I’m on the bus home after work, stressed or bored or both. In that moment, I completely forget that I’m living in a foreign country or that I have such an incredible opportunity to experience something so new.
I let the normality of my daily life erode the fact that I’m living abroad, doing something I’ve always dreamt about but never imagined it would happen.
I think this attitude affects a lot of us. We’ve long since graduated college or university, working to pay the bills, planning what’s for dinner and all those other monotonous tasks. Do we have enough garbage bags? Did I pay the electricity bill? Should I wash the dishes before or after I vacuum the house?
Sometimes life gets heavy and I let it.
Lately I’ve been actively moderating my mood:
- My bus to work is late so I get irritated. But is that really worth it? No. So I get over myself.
- Work gets overwhelming busy so I get stressed. But doesn’t my job pay all my bills? Yes. So I take a deep breath and deal with it.
- I’m walking home, it’s cold and late and I have so much to do so I feel down. But I’m walking along an English street, with English-styled home and cars driving on the left. This is such a crazy experience so I choose to feel grateful for this life and carry on.
- I can’t do anything until pay day so I get bummed out. But I have such supportive and loving friends and family who I can always reach out to, so I choose to focus on them instead.
Not only is it still an adjustment to be living in a different country, my age is a funny phase, too. Being early-twenties is a weird time and often leaves us all stranded on mini islands, all at different stages of life. Some of my friends and peers are married, having babies, buying homes. Others are backpacking the world, working 9-5 or still in school. We’re in-between seeing ourselves as teenagers and full-fledged adults.
Most of us have no idea what we’re doing.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this other than following your dreams doesn’t always shine a light on your next path, or show you what to do next. Life as an expat is tough and incredible.
So I’ll be here, being grateful for the experience and confused about my life as ever.