Monday, August 31, 2015

Fishy rice

I was told when we moved here that there would be super high times...

...and some big lows at first and then there would be a period where you are not impressed AT ALL. I was told this was pretty much the given for most people. And then after that it starts to become the new normal and you begin the real settling in.

Or something like that. For anyone who's been through this I'd be fascinated to know how it was for you. 

Oh there have been highs! The HIGHEST! 

And OHHHHH there have been lows!! 

Like the water cooler bursting into flames in your kitchen kind of lows. 

Soooooooo anyway, now I think I hit that next phase full force. Not the normal time. (I hope that's coming quickly) 

I think I hit the not impressed part. I think I'm in the middle of it. I know in my head that I will adjust to this culture shock and it'll be awesome cause I REALLY DO love it here but Saturday I took a bite of steamed rice and it tasted like bad smelly fish and it made me want to get on a plane to Texas in a way that isn't at all rational. Every since that single bite of fishy rice I've been unimpressed. I'm tired of fishy rice.. I'm EXHAUSTED OF FISHY RICE! 

This is metaphorical people. Work with me. 

My soul aches for something to feel normal. 

My sweet "Team Thailand" partner, Rachel, sensed a disturbance in the force and text to ask how I was feeling. And I answered... 

"BLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAHHH. Nothing feels real or normal. It's all too hard or too weird or too amazing to be right." 

You know when a picture has been altered so much that it doesn't look real and even if it's pretty you can't stand to look at it? Cause your mind screams, "FAKE! ALTERED! NOT NORMAL!!!"

That's what life feels like to me now. Nothing feels average. Nothing makes sense. I know it will. I know that one day seaweed snacks and Halls cough drops as movie snacks won't phase me. 

I know I'll find restaurants where I don't gag on the fishy steamed rice. I know someday I won't physically ache from feeling so far from almost everyone I love. 

Life here is unbelievable. Amazing. Out of this world. And all the normal has been sucked right out for now. 

So I think I will have to find a new normal in my new technicolor world. 

I'll let you know how that goes. 

Love always, Angel 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Grace Of Time

I'm not a patient person by nature. I'm a go getter. A get things doner. ;) I like efficiency. I like to be early. I like a plan. I look at things and I see how they could work. I typically have a plan a, plan b and plan c. I research. I process. I ponder. 

Don't mistake this for me being a busy body. A lot of my getting things done looks like thinking, writing, talking.... So I might be holed up in my house but it's happening. Oh.. It's happening. 

I'm good at the action. There's something I am not good at though. Waiting. Holding steady. Giving people space to breath. 

Let me clarify. I'm not bad at waiting in general. If my friend is 20 minutes late I'm usually just gonna read or scan Facebook. I don't have trouble with that kind of patience. 

It's a spiritual kind of patience. Sometimes I see a struggle. I see it in my kids or in other people I love dearly. Often I see it in myself. I see hurt and stress and pain and a not knowing what to do and it is HARD FOR ME. 

I want to make a plan of action. I want to help them or myself get better efficiently. I want everything orderly and restored and I see of vision of what it could be or should be or I wish it was. 

One day I was explaining this to my mom. I was trying to muddle through what my stuggle is exactly. And then she said to me, 

"It sounds like you are learning to give people the grace of time." 

And I was like... "Yeah. I think that's right. I don't know how to do that." 

Over the last weeks and months things have come up over and over. I will see an area I am struggling. I will be impatient with myself and then think, "I am learning to give myself the grace of time." 

I will have a conflict or stressful time and want it to be fixed but there's nothing I can do and then I hear, "I am learning to give the grace of time." 

I will have a CLEAR vision of what could be or might be and know that it isn't time and hear, "I am learning to give the grace of time." 

Love is patient and so I must be patient even when that means standing down. 

I love helping and fixing and talking and listening but sometimes none of those work. Sometimes backing up and pausing isn't neglect. 

I realized that I have made the mistake of sometimes thinking that if I didn't DO SOMETHING I was not being loving. The reality is that sometimes pausing and giving someone else or ourselves the grace of time is the most loving thing we can do. 

Sometimes we need room to breath and struggle and not know what to do. Sometimes we need space to not be ok, to learn and to grow. 

So I'm working on it. I'm trying to learn this. I'm learning to love myself and others enough to give that kind of grace and while it's not easy for me it feels like a beautiful gift. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

There's a mess in the kitchen

At our new parent orientation at ISB they said that one of the things we will experience in this stage of our adjustment is that things that would typically feel like very small issues or challenges in our home countries will feel impossible or enormous for awhile. They also said to expect the feeling that you've lost your identity. Both of these statements hit home in a major way for me. I feel it almost every single day. 

I've lost my independence in many ways. I'm very dependent on others to get anywhere and get almost anything done. Things that I used to do without a thought are now a major ordeal. I love freedom and doing spontaneous things on my own. That part of who I am is on pause in many ways. That wears on me a bit. I don't like that part. 

My heart has just settled down from Russ and I making our first attempt driving out the main gate and onto a main road... Bicycles, cars, pedestrians.. OH MY! 

I realized on that little excursion that I won't be driving more than a mile from our neighborhood any time soon and it kinda stings. He did great and was chill. I was a nervous wreck.

Me just getting in the car to drive.. which I've been known to do all the way from Texas to California or Florida... That's gone for a long time. 

Every single day we encounter multiple, multiple, multiple things that at home would be simple but here feel impossible. We are jumping through what feels like hoops of fire to me that at home would have been a match stick. 

I like to keep my mind and heart and Facebook and blog mostly positive because I have everything to be joyful about and little to complain about but I want to be clear... This is NOT a cakewalk. 

My blog and Facebook page often show what's served at the table. Sometimes the mess in the kitchen isn't worth dwelling on. Sometimes the mess isn't mine to share. 

Just know that dishes this elaborate never get served without a crazy mess and a lot of work happening in the background. 

So far I've been crazy busy or nearly collapsed from the time we found out we were moving till now minus a few sacred and rare vacation moments. I'm crazy grateful for the result but it's not without intense focus and work and times I'm hiding under a blanket. 

It isn't in any way easy and I am not COMPLAINING about the hard. I'm rather observing it as a part of this experience. I'm not asking for advice. I'm not breaking down. I'm just being real cause there's one part of my identity I don't have to lose here although sometimes it's tempting cause I don't want everyone all worried. Hard isn't bad. It's just HARD. 

Anyone you know who's moved overseas... It's hard. They probably need that vacation or the massage because it's really hard to change your whole life in one swoop. A few months ago I was an extremely do it myself independent homeschooling Texas girl loving life in the suburbs. Today I am an expat mom of four full time private schoolers in the middle of a massive city I can't even begin to describe to you and I can not drive or talk. It's not bad. It's good but it's not ever easy. Word on the street is that it does get easier at some point. 

So there's the real deal.