I've been in Derry, Ireland now for nine months. Cannot believe it has been nine months! Time has flown and it feels like I just got here. I have to say, it hasn't been easy but, I don't know how easy it is to ever uproot one's life...quitting a job, leaving friends, family, car, basically everything you've ever known. The hardest part was the first six months and even today, I still don't feel fully settled (maybe when they open a Taco Bell here...but, I dunno). But, it has gotten easier.
The first six months I think are usually the hardest when it comes to moving to a different country. Personally, I did my best to put on a brave face, put on my big girl pants and just get on with life. Of course, that brave face was the one I wore when I was out in public. At home, I was depressed. I managed to pull myself out of my depression long enough to teach my Zumba classes and I felt great at class, but at home, the depression returned. Barry had to witness the worst of it. Probably the worst day was when I threw a box of scarves at Barry while I was deep in one of my crying fits. Don't feel bad for him...it was only scarves, it's not like it was a box of books or anything. But, the look on his face...one of pure confusion and a did-she-really-just-f******-throw-a-box-of-scarves-at-me look was priceless. If only I would have thought to turn my video camera on we could have been YouTube sensations.
Anyway, I cried everyday for the first three months at least. I cried because I wanted to go home. I cried because I had no friends here. I cried because I missed my car. I cried because I missed my family. I cried because it was like having to re-learn every aspect of my day-to-day life...aspects that you normally don't think about. I felt almost as if I were recovering from a head injury. A few examples of these different aspects are:
- Even though English is spoken here in Derry of course...a lot of it I didn't understand. Do you know what it means when someone passes you on the street and randomly says "Alright" to you? I didn't, but now I do (it means hello). Check out this blog post and this blog post to get an idea of some of the language differences.
- And, it took me nearly eight months to be able to open my own bank account here simply because I wasn't a citizen. And, because of that there are about a dozen extra hoops you have to jump through to do the simplest things...like opening a bank account or even getting a established in a doctor's office.
- And, I had to learn how to drive on the opposite side of the road. Which, I did...here's proof.
- I had to re-learn how to use a washing machine and a dishwasher. Remember this post from my second week here where I babysat Barry's two nieces for a week?
Now, nine months later, the crying spells have more or less stopped and I'm slowly beginning to feel less and less like a fish out of water. Of course there are still moments...some weird, some awkward and some just plain hateful, but for the most part it's easier.
Just remember if you ever do move somewhere else, it will be hard, but if you have a good reason to do it, it does make it all worth it. Here was and is my reason and the only way I think I've kept myself sane throughout this process:
|My wonderful husband, Barry.|
|Here's a few of them from our Zumba Halloween Party...all dressed up and lookin' good!|