What is the truth? To me, blogging is a means of sharing my life and adventures with the world. But it’s also about accountability, raw honesty. Between all of my adventures, north and south, near and far, there are the daily non-adventures that rarely warrant recounting. But in that mundane, quotidien, difficult existence is life. And if I’m being truly honest with myself and everyone else, sharing that is important.
I’ve had a few really rough days over the last month. I knew this would happen. I spent months preparing for it, in fact. Prior to my move, I tediously worked through my fears and misgivings with friends, family, my therapist (um, hey, honesty). I knew that my future was laden with challenge, but for me that was all part of it. ‘The sweet is never as sweet without the sour.’
I certainly don’t want this to come across as a ‘woe is me’ rambling, especially given the abundance of absolute and utter devastation inundating our hearts on a daily basis these days. I’m sensible enough to put my situation into perspective and realize how incredibly blessed I am. But I do feel that only showing the rosy side of my new life is unfair and dishonest.
One of the main things I loved about New York City and definitely what I miss most about it is the sense of absolute anonymity. In a city of over 8 million people, it’s almost impossible to have privacy, yet the anonymity you are granted on a daily basis somehow allows you to feel alone, secluded and concealed. I loved that. In a small town, I think that feeling is impossible. Even though I seemingly have more privacy here than I ever did in New York City, it doesn’t feel that way. I feel as though I’m living under a microscope, completely exposed. And the worst part is I’m pretty sure that feeling is self-imposed.
As an introvert, I am someone who rarely feels loneliness, and that’s pretty fortuitous for starting over in a new place. What I’ve really been stumbling over lately is that I’ve found myself mourning the loss of my life as it was. I miss my cozy apartment. I miss the ease with which I navigated everyday life. I am someone who not only finds change uncomfortable and difficult, I downright loathe change. I have to force myself to embrace and accept change and adapt to new circumstances. Anyone who knows of the risks I’ve taken in the last 7 years would probably think that I’m pretty change-savvy, maybe even spontaneous and adventurous. Absolutely. Not. True. I hate change. I hate new. But I absolutely love the high payoff that comes with risk-taking, so I force myself to make changes and take opportunities.
I’ve been missing my independence, my routine. I miss the security of a steady, hefty paycheck. I miss waking up early on a Saturday morning, going to a spin or bootcamp class, doing my grocery shopping for the week, cleaning my apartment, then napping, reading, and watching movies the rest of the day. I’m sure that sounds like the most boring day ever to some, but to me it was happiness. And why can’t I do that now, you might ask?
It just doesn’t feel the same. Any errand or activity outside of my home is fraught with the challenge of communicating effectively. Yes, everyone here speaks English. And yes, I’m working on my Dutch. As a self-sabotaging perfectionist, though, I don’t like to do anything that I can’t do absolutely perfectly. I’m so self-conscious about my language skills that I actually avoid interaction. Baarn is a smallish town, so it isn’t often that people here come in contact with a foreigner. My fear is that they’ll remember me for my poor language skills, and I’ll be pegged as the girl who can’t pronounce uien (onion). Sigh.
I know that this is all me. No one is doing this to me but myself. But I also don’t know how to lighten up and stop. I am hoping that the situation will improve with time – my language skills, my confidence level, etc. I knew that this move would force me out of my comfort zone for days, weeks, months at a time. And it has and still is.
I don’t regret the move. I’m still happy here, but I am certainly feeling the uncomfortable growth that accompanies risk-taking and challenge. Ultimately I know that this uncomfortable growth is what makes life experience richer, what makes me a stronger, better person. As much as I hate the way it makes me feel, I’m glad I can recognize it for what it is and I look forward to a time when I can appreciate it.
Have any of you found yourselves in challenging, uncomfortable situations which forced you to grow and change? I’d love to hear.