This post is about happiness and life, it’s about past reflections and future changes.
I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time now but every time I’ve come to sit down and write, the words don’t come out the way I want them to. This blog is my space on the internet where I come to share my recipes and creations with my readers and every now and then I share things like this. But this post is different… I’ve never written a post like this, something so personal and to be honest it makes me nervous and scared at the same time. I tossed and turned nearly all night last night and woke up at 4am thinking about how I was going to write this post.
I’ve always been a private person, it’s not easy for me to share my feelings or to express them out loud, especially in such a public way like a blog post. Growing up and even now I like to have my moments alone to reflect and be alone with my feelings. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes I wish I could just let it all out rather than keeping it bottled up inside and then exploding, which I have done on many occasions and which my husband will attest to. Anyway it’s something I try to work on but being a self-proclaimed introvert it’s not always an easy thing to do.
Anyway in order to share what I want to in this post I need to go back a few years… back to January 2nd 2010 to be exact. That was the day my husband and I got married and the day we officially started our lives together. When that day happened we had no idea what the future had in store for us, I… we couldn’t have imagined that we would end up where we are today. When we got married and moved into our home together, we moved in with the intention of living there for at least a few years and set up our house like a home. Things started to change in mid to late 2010 (if I remember clearly now), my husband works in the auto industry and at the time the cracks where starting to show in the industry in Australia, people were getting laid off and things weren’t looking so great. My husband’s 15-20 minute commute to work turned into a nearly 3 hour commute a day due to the fact that he was moved to another branch in a country town outside of the city of Melbourne and as you can imagine a commute like that everyday can be very taxing on a person. At the same time a lot of his colleagues were switching career paths or moving to other parts of the world. We had never even thought about doing something like that but sometimes life pushes you in a certain direction.
To be honest I don’t even remember how we started talking about possibly relocating to a new country. We were both so tired of his long commutes to work and the continued down fall of the industry that he just started applying for jobs pretty much every where. Japan was on our list of places to go to, as were some others which I can’t remember now. Anyway I think it was in late 2010/early 2011 (it’s been so long I can’t remember exactly now) that an opportunity to move to the States came up for us. As you can imagine it was a tough decision to make, to leave our new home that we had only just moved into, to leave our families and friends and to start a life in a totally new country, one that husband had never even been to and one which I had only visited for a few weeks on a family holiday as a teenager. But we decided to go for it and to trust what was waiting for us on the other side.
I won’t go into all the details of our move, as you can imagine it was not easy to have to say goodbye to our families and to uproot our lives to the other side of the world. It took some time to settle into our lives in Michigan (where we lived in the States) but after that time we both started to feel at home. Yes it was a big culture shock at first but as time went on we made a home there and we lived our lives like normal. Yes we missed our families and our home (we do every day) but we were also happy and living our lives, yes at times we struggled with the cultural differences between Australia and the States but all in all we were comfortable, even though we did struggle some what with the winter weather!
For those who don’t know we lived in Michigan from April 2011 until February 2013. We enjoyed trips to Chicago, Canada, New York and California during our time there and made new friends and connected with old ones (some of husband’s ex colleagues had moved to Michigan due to the continued down fall of the auto industry in Australia). Towards the end of 2012 we started talking about possibly moving again to a new country, even though we were happy in America for some reason and I’m not sure why exactly, we thought that perhaps being Australian we might be better suited to life in a country like the UK, not only that but because husband has a Hungarian background and holds an EU passport it was pretty easy for us to make the move. We talked about this with family and friends and we had people saying we should definitely do it and we had some that said we should stay where we were. Again it was not an easy decision, making another international move in less than 2 years… uprooting our lives once more and moving to a different country. But once again we decided to go for it, we were excited about it and excited to experience life in Europe.
Unfortunately (and I will mostly speak for myself here but husband shares similar sentiments) our life here has not been all rainbows and roses. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t ever take for granted that fact that
I we have been blessed to have been able to live and travel to all these places around the world. I know there are some people that have never been outside of where they live and again I’m thankful and grateful that I’ve had these opportunities but I can’t pretend that our life here has been perfect either. It’s really hard for me to explain what life here has been like for me (again I’m just going to try and focus on myself here) but the best way I can try to explain it is that I‘ve never had that feeling of being home, not the way I eventually had in Michigan. It’s almost as if I’ve been on an extended leave somewhere and I’m just waiting to go home and for a long time it felt like that was never going to happen.
Like I said above it’s not easy for me to so openly and so publicly share my feelings and even now I’m struggling to find the right words to
write type here. Our time here has been like a roller coaster of emotions… we have had some great times, like when we travelled to Hungary together (we are both so happy we did that!) and when we had the chance to have some of my family visit us here and when I had the chance to travel to parts of France with my family while Joe had the chance to see a part of Greece for work at the same time. But amongst the fun and laughter there has been many times of stress, sadness and tears… lots and lots of tears.
I have struggled for a long time here… we have struggled for a long time. We have both been under a lot of stress while trying to push ourselves to try and feel like this our home now and trying to feel like we fit in. But we don’t and we haven’t. Even though we have lived here for over a year now, not once have I felt like I belong here or that I can really truly call this place home. As I said above it has constantly felt like a temporary place for me, just waiting to move on. As you can imagine living life like that is not easy and believe me I (we) have tried to change that but deep down when you’re not happy in your heart that isn’t easy.
Over the time that we have been here we have questioned over and over again our decision to come here, we have wondered over and over again why we uprooted the life we had made for ourselves in Michigan to come here, a life that we were both for the most part happy with. I can’t tell you how many times I have bawled my eyes out by myself and in front of my husband due to the amount of stress that I’ve felt living in a place that I have not been able to connect with. I should stop here and say please don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the UK and I have managed to connect with a few people during our time here and husband has made friends at work and established himself as an incredibly hard working and dedicated member of the company he works for and has made amazing contributions there. But that hasn’t been enough to make us feel like we could make a permanent home here. Like I said I have felt an incredible amount of stress here, pushing myself to the edges of adrenal fatigue and depression and just not ever having felt at ease.
But at the same time as all of this was going on, at the same time that I found myself crying over the phone to my mum numerous times and telling her how I felt like I was trapped, at the same time that I found myself slumped with tears rolling down my face in my husband’s arms and that the same time that I felt like my stress was consuming me I still had hope inside of me. Hope that something would happen to alleviate the sadness and the feeling that I was stuck in a place that I didn’t feel like I belonged. And after months of waiting for an answer it finally happened…
We are moving back to Michigan in a few short weeks!
Yes you read that right! Once again we have made the decision to make another international move… our third move in a matter of just over 3 years! Are we crazy? some may say so I’m sure! But at the end of the day our happiness is much more important and knowing that we are going to be moving back to a place that we are familiar with and that we felt connected with far outweighs any of the inital struggle that ultimately comes with packing up and relocating to a new place. Of course now I think we have become pretty established at doing this! I jokingly call us the King and Queen of moving countries but again life is about being happy and ultimately if you’re not you will do whatever it takes to get there. And yes I know that happiness doesn’t come from living in a particular place of from material possessions, it comes from within and as I said we were happy in Michigan because deep down in ourselves we were happy with our life there and I trust that we will be happy there again. And over this time that I’ve known that we are moving back I have felt a sense of peace and calm about life and have been able to let go of the stress and sadness that I’ve felt.
This is such a personal situation for me and I’m not even certain I’m expressing myself the best way I can. Obviously just because I feel this way about having moved here, it doesn’t mean that everyone who moves to a new country will feel the same way, it obviously depends on who you are. Would it have been easier for us to just stay here? In some ways yes… especially financially. It’s not easy or cheap to relocate (especially numerous times) to another country but is it worth it? YES! A BIG resounding YES! Our peace of mind… our happiness… our feeling of excitement and joy for returning to a place that felt like a second home to us all make it absolutely worth it! As my mum often tells me money will come and go but happiness doesn’t stem from having or not having money and while a times in life circumstances will affect your financial stability you will always ultimately feel rich if you are truly happy.
I can’t express to you here how happy and fortunate I feel (and husband feels the same way) that we have been given this opportunity, ultimately our goal is to one day return back home to Australia but at this stage of our lives that is not possible and we are content with what lies ahead for us. And while as I’ve shared above it hasn’t been exactly easy for us here, I do believe in things happening for a reason and I have learnt so much about myself and my relationship with my husband here. I’m fortunate to have a husband who has been there during the tough times, who has been a constant source of support and a shoulder to cry on and whom without NONE of this would have been possible. I’m lucky to have a husband who is willing to put himself out there and to not be afraid of change. Someone who now for the third time is ready to once again uproot our life for the sake of our happiness. It’s not easy for him and it’s not easy for me to go through all of this again… packing our stuff… shipping it over… moving into another place…. waiting for our things to arrive… unpacking… setting up another home…. re-establishing our lives again in another country. It takes time and it takes energy and believe me it can be taxing on the body but again as I have already said a number of times before it is ALL worth it for the sake of our happiness.
I think I will stop there. I don’t want this post to get overly long and I apologise if it has. I want to say THANK YOU to all of you for your continued support of this blog and I look forward to continuing to share my recipes and such with you all. As you can imagine at this time in our lives with just a couple of weeks to go before we move back to the States things are and have been kind of hectic and crazy around here so I’m not sure how many more blog posts I will be sharing from now until then and of course moving over and getting settled in again over there is going to take a bit of time, so again it’s most likely that I won’t be writing as many posts as I’d like to. Of course that will all change once we have settled into our new place over there and before you know it I will be back sharing away! Of course I will try and update my Facebook page and other social media, especially Instagram as much as possible over this time.
And finally I hope that where ever you are you are happy and content with life. And if you’re not I hope that you work everyday to get to that place.