So this is a word I’ve been pondering lately.
It really comes as no surprise, since this last week we have moved back to India from Indiana! We are glad to be back on this side of the world, although it is just 3 of us now with our oldest in the States for college. He is doing great though, so I am just going to be happy about that and not focus on the fact that he is over 8,000 miles away. Btw when you use Find my Iphone it tells you exact miles. That was a shocker.
So yes, we are here. What do I say? I am trying to think of words or catchy phrases to transition to what I really have rattling around in my head, but nothing is coming. So I guess the best way to say it is just to say it.
Well, it kinda stinks.
There that’s in black and white, is that ok? I hope so. I am not sure how else to say stuff besides how it actually is.
It does stink sometimes to be thrown back into a culture that’s not your own. Especially when your last memories of being here are all good and wonderful and would make a good Hallmark movie.
All those memories though are after being here for several years and adjusting and getting past many things.
I had kinda forgotten that.
We landed early Sunday morning. Went to bed by noon and woke up at 8pm that night ready for the day. Hello jetlag!
Our flat smelled like mold. That was probably because there was mold. Almost everywhere. Like this wall by our stairs:
(no this is not where the insulation part comes in!)
We had toilets that didn’t flush, rusted out washer, most lights didn’t work, dirt everywhere and just a not fun place to be.
I wanted to insulate myself. (there it is)
By Tuesday, I was seriously ready to concoct some kind of cocoon and just stay in it for a good long while. How to fix all of these things, on top of just doing the normal stuff of getting sim cards for phones, internet connected, tvs working, food in the house, meals made, etc… (while all mostly in another language!) I was overwhelmed. Quickly.
And I was mad at myself.
Needless to say that this didn’t create the best family dynamic either. We fought. That’s ok, though bc we fight healthy and work it out, so don’t worry about us! Promise.
So there I was reeling from the last 48 hours and ready to insulate myself. I just didn’t think I could handle it and said so. Mad, angry, disappointed, overwhelmed, frustrated, in culture shock (again!), and mad and angry. Did I say that already? Well I was and it wasn’t fun, pretty or happy,
I knew I had to do something. I wanted to just insulate myself from the outside and all the hard transition, ‘make this life work’ stuff and what isn’t easy to manage.
I realized though I felt this way when I first had kids though too. I started thinking long and hard about that. That was the only other time in my life when I could remember some of the same feelings.
When our oldest came along, I never considered ‘slowing down’ or changing much of what we did because we had a son now. I felt pressure to do so though. I felt like I should insulate myself in my house and bake cookies all day long and always do what was ‘best’ for him. Which who defines that? Anyway, I could go on, but I’ll stop.
I fought that though and fought it hard. I just didn’t believe that was the plan. I just didn’t accept that kids had to keep us away from things and people and I needed to insulate myself to his world all the time… yes there are seasons and reasons, and times… I know… but as an exception, not the norm.
I just kept doing the things we had always done, but brought our son with us. Where we went, he went. It turned out to be a kinda simple strategy.
Then I started hearing things like, “Wow it is so great to see you guys not let kids slow you down.” “Do you always carry your pack in play in your trunk?” Yes yes we did, bc kids need to sleep sometimes when we aren’t at home! When I heard those kinds of comments and questions, I felt happy that we had pushed through and figured out how to not lose ‘us’, but have our kids join us.
When that big memory hit me this past week, I knew I was at that place again. I had to figure out how to not lose me but let me join India.
I don’t fit here. I won’t ever totally fit here. Just like kids don’t always fit in some situations, but it can work if we just allow it to work.
The next day, I started to get my kitchen set up. I posted Instagram stories about it to keep myself laughing and not throwing things.
I baked, I went out and bought some things we needed and had some small successes.
Then last night we went out and got to go to some friends house and see a lot of people that we had dearly missed while we were gone. That was just what I needed too.
I finally feel like I am back again. I can’t tell you what a relief this is. It honestly scared me to think I wasn’t going to adjust well. This is our life, this is where we are supposed to be.
Sometimes we get things thrown at us that we just can’t succumb too. It is hardest when it is least expected, I think, like it was for me this past week. Insulating ourselves though isn’t the key, reconnecting and reengaging is. As we keep stepping out, we make progress. Sure there are going to be missteps, but that is ok. I have to adjust my expectations and keep reconnecting. With myself and with everyone around me.
So I am happy to be able to say that we are back in India again…and loving it…