MMP: Moving or Standing Still, You’re Still You

by Rebecca A. Watson on August 11, 2014

in change, expat, Germany, Monday Morning Pages, moving, travel

Several years ago, Sante and I took a trip to Italy. We told everyone it was our honeymoon, but really he was interviewing for a job. A job he ended up not getting.

You can probably imagine how bummed I was at first. I mean, after all, being an expat has been a dream of mine for many years. And being an expat in Italy? Could you get any more romantic than that? That’s how my mind played it to me anyway.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized what a blessing not moving was. I had just started seeing a great counselor, and over the next several years she walked me through some of the darkest parts of me and my past. Looking back I saw I was probably mentally unfit for that move.

fireze doorway

Still had to face some demons before opening the next door.

Seeing this gave me a great shift in my awareness. I wrote about it too, in a guest blog post.

It would seem this was on my mind around this time in the past few years. In 2012:

Now that I have accepted what Sante was saying about replacing everything [if we moved to New Zealand], it’s hard for me to look around and think about not having this home. Just the comfort and how much time and effort I’ve put into making this home ours and comfortable and pleasing to me.

I dunno, I mean we can do that again, and I enjoy the thrill of something new, but I also feel like I finally have friends here and a support system. And family. So you don’t want to move? Part of me does as part of a great adventure, but I think Sante’s right.

I’m going to stress about the same things no matter where we are. And why would I move across the world to do that when it’ll take money and take me away from the things that’ll keep me centered and balanced? It seems to be a bad idea.

Like I need to deal with this shit now. And then move.

And then (of course) this was on my mind in 2013, after living in Germany only a few weeks:

Wow. I just had this feeling wash over me that I’m here and there is no where else to go. I can’t run and hide. I can’t wait it out until we get home. This is home.

The fact that I am intimidated by a bottle recycling machine is a testament to how hard it is to be some place where you don’t understand what’s happening. There are other times where I can pick it up and it’s not so tough to figure out that the guy at Vodafone is asking me if I’m in line or the lady at the store asks if my card is credit.

There is a part of me that wants to run away and hide under my covers. But the big girl says “It’s OK to be afraid. I will be with you. You’re safe.”

I didn’t have the tools to tell myself that in 2012. No way. And I am so glad I developed the self-awareness to know that from our trip to Italy. I’m going through this again now, but in a different way.

All of my guidance and my heart tells me that I’m on my path with this coaching and writing thing. That I’m making the right choices and moving toward my mountain with each step I take.

But this is when I say, “Then why do I suddenly want it to NOT be my path?”

Now I know that’s the little girl in me, the part that wants to hide.

The big girl in me says, “Because you’re afraid. And that’s OK. It’ll get easier. Let’s just keep going. C’mon, you can hold my hand.”

So while I’m not moving anywhere physically, I am certainly dealing with a transition here. And the lesson is, I’ve gotta deal with myself right where I am.

You’ve gotta know that no matter what external changes you might make, your insides will remain the same. You’ve gotta stand within yourself and do the pep talks for the internal makeover to follow. And as you rework your internal stuff, no matter where you are, your outside stuff will shift.

And as scary as it is, it’s also wonderful. We’re all right where we’re supposed to be.

venice doorway

Turns out Italy was just a doorway … to Germany and beyond.

Wondering what this Monday Morning Pages thing is all about? Read how it started. Or check out all the archives.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

carrythemessage August 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm

The Big Girl has the right idea, eh? lol

The idea of turning back – I do that often – is exactly what you said…a reason to turn and hide. Sometimes bolting a situation is easier than meeting it head on. For some reason I identify with that bottle recycling machine fear you had, even though I have never lived anywhere else other than here in my fair city. But that fear of feeling like I’m the ONLY one to not understand something is not new to me. Even though I know I am overreacting.

I loved how you saw Italy as a gateway to Germany. God has different plans for us. We don’t see the plans though, and that’s hard on us. On me at least. I mean, my wife has been searching and searching for a job now for a long time, and although I keep thinking “something will come at the right time, His time” it’s still hard on us mentally, emotionally and financially. But I have to remain steadfast that there is a reason for this (like Sante not getting that job).

We can’t run from ourselves…and you are right. The only problem when we travel is that we bring ourselves…lol.

Sounds like you’re in a good space, my friend 🙂

Thanks for this 🙂



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