As I’ve mentioned in a few of my recent posts, life lately has been a little all over the place.
I’ve been super busy, pretty stressed and all around just lacking in energy and the motivational sector of my life. All of this along with some serious seasonal depression and needless to say, I’ve been in a major blogging slump.
When I sit back and think about it, it all makes sense. I’ve been through some big changes lately. And change isn’t easy…
A lot of my favorite posts by other bloggers give me an inside look into their lives. Not just the typical what to do in “name of city here” or a play by play of their most recent vacation, but posts giving me an inside look into their feelings, their thoughts and their emotions. I’m talking about when bloggers let me in to their real life, behind the scenes.
I’ve realized I don’t do this very often. And maybe that weighs heavily on the fact that I don’t usually let others in very easily. I don’t like showing my emotions and I hate feeling vulnerable. I often rely on writing about the good, the glamorous life of traveling and all that comes along with it. But the truth is that these compelling stories are just a part of living abroad. They’re easy things to write about. And yes, I should share these things! I mean, who’s going to come back and keep reading an overly emotional diary-style blog? I know I wouldn’t.
Still, I think it’s time I start sharing a little bit of my expat life, behind the scenes.
After all, the life of an expat is not all rainbows, butterflies, sunshine and siestas. It’s not all spontaneous trips to exotic destinations, late night outings and carefree living. Although that’s how it may seem scrolling through an expat’s Instagram.
When all is said and done, life as an expat is just plain old life. The only difference is we’re living it abroad.
We still have problems and doubts. Feelings and fears. We still get stressed. Lost. And sometimes need to ask for help.
Lately, I’ve been experiencing a lot of these feelings. And if I can’t use blogging as a personal outlet, to share the real ups and downs of traveling and living abroad, then what’s the point? It wouldn’t be real. It wouldn’t be honest.
I’m still getting used to the idea of letting my readers completely in, but I’m going to start trying. It’s time I got a little personal up in here.
Last week, I had to make a really, really difficult decision. One that weighed on me a lot. I pushed it out of my mind again and again, put if off and procrastinated. Until it quickly snuck up on me and the time to decide came.
Was I going to leave Santiago after one semester, as planned, in July or finish out the school year and stay until mid December?
Originally, I had signed up for only 6 months in Santiago because I had wanted to give myself an end date, a deadline. I felt like it was time for me to finally come home and figure out my future. Even though thinking about the future is so, so scary.
But once again, now that I’m here, I’ve come to like my new situation. I like my new job, my new friends, my new apartment and my new city. Everything is still very new. And new is exciting!
Even so, this decision terrified me. I didn’t know what to do.
We’re talking 8 more months…
For those of you who don’t already know, this will be my third consecutive year living the expat life abroad.
I thought about the decision a lot and realized the answer wasn’t going to be so simple. I’m resting in a sort of limbo; I want two very different things at the very same time. The best of both worlds.
Part of me is not anywhere near finished with this life of exploring. The other part of me is just kind of over it.
Sometimes I think- In the big picture of life 8 months doesn’t seem like much. I’ve already lived abroad for 24, what’s another 8?
Other times I think– Can I handle 8 more months of missing my loved ones. 8 more months of missed birthdays and holidays, graduations and dinner dates. Will I be forgotten? Will my loved ones move on?
I can’t help but ask myself, am I simply dragging all of this out? Am I so used to being away that I’m scared of the transition of coming home? Am I just putting off figuring out where I want to be and what I want to do? Is it just time to go home already?
After a lot of thought and way too much back and forth, I realized I couldn’t go home, just because I’m scared of what will happen if I stay. It’s time to face my fears. Whatever is meant to be in the future will be. And I’m not done with Santiago yet.
Who knows, maybe this will be my last hoorah. Maybe, I really am ready to finally call it quits and head home. But right now, this is what I need to do. This is where I need to be. Despite all my fears, all my doubts and second thoughts, it somehow just feels right. I guess only time will tell.
This time away is only going to make me stronger, help me learn and help me grow. Even if it’s rocky along the way.
I’m one step closer to figuring it all out.
Santiago, whether you want me or not, you’ve got me ’til December.
Has anything scared you lately? How do you deal with your fears?
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