I have been thinking about this post for days. It has been percolating in my head. I was not going to write it, because I hate offending people. I have this weird need to be liked by people. But then I thought, this is my blog. If you don't like it - get your own.
Expat wrote a wonderful post about not wanting to die in Germany. He was homesick and was reflecting on living in another country. He made a lovely point:
Life has been good to me just like the Joe Walsh song suggests…not “Bill Gates” good but good enough. Still, I don’t want to wind-up being a picture on a wall in Germany.
I was looking at the comments to this post and saw that some random guy, "Greg," had a few . . . shall we say . . . issues with the post. "You losers should go home . . . You don't know how good you have it." I started to think about whining, homesickness and going home. And then I realized that this random guy totally does not get it.
First, let me say that I actually like living in Germany. However, I am Navy Brat. I have moved my whole life. I learned quickly that you make your "home." Also, complaining about it 24/7 only makes it worse, so the best one can do is try to make the best out of it. My life's philosophy: When God gives you lemons, make lemonade.
When I moved to Germany in 2004 for the third time, it took a while to get used to the fact that I will most likely spend the rest of my days here. Language barriers are a problem. I don't care if you live in freeking paradise, not being able to speak your mother language can get frustrating. I speak fluent German, but when I am at family gatherings after a few hours I get tired. It is work. And I definitly find myself sometimes thinking that I have landed on another planet.
Nonetheless, I accept all of this. I love my husband. I enjoy my job. I try to have my home reflect my personality. That said, NO ONE can be happy and content 24/7 with their lifes choices. Not even someone on mood enhancing drugs. And anyone who tells you different, is lying - Greg.
Homesickness Happens. It does. Often in unexpected ways, at unexpected times. Last night the German and I were watching a Thanksgiving episode of Friends. Chandler was watching the Macy's Parade. I got a pang in my chest. I realized how much I miss that tradition. And for a brief moment I wanted the nearest airport. But then the German snuggled closer and I looked around at my semi-American apartment and it was okay.
So, if I want to write about those brief moments when I feel sad and / or alone. I will do it. It does not mean that I am complaining. I am reflecting on a moment. It will pass, but I will not deny my feelings. And that, Greg, does not make me a loser. I like reading blogs of expats, especially when they reflect on their own feelings about living here. It makes me feel normal to know that other people are going through the same thing. Also, I think that maybe we can try and help each other out. Get through the hard times in order to enjoy the good times.
Finally, it may be true. I may be loser. But I am a loser for other reasons. I am a loser because I watch Germany's Next Top Model while eating ice cream. I am a loser because I was the captain of the debate team in high school. Being human, Greg, does not make me a loser. So, as my Grandpa would say, put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Read the post tprovokedoked this outburst:
My Expatriate Odyssey...Among other things: Life's been good to me, but...