I cannot believe that 6 months ago today I got on an airplane to move to China. I don’t know how the time passed so quickly and when I think of all that I’ve done, seen, LEARNED, and people who I’ve met I find it difficult to fathom that it’s only been 6 months.
So many other ex-pats have told me that they experienced a slight depression at around the 5-6 month mark (a symptom of culture shock) and I keep waiting. I did have it in Switzerland but so far not even an inkling. I don’t know why. It could be that this time is totally different in that we don’t have the kids along. When you move with children most of your energy goes into making sure that they’re coping and you do everything you can to make the adjustment easier for them. You tend to forget about your own issues until one day you realize just what the heck you’ve done. By that point the kids are doing fine and having the time of their lives. You’re the one that’s left looking like a deer in headlights and wondering how you got on the country road to begin with. I suppose though that because we made this move as empty nesters it’s been all about us. We’re adults, most of the time ;-), and were fully aware of the ramifications of what we were doing. We only had ourselves to worry about. Besides, we’re lower maintenance than children. We are!
I wonder if perhaps the shock will hit now that my life has settled down a bit. Those first 6 months were crazy!!! I took 2 trips back to the States, one week-long vacation, a business trip with Anders, and a 5-day trip while Andrew was here for 2 1/2 weeks. That’s just the travelling. Anyone that’s moved knows that there is a certain amount of time that passes before you feel like your new place is home. Usually that takes 6-12 months. Guangzhou is the fastest that I’ve ever felt settled. I was feeling very good about moving here in the first month and once my household goods arrived and I had my “stuff” I felt completely at home. It’s bizarre to me because China couldn’t be more different but here I am still reminding myself that I am living in CHINA!
Of course I miss Kiersten, Andrew, Steven, Dad, my brothers and their families, Anders’ family, Tessa, my wonderful friends, co-workers, and students but I am so happy that we had the guts to take on the biggest challenge (to date) of our lives. I am as sure today as I was 6 months ago that this is where I’m supposed to be.
Thank you Anders for making yet another dream come true!
6:30PM – 66°