My goodness. It certainly has been forever. These past months life has mainly been spent on managing a new job, growing a long-distance relationship and surviving the (hopeful) end of winter.
You know, every time I even consider getting back to writing, all I can think about is “how the h*ll do adults do this?!” I don’t understand it, because for nearly a year now, all I felt I’ve done is drown myself in work and the occasional meetup with friends. In all honesty, I’ve been fighting off a bit of depression as I watched a season of life slip away into one I’m not so sure I wanted. That hasn’t helped at all.
I’m sure it’s just because I’m still new at it, but even one year on, I find I still struggle with the amount of time work consumes. How does the rest of the world manage to hold jobs, studies, social lives in the expat community, relationships, charitable work, hobbies, church and home life?! I’ve barely survived just a few of these. Not including sleep in all of it.
I suppose that as I near the one-year mark in this new season, it’s had me questioning the direction I want in life. At the moment, I’ve no great wisdom to offer about any of it. I’m mostly sharing why it seems I’ve disappeared from nearly everything.
My point to all this is… I’ve come to realise, this life I’ve been living, it’s not me. I would never change being an expat, but some things about my expat life have to change. It’s time to find a way to own the expat life, instead of letting it own me. The greatest challenge, though, is finding a way to support a expat life doing what I really love.
How does an expat, a young one at that, find their way in life, all whilst dealing with the difficulties and hindrances of visas?!
Just an example:
I realise that, as I’m filing taxes for the first time in my life, I’m not even learning how to file “properly” – something about 1040s and 2555s and foreign income exemption?! There’s nothing like trying to figure out this adulting thing in a foreign country; without even the basis of your birth country to go off of!
But I digress… I’m not here to rant about taxes today. I am simply here to say that this expat life as a twenty something? It. Is. Frickin. Hard.
Never would I change it. I can’t even imagine what adulting would be like in the US. I’m simply putting it out there that we expats have to live through a heck of a lot sometimes. And I think it’s particularly challening as one just starting out in life. It’s especially hard if you don’t enter into it doing what you love. Changing directions later on isn’t easy.
Anyway. To end this little diddy today: last year was a focus on grace. Grace in my mistakes and wanderings. This year, as I celebrate 5 years overseas, I think it’s all going to be about a different kind of grace. Grace to be empowered to lead the life God wants me to be leading. Grace to struggle through the difficulties and challenges as an expat. Whatever that will look like. Grace to Not. Give. Up.
I’m finally starting to believe I can do this expat thing.