Friday, February 17, 2017

My Top Ten- Advice For New Expats (Bangkok or wherever :)

#10- Remember You Aren't Stupid 

I don't think I have EVER felt as stupid as I did when I first moved to Bangkok! In Texas I was independent, strong, efficient and pretty durn capable. I was a world traveler. I had lived out of country more than once. I could handle this... I thought. 

Then I moved here and

I could not speak the language.  
I could not drive. 
I could not figure out where to go. 
I could not find food we like to eat. 
I could not make my kids feel safe. 
I could not calm my own anxiety. 
I could not find things we needed. 
I could not understand the culture. 
I could not be myself. 

I couldn't even use a traditional bathroom. 

Nope! Not an expert at this! 

If you get desperate look for a sign like this... 

Inside will probably be a sign like this..
I basically felt deeply and utterly STUPID. 

If you're moving to Bangkok or anywhere vastly different from your home I encourage you to realize that we all feel stupid when we place ourselves in a culture so vastly different from our own. My tools in this amazing and wonderful city just weren't there. 

I don't think that's a bad thing. On the contrary I see it as a gift. I think that it's when we are put in these intense situations that we grow and gain new tools. Those tools will serve us the rest of our lives. 

When you come into a world so different from your own and you learn to navigate it in a respectful and loving manner you change. Suddenly things that used to sound so scary are NOT a big deal. Things that used to have you tied in knots are no longer an issue. 

You've become stronger than you thought you could be. 

When you get here you'll probably feel incredibly stupid and overwhelmed but that's only step one in what is most likely one of the most intensive learning processes you'll ever encounter. 

So just hang in there and remember.. you're not stupid. It just FEEEEELS that way. 

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