It’s been a little over three months since we moved from Brussels to Luxembourg. It feels like much longer.
It’s been a wonderful three months and a really hard three months. A lot of people have kept reminding me that it takes time to feel at home in a new place. Six months has been thrown around as the magic period of time needed, so maybe I’ll be back in three months and tell you if they’re right. But now, at this “half way” point so to speak, there’s things I’ve already learnt.
First, moving is HARD. There have been tears, many tears. There have been tears of frustration when I can’t make myself understood on the phone to the men bringing our new washing machine. There have been tears of loneliness when I haven’t had anyone to call for a coffee, haven’t seen anyone apart from my husband in days. There have been tears of confusion as I try to figure out my new space here, what I’m meant to be doing, what my purpose is here. And there have been the whole body engulfing sobs of exhaustion when I’ve felt this is just too hard.
But before I have my dad calling in worry, let me tell you what I also know to be true. That this is truly an adventure.
Last November, I was back in the UK for the wedding of an old school friend. She’s one of the few school friends I’ve kept in touch with, but there were a lot more old friends at the wedding, girls I used to spend my days with, used to discuss boys and music and the great unknown future with.
And I realised then that this life that I partly take for granted, seems like a big deal to those who stayed close to home. That I am living in my fourth foreign country and have married someone not from the UK is exotic and strange to some of my friends for whom London is a big adventure.
I don’t say this to minimise their life and dreams or make my life seem somehow better. Because the funny truth is that this does not feel so very exotic or strange when you’re in it. I never planned a life in Belgium or Luxembourg, I never set out to marry a Dane. And daily life is still the same list of tasks and chores and opportunities. I just put one foot in front of the other and trusted that the one who created me would give me the wisdom to make the right choices, and here I am.
Life is an adventure. And even when I’m crying ugly tears on the floor it is still an adventure. I would not change this or have taken a different path. I knew when we made the decision to move here that it would be hard to begin with. I told Rasmus, this is my decision too. It may be your job that sends us but we chose this together. I want this. It’s important you remember that. Because I knew those tears would come, and I needed for him, for us both to remember that we chose it, that this is an adventure we want to be part of.
It feels like the first season here is over, that I’m moving into a new period. On Friday we will host a house warming party and have around twenty people who have RSVPed to come. And I wish you could see my excitement when I write that. Twenty people! Want to be friends with us! Like us enough to come to our party! I have friends, new tentative friendships but ones that give me hope for a strong community here.
And I feel my sense of purpose here slowly taking shape. I’m talking to people about opportunities for event planning here in Luxembourg. I have a new website to promote (yes, that’s me slipping in its first mention in the middle of a blog post). I have a business idea to launch soon. And lots of ideas bubbling up as I explore this new city and country and get inspired…
The hard (lonely and confused) first three months are over. The hard second three months are beginning. Those months when I need to find the bravery to go out and explore, ask, offer. I’m expecting there still to be tears (because goodness, I cry at just about everything – I’m not sure it’s possible for me to have a strong emotion without crying) and I know I am going to need people to keep reminding me that Yes, you can do it.
Because it is about putting one foot in front of the other. If I stop, it may well all fall apart. But as long as I keep moving forward, keep pushing and working and exploring and daring, I am in the right place.
So see this as my manifesto for the next few months. To be hopeful. And to be brave.