A few weeks in, and I feel a bit like I’ve sunk. I’m not sad per se, or confused per se, I’m just exhausted. The word “weary” comes to mind. I think the whirlwind of the last few months has caught up with me, and I can feel its weight as I go through my days.
I call it a kind of “extreme jet-lag.”
There is a manic cloud that consumes you right before you move, and an international move whips up this cloud to a hurricane. It pushes you from task to task (AND THERE ARE SO MANY TASKS) that you just run and run and run to the finish line.
You cross that line, and the hurricane subsides, and the sun comes out! The glorious sun! You’re through the hard part! Rejoice throughout the land!
And then, reality hits.
A temporary stint in a foreign country is different because it’s just that–temporary and you adopt a vacation mentality (in that it’s all an adventure and you can endure anything for the short-term.)
But when it’s permanent, you’ll realize that your world has shrunk and expanded all at the same time. You alternately are alone on an island of your own making and drowning in a sea of newness. (Note: Symptoms include spending 20 minutes in the cereal aisle at Waitrose trying to choose something for breakfast, not knowing where in the world women in the UK buy mid-range shoes, prefacing almost every question asked outside your family with, “I’m sorry. I may not understand this because I just moved here, but can I ask you a question?”)
This will pass, I know. I will make a happy permanent home here.
Of course, you can feel free to armchair analyze, but this isn’t depression or regret. Even so, it’s still something real, and I’ve given myself permission to let it sit with me for a while.
I think it’s ok to rest after a long, long run.