Thanksgiving, Christmas Markets and Happiness Suckers

With Thanksgiving behind me (hopefully I’ll have some pics to share later), it’s now the time to focus on Christmas spirit and crap. Thanksgiving was tougher than I thought. My Mom was really good at getting everything done ahead of time, she made it seem so easy, so I figured well, I’m a chef and I’m good at prepping, I should do just as well, right? Eh-heh. Totally wrong about that. This was super stressful and I’m starting to realize I didn’t get the same non-stressed genes my Mom had. She would yell a lot, but mostly she wasn’t stressed. Me; I stress. I get quiet and serious and snappy.

I did an amazing amount of learning over the last few days; how to brine/make a turkey, how to stay happy in times of desperation, and how not to sweat the small stuff. Next year I’ll be a Jedi knight. So when the meal was over exhaustion swept over me, but the show always must go on. A few hours later I was happy and walking the crowded streets of the Christmas Market with G-Man’s family and an expat friend, and taking in the smell and beauty of it. I had my first official cup of Christmas market glühwein (a traditional Christmas hot wine), I had a heisse Caipirinha, I ate almonds glazed in cinnamon sugar and quite possibly crack because I could not stop eating them, and then went out for beers at our local Irish pub.

It was elation, exhaustion, but elation nonetheless and as I sat there taking it all in and proud of my Thanksgiving accomplishments, I was forced to realize something about myself. I always give in to happiness suckers. Those little things that you allow to take away your happiness in the moment when you need it most. Whether it’s a person you are with who just isn’t happy, or not being able to find a table at your favorite place, happiness suckers prey on the weak, and I’ve been weak this last month. I find myself quite sad time to time because I don’t always fit in, speak the language well or at all, know where I’m going, or have anyone to talk to. It can be really lonely here, and when you give into happiness suckers, it gets more depressing.

I gave a lot up to move here, and although I can replace some things with new ones like winter coats and boots, sometimes I long for the things that I had that are gone now. It’s a reminder that everything has changed and so with it, so must I. And too much change too fast for me really freaks me out. I have no doubt that this is very normal for someone who recently moved abroad. Yes, I am somewhat of a “trailing spouse,” which as another expat pointed out is someone who moves somewhere else for their significant other but the decision to move wasn’t necessarily an independent move that they can blame themselves for if something goes wrong. They are dependent on someone else. 

The thing is, it’s no different for me here than it was back in NYC. Only here I get to see the G-Man every day and that makes me pretty happy, and everyone speaks another language and has a different culture than me. Back in NYC, I didn’t fit in that much either, and I was lonelier with a job and things to do everyday. I’m not of the mindset to think about what would happen if this doesn’t work out, mostly because I don’t see it not working out, which is a big feat for me. I trust in a happy ending here. He is where my heart and therefore, home is, and we have a great chance at a happy ending. I’m  not so naïve as some people (people who don’t know me) think, I’ve had a lifetime of bad and sad experiences that could make me not trust in anything at all, but if I can get over it, so can all of you. The only way to live is to live fully, follow your dreams and heart, and be good to yourself and other people as much as you can. And find a way to be happy even when you have reasons not to be, I mean just look at this: 


2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving, Christmas Markets and Happiness Suckers

  1. Hey, I saw an accordion-playing Santa with his dressed up dog today! Is that a thing now?

    Sounds like your adjustment is coming right along. Great job at getting Thanksgiving together – some frayed nerves are par for the course. Have a great time at the Weihnachtsmärkte!

  2. I wish you the best of luck adjusting. I lived in Germany for a while and it was very hard not knowing the local customs or language! Even though people spoke English, I felt bad having to ask for it. I eventually learned German, but it did take some time to adjust to living there.

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