Yesterday marked one year since we stepped off the plane.
It has been an amazing experience so far. In many ways, it was just as easy as I thought it would be. In many other ways, it’s been harder than I think I could have prepared for.
I obviously neglected the blog, which makes me sad. I think for the first few months, it was painful to continue to read and comment on your lovely blogs (the ones I link to on my sidebar, and many more) because they reminded me of home, including the house that I could no longer work on. It had become such a huge part of me. No matter how many cool experiences I had down here, my homesickness and depression were dark clouds hanging over everything. (Not to mention that we had two back-to-back winters, which I think seriously messed with me!) Here are some dark Adelaide clouds to demonstrate.
As the months went by, I gradually settled in and started to find my place here. I finally got a job, and started volunteering. I joined a few expat groups. I found an awesome gym buddy, and became closer to the wonderful group of people from Stan’s work who so generously welcomed us from the very beginning. Family visited us. I got a little more used to the culture. I stopped pressuring myself to have the “best experience ever!” and let myself be sad about moving here. Finally, the anxiety knots started to loosen (probably along with my bowels, heh heh!) and life started to get back to normal.
Just today, I was hit by another wave of missing home, which prompted a few tears. But overall, I still felt happy and at peace. There is a very important difference between depression and everyday sadness. Depression is like when you’re trying to run away from something in a dream, and you know you have the strength, but you just can’t do it. It does not mess around! Sadness is a normal emotion that in some ways actually feels kind of good. (Come on, I know I’m not the only one who enjoys a good cry sometimes.) I can deal with sadness, and let’s be honest, I just wouldn’t be me without it!
Moving on from that bit of General Business, we really have seen and done (and eaten) some cool things, which I plan to tell you about shortly.
But for now, it’s dinnertime.