Don’t Ask Me Why…
March 27, 2013
Don’t ask me why this means so much to me, it just does.
We have been discussing expat issues with the #Expat Partner Online Coffee group, and several other great expat blogs that I’ve discovered as a result of that connection. And while this has been very uplifting and informative, I also realize that it has made me incredibly wistful about the people and memories that I shared while in Baku.
I was told when I came back to the United States that I seemed “cynical” somehow. Enough things had happened over the course of that decade away that I tried hard to put it all behind me. I tried hard to become an American again, yet I was wary of settling in. It was a struggle to make it, I felt I had to protect my family, myself, and I had to conserve what savings I had so that I could reintegrate and get back on the treadmill that had become the American life. It was always like running to jump on a merry-go-round in motion.
It wasn’t until recently, listening to what others have said in their blogs and posted on Facebook, that I have begun to understand the grieving process, both for leaving and for losing. I was divorced in August 1998, lost my mother to cancer in December 1998 and returned to find my apartment had been sold while I was away for the funeral. A pretty stressful year, to say the least. I never stopped long enough to process all that.
Yet, out of all that, some of the best things in my life happened in those next 5 years. My daughter graduated from Purdue, special people became friends and part of an extended forever family. I enjoyed my work at AmCham. I remember being in the deep end at times. There were special drives out into the ‘regions’ (the countryside), listening to newly found CDs from the little shop on fountain Square. I remember when #Beth Goodner from Exxon brought a set of DVDs from an American cable program, “Sex and the City”. Whoa, I was amazed at what was on American television in the time I was away- so I watched an entire season in 24 hours that weekend! Change happens… indeed.
So don’t ask me why this little thing means so much to me, but it does.
I’m trying to include a link to something that means a lot to me. I have saved this Euro-zone DVD for nearly a decade, trying to be able to share this.
This is a link to a video I tried for several weeks to get cleared through You Tube- a service that also didn’t exist when I left, but look at us now! Wow…I have already watched this little 6 minute video about 32 times this week, partly getting misty over how much work and how much fun this was, partly trying to suss out how to get it from the zone 5 DVD to play on my US zone 1 video, PC or other device, and then save it in some format to be able to upload it to share it… it really has been a convoluted process. Now I think I have converted it, saved, it captured it and maybe, just maybe, I can share it… finally!
So this is the essence of the expat experience, life lessons, and what the world taught me… there are hard times, difficult adjustments, grieving for what is lost, joy over what is gained, lessons to be shared, friendships to be preserved and cherished- and at the end of it all, someone shares a video and we laugh and cry all over again.