Dear A Life Overseas,
So our mutual friend VelvetAshes is talking about being understood this week. I first started getting to know Velvet Ashes in Instagram, then hung out in the blog and retreat and hope to join a connection group. It’s a place I feel understood, which of course made me think of you too.
I met you just over four years ago, I can’t remember exactly how we met but I remember my first feeling. Shock. I was shocked that you knew how I felt and shocked that you expressed it so well. In some cases I hadn’t really heard anyone talk about some of these things much before. It was so nice to know someone else had been through similar experiences. If that wasn’t helpful enough you also gave me ways to deal with it.
Sometimes you give me new freeing ways to think about the struggle. For example the one about people putting on the glasses of skepticism and backing off when you're dating a local. Or this one about not hating your husband’s ministry. Such honest conversations!
Other times you put things in their proper perspective. Like that time I was feeling overwhelmed about the next step for us. We needed a lot of money. Where would that come from? Then a post popped up in my newsfeed reminding me that feeling like we are small is actually a good perspective to have. When you are in a valley, big things look big as they are supposed to. While praying in high places can actually be dizzy and dangerous.
Occasionally it feels like you are right beside me giving me commentary on what is happening, and helping me to think about how to go forward well. Like that night my fear response was taking over my logic, as we made a late night trip to the clinic. I knew my husband’s condition probably wasn’t serious but my brain was tricking me into reliving that time I thought it was. You were hinting that knowing this is actually a good thing, and could help me serve better in the future. It's like you know what I'm going through today, and where I need to be headed tomorrow.
And so many times you make me laugh about the stressful issues I face. Like this one about the re entry process, or this one about returning overseas (I laughed while reading...or was that an anxiety attack?!)
Neither my passport country nor my host country friends can really understand my feeling about home, but you look at it from so many angles. Forbidden roots and tent pegs to name a few. And the numerous posts about saying goodbye and about being a mother come to mind. You totally "get" me!
|Photo: Juniper Tree, Chiang Mai, Thailand. When I'm feeling not blue enough for my passport country, and not yellow enough for my host country I need green spaces like this! A Life Overseas Blog is like my daily green space.|
There are so many other posts I could mention as I thank you for being an understanding friend, and I'm also glad you've introduced to me to other blogs and books. So grateful for the way you express and explain so many of my expat emotions; and for equipping me to live well while being too foreign for here or there.