Several of you have asked me the same question privately so I thought I’d post it here along with my answer: “Are you glad you moved? Are you having the experience that you wanted?”
The answer is unequivocally YES and I speak for Dan too. We are glad we came. We are glad we are here and we are having the adventures that we wanted (but could not possibly predict). But don’t take that answer to mean it’s easy. It’s HARD. Really hard sometimes and moderately hard other times and a few days it’s been not too hard. But only a few.
I actually am surprised at how hard this is. I’ve done this before – twice – so I thought I had it all figured out. In fact, I told myself that since I’d done it before I didn’t really need to leave my comfortable life in Gilbert. I already had my mind expanded and my world view enriched. Been there, done that. But I knew it was important for our girls to have this experience so I pulled up my britches and off we went – leaving our comfort zone behind. What I completely 100% did not realize is that this is DIFFERENT than what I experienced before. The two times I did this before I had someone else (a parent and a parental figure respectively) taking care of me. I didn’t worry about my next meal, where I would sleep or how I would get around. Or even what I would do with my day. I just experienced the differences.
Coming here as a parent with two kids in tow makes this an entirely different experience. A much more stressful one. And I’m not exactly a laid back person. I’m a bit like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs to begin with but plop me down in a foreign country and tell me that I’m STILL responsible for the health and well being of my kids…yikes. That raises the stakes a LOT.
I actually thought that the girls would be doing all the adjusting and I would just comfort them and say “I know, I know. But it will get better”. Little did I know that I’d be the one who melted down the most and usually it’s about not doing so well feeding the family in one way or another. Pretty basic need, that food thing. Hits you in the gut when you think you can’t figure it out.
But even with the unpredicted adjustment on my part, I’m still glad – REALLY glad – we are here. And I think that some of the big stuff is behind us. We have transportation, we know where we will be living, we are narrowing down our options for our permanent housing, we have friends (more than I can count on one hand!) and we know where the nearest grocery store is. And I can make chicken and rice. What else is there!? (Dan is happy I can recreate tuna sammiches just fine as well).
The next phase is going to take more adjustment from the girls – the schooling part. So maybe some of the bigger, harder parental stuff is behind me and next comes more of the stuff I was really expecting? Maybe, maybe not. But we’re still glad we’re here.