If it’s one thing I learnt about moving, it is that I will never settle until I entitle the new country I have moved to as home. As hard as moving became throughout my childhood, the new place I ended up has never failed to feel like home. From meeting amazing people along the way, and having them as part of my family, to fulfilling success and breakthrough in my life in all different aspects. Each new place became a home away from home. There will always be a moment when you finally accept and fall in love with the new country you have moved to; it may be after a year, or even days, but there will be a moment. Your heart will come to the apprehension that you are, indeed, home.
For me, my realizations seem to always come when I witness the first sunset in a new surrounding; I am a bug sucker for sunsets and everything to do with the sky. Therefore, a country will always win me over by the breathtaking beauty of the skies wonder. To me, a sunset is an assurance that, even after the worst day, every day has a beautiful ending. The crisp orange of the sun on the horizon hugs me with warmth that I am, and will be forever protected no matter where I am. The joyful yellow stands in glory to remind me that I will be happy in the end. And the beams of the sun emphasizes the fact that there will be another day, and there will always be second chances. My vision for the future is painted in the sky, so when night begins to fall outside, I’ll look at the first sunset and see what this new adventure has in stored for me.
While I look to the sky, I would realize that I wasn’t able to properly feel like I was at home until I let go of the last one I had lived in. Every time my family and I moved, I was so caught up in comparing the last country that I had lived in, to the current one. I wanted everything to be like it used to be. I looked for similar schools, similar people, and I refused to grow mentality in order to ‘adapt’ to the new place I had moved to. I had to stop, because the more I compared and looked back at what I used to have, the less I felt at peace with a new place. I had to let go of what I used to call home, and establish a place within my heart to put that past home in a memory box, and unwrap a love for the new country I have ended up in.
Your children will feel the same regognization that where they are now, will feel like home. The thing is, if they are younger, they might not be able to find that answer on their own, nor will they understand the idea of ‘letting go’. But from my experience, as a child, my parents established these simple 3 steps:
- As a little girl, my parents constantly made sure that I was aware of the big changes which occured in our lives. They made sure I always understood why we move, where we go to, and that I will have to make new friends. The more I became aware, the more I began to understand.
- Do this with your little ones, have them be aware, and even if they still don’t understand, always make sure that they know what is going on. It may be hard for them but it’ll help them cope with letting go. Along with having them tell their amazing stories with a clear mind, and an unhindered spirit one day.
- As I began to grow older, I began resenting and blaming my parents for moving around so much. This may be similar to awareness, but I had to start to understand things from my parents perspective in order for me to accept every place I moved to. Because when things got really hard, I felt the need to blame the journey and the sacrifices my parents had to make for my future. Even their own future. However, when I was 15, I finally began to understand everything.
- Don’t allow your child/children to ignore the sacrifices you had to make to get them to a better place. As they grow, teach them the beauty of sacrifice and have them listen to your every soft word you speak. Explaining that, if your family never made this big step to move, the opportunity to grow into a wise, understanding, and strong person would have never happened.
- Being grateful was hard to be when my expat experience began to feel more like a burden than an adventure. My parents had to teach me that, no matter how tough my situations became, I needed to stay passionate and gratified. Main reason being, if I fall down, grace and appreciation will be my cornerstone to getting back up again. Knowing that, even if it feels like I have lost everything, it is not the end of opportunity and dreams.
- Gratefulness will not only withhold your children from becoming bitter in this expat journey, but it will also teach them to suppress the need to complain about progress, limitations, and lack of materialistic possessions. Your little ones will begin to grow by holding onto the amount of love they receive from you, the strength they are able to use, and the future you have so wonderfully laid out for them to take.