My Theory On Blooming

LIFE OF AN AMERICAN EXPAT LIVING ABROAD

This week is the official beginning of #JoburgMove2016.

img_9007For the past 6 weeks I have been purging, organizing, and purging again…donating, selling, and in the end coming to grips that we have too much shit. And, the crazy part is this…I look around our apartment and think…”We are in pretty good shape, and I feel prepared”.

I mean, I’ve sold nearly every electric item we own except our computers, a hair dryer, and a ratty old wide barrel curling iron from college (it’s duct taped together, but it works like a champ). I’ve also sold a ton of furniture too. After a while (including four international moves) you just don’t want to see some pieces ever again. One of the things I can never get rid of enough is the massive amounts of stuff that accumulates in the dresser drawers of my girls…slips of paper, plastic necklaces and rings, coins (from all other countries except the one they live in), random toys (thank you McDonald’s) and lip-glosses…AKA “girl crap”.

img_9008Yesterday morning was my last chance to “prepare” for our move. I’m not sure you can ever be fully prepared. But, at 9AM, seven men descended upon my apartment with boxes, paper and tape.  And, a lot of Mexican Salsa music blaring from a glowing mini speaker. I always find it amazing how fast a small army of movers can pack up a house. One minute you are sitting on your comfy sofa, and the next…your ass is sitting on the floor next to the boxed up sofa. Today I came home from an appointment to find both of my girl’s beds boxed and super wrapped. I then hurried to find a blow-up mattress to borrow for the night, so that my girls wouldn’t need to sleep on the floor.

I mean, let’s face it — moving SUCKS. It really blows. You are super tired and run down. You aren’t sleeping well because you’ve got more shit on your mind than the campaign managers for our remarkably horrible candidates. You’re living out of suitcase, so you don’t have a clue as to where any of your underwear is currently located. You’re stress level is through the roof from dealing with visa applications and issues. And, you’re planning the logistics to move your fur babies across oceans and continents without you.

But, most of all…You’re getting ready to make a serious life change. Like a REALLY enormous one.

For me, it didn’t really hit me until 9AM on Monday morning. We are really moving half way around the world (again). We are starting all over (again). A new country, a new city, a new house, a new school, and new friends…new everything. One thing I am thankful for is to be moving to an English speaking country, so many things will be easier than in the past. But, of course, I will still not know how things work. I won’t know how to drive on the other side of the road (I am so royally screwed). And, worst of all…I will not have a single friend (ugh).

During the move process you are always extra thankful for your friends. And, I’ve got some great ones — The kind who do your laundry, cook you a meal or just call to see how you are doing. Sometimes we take those little gestures for granted. But, those little things actually keep the big things from turning into an angry volcano. I will miss all of my people so dearly. Today, a friend (who already left Mexico) asked if I will miss anything about Mexico (I must have been sounding quite bitchy). My response was “I am ready. So many of my friends have left before me, aIMG_9013.JPGnd it is time for me to move on.” I’m not saying I won’t miss the ones I am leaving behind tremendously, but that I am ready to take on a new adventure.

When I arrive in Johannesburg I won’t have a support system yet.  It’s at the top of my list to work on that immediately (after getting the kids settled of course…I mean this isn’t all about me, right?). Looking forward though, I am lucky to have one of my best pals from Mexico City moving to Johannesburg  (t0 the next neighborhood over) in January…So, that will keep my spirits up in the mean time.

I know the days of loneliness are coming quicker than I expect. It’s part of the expat life. I know it will pass, it might take a little time. But, I am determined…like always. Independence and courage are two of my greatest strengths, so I guess I’ve got that going for me.

I just hope my resting bitch face doesn’t scare anyone off…or my love of day-drinking…or the swearing.  Maybe it will take longer than I thought?!?! Or, maybe I just might find some new people of my own.

More to come…So stay tuned.

 

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