pretty much defined you and there’s bound to be a point in time when the dust settles and the hard, deeply emotional truths begin to seep in. For most of this year I’ve begun to quietly process my new place in the world. To be totally honest, its been hard. I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I read back what I’m writing and I’m feeling quite insecure about just how much of my current adventure I really should be sharing. But, I’ll keep going…
I’ve tried sharing this struggle with various close friends. It seems to be something most sorta brush aside, smile, acknowledge the difficulty but really have nothing other than that to offer. What do I expect? After all, It’s my struggle and Im realizing there really are no words that anyone could possibly offer me to make it all better. The answers are mine alone. I know so many people who have retired from rewarding careers, people who have finished raising kids and have experienced the end of what may have been what defined who they were for much of their adult life. I’ve watched clients, friends and family go through life transitions with varying degrees of grace and confidence. This struggle is not only mine, no, its a period of time that most of us find ourselves facing at some point along the way. The question, “Now what?” is one that I think many people face after retirement. And, its exactly what I’ve been attempting to process in my own way for a while now.
Some might say that I might be over thinking it? Maybe focusing a little too much energy on figuring it all out…But, I’ve thought a lot about so many of the transitions I’ve traveled through in my lifetime and here’s the thing… not one time did I ever take the time to really process those transitions. Never did I allow myself time and space to really make intentional decisions about my path. Life was always too busy, too fast, too stressful and there were too many others who depended on me to be strong and hold it all together. This time I get to travel through this particular life transition and take the time to do it with intention.
When I think about all the major milestones in my life…choosing my career path, deciding on a life partner, becoming a parent, becoming a home owner and an independent business owner, all the many transitions that set me on a particular path and really determined so much about my life I dove in without much intention. I feel like I didn’t have the life experience to realize it might be a good idea to take my time and really consider what I really wanted. I was impulsive with so many really important crossroads. Not that being impulsive was all bad, but right now, during this particular life transition I’m actually faced with the wonderful reality that I’ve got the time to be more intentional with what direction I go next. There’s no hurry, no timeline and no reason what so ever to rush into what direction I take next. That being said, I will be honest and tell you that the word ‘adrift’ continues to enter my head.
I’ve just never been in a place in my life where I get to focus on me. Holly has a tendency to blend into those around her. Its a bit daunting to be in this unfamiliar place. A place where I don’t have a ton of heavy responsibilities resting on my shoulders. No people looking to me to be any certain way. And theres a peace of mind just being in a place where its okay when I feel unproductive at times. Of course I often wonder ,what will feed my soul? What am I doing with my days to make myself feel satisfied with the day? How am I making a difference in my life or in the lives of those around me? Do I matter? I’ve always had so many people who needed me to do something to help them feel good about themselves. I gave so much of myself to everyone around me and right now, I’m not quite sure what to do for me. Is that silly? This is my current state of mind. This is my journey at the moment. My Adventure is Truly Continuing …down a path less traveled. At least not traveled by me before.
And so, I’m finding that I vacillate between telling myself I need to just chill and stop trying to find all the answers and then I look around at this incredible place I live and I wonder if I should be doing something more. What that means, I have no idea. But, if there’s one thing I do know without a doubt, it is that right this minute, I’m right where I need to be. And that even though I’m struggling right now and having a personal crisis of sorts, I always hold firm to this one truth, that every single difficult, agonizing, painful, experience I’ve had in my life, the hardest ones have been the ones I hold most valuable because those hard experiences have made me who I am. They make me strong, wise, patient, loving, forgiving and most of all confident that its all just a part of my story. This darn adventure has many facets , not all of which have to do with adjusting to a new culture, building a house, learning a new language, making new friends and building a new community. The hard truth is that now ,as much of the more expected parts of my adventure are well and truly moving along, there are unexpected challenges which are not as easy to share in my usual cheerful, optimistic way.
So, there! Now you know where I’ve been and what’s been going on here. Well…I’ll keep you posted, and yes, there’s still lots going on with our construction project . And, Oh! Did I tell you that my lovely and loving, mother in law, Pat, has moved here with us from California? Yes! I’ll tell you more about that next time, but I have only good things to tell you about this new turn of events as we love having her here with us! Our Adventure is truly continuing!