The Road Not Taken

Choices - Roads

Image from: http://yeskarthi.wordpress.com

There are pivotal moments in life when decisions get made, some of them uncomfortable, and then everything changes.  I’m sure I’ve made hundreds of these decisions in my life time. Which A levels? Which Degree? Which school to apply for a job in? Where to live after Uni? etc. All of which have shaped the path that I have trodden.

Do you remember that poem that Mr Quinn (and possibly hundreds of other teachers) used to talk about? The Road Not Taken by Mr R Frost? It’s the one in which ‘a man’ – probably Mr F – is reflecting upon the choices he has made in his life and how one choice, where he “…took the one less traveled by… made all the difference”.  For all the groaning that we used to do, for all the thoughts of how cheesy it was and how we really didn’t need to hear this in assembly as often as we did, for all the whining… i did exactly as he described.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I also took the “one [road] less traveled by” and it has made an enormous difference to my life.

So many fantastic opportunities, experiences and learning. So many, in a place which is both the same and incredibly different to where I was born.  Strangely, though, despite these wonderful, new and exciting opportunities there are days where I feel very much like being here just isn’t good for me.  A strange thing to say I know.  Since we arrived that untrodden road has never let up. Instead of become a familiar, safe place the road has continually pushed and challenged us.

I’d like a break now please.

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is a wonderful thing to do because of the new experiences that you will get but, at some point, you need to be able to establish a new bubble to protect yourself in.  Otherwise the road less travelled becomes very overgrown, thorny and a lot of hard work.

Ignorance is bliss.  You’re ignorant to what’s out there but you have no idea what you’re missing.  What i’ve got here is a very clear idea of what’s out here, what I love and why I want to be here. But, I also remember a time when things were far more simple.  It’s strange how having a full-time, straight forward job (as straight forward as teaching can be..), a mortgage to worry about and the difficult descions about how to divide up the spare time I did have between family and friends (who were just around the corner) seems like a utopia I’m missing.

In truth, had I have taken the road more travelled and stayed in the U.K. a lot of the challenges we are facing now would be just the same.  These are not caused by Australia but by something else that isn’t circumstance related. A lot of our friends also took new paths. They don’t live near Northfield any more, they’re in London, Reading, America, Heaven.  The place I used to work in won’t be the same as it was 3 years ago, not for me, because I’m not the same ‘professionally speaking’ either.

Perhaps these feelings are less to do with being an Expat and more to do with getting older and “wiser”? It’s hard to tell. I certainly don’t think dealing with unpredicted fertility issues, career pathways or financial slow downs goes under the umbrella of ‘Expat’.  The only part that might, is the alienation from those who might be able to support you and help you to get through it – usually by making tea, slapping my back into some sense of perspective and force feeding me biscuits.

Last night I just wanted to have a melt down on a mate who would metaphorically slap me back into some perspective.  There is still sooo much going on that sometimes I get lost in it all. It’s not easy and it’s made so much harder when the friends you have made are all such young friendships.  There’s the added problem that the context in which these difficulties lie is alien to most of my oldest friends.  And… I don’t really feel that it’s fair to unload and discuss this crap with them over Skype, when I chose this myself.

Ah the joys of being an Expat 😉

Why am I writing this down? I know what my mates and family from the UK will say. Call me – anytime – we’re still here.  I know that it might sound depressing. Last time I wrote something like this my BIL wrote a comment about keeping me away from sharp objects (lol).  This post isn’t about gaining sympathy or resolution.  I’m not looking for anyone to provide a solution; that’s something that will come to us when its meant to.  I guess, I’m writing this for two reasons:

For those who are expats, who read this blog and want some honesty… because although this is a wonderful experience.. it isn’t easy.. it is a challenge and it can be lonely sometimes – no matter how many new friends you make

and

For myself.  Because I need to remember that I chose this wonderful path for a reason and that it is going to be worth it.  That I still have many more choices to make – As usual, I just need to make them.

and because today is the day that we try again with another embryo.

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