A mixed bag

It’s been well over a month since my first post. Hopefully some of you who decided to follow me are still hanging around:)

As I had mentioned in my last post, I was waiting for the Freak Out. Well, it wasn’t quite how I expected it to go. I was expecting one Big Loud Moment (BLM) where I would scream at everyone and break down sobbing over the overwhelming realization of what we are about to embark on. The BLM would of course have fallen on my poor husband’s steady shoulders with little ripples on my children. Instead, it has been a slow and steady weight on my chest over the last six weeks, a Long Silent Internal Screaming Moment, that has made it difficult to catch my breath. The weight finally lifted yesterday when I checked off the last tasks on my monstrous to-do list. Breathe.

In celebration, we invited a bunch of friends over and partied hard of course. Children running wild everywhere. Laughter of friends on a warm Summer evening. Steady stream of tasty food and drink. Good times. After everyone had left and the family had gone to bed, I sat with the warm glow of affection left behind from my friends (or it might be the influence of the delicious mojitos I was drinking), thinking about how fortunate we are to have all of them in our lives and how much I will miss them in the coming year.

The feelings that come with leaving a place (even if you know you are coming back) and those that come with going to a new place are interesting as they are certainly a mix bag for me. And this stays true no matter how many times I have moved (which is many!). Everyone who hears that we are leaving to live abroad for a year without fail will say “you must be so excited!”. And although yes, this is very true, I am also sad and anxious. It’s difficult to leave the familiar and go to the unfamiliar. We have a good life here. What will life be like in China? How long will it take for us to get the hang of every day life (groceries, banking, etc)? Will we make friends? Will we be homesick? These thoughts flit in and out of my mind but I consciously push them away and replace them with things that I’m looking forward to and my hopes for this year. I am looking forward to: learning to speak in Mandarin, seeing pretty places, interacting with different people and of course eating lots of delicious food. I hope that the year ahead will strengthen our family’s connection with one another. I hope my children’s view of the world will expand beyond their home and community and they come back with a sense of understanding and empathy towards all people of our world. Lots to look forward to for sure!

All that is left to do now is to pack what we think we might need for a year. No. Big. Deal.

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