Honesty and Changes

So…. as most of you know, my time over here in Germany hasn’t been THAT amazing. There are things I really like, and things I don’t, naturally. I make a lot out of nothing sometimes, and other times I kind of let things roll off my back without hesitation. Little things in general don’t bother me, it’s when those little things add up to big things that I become incensed. This is what is happening to me in Germany.

I’ve complained a lot, and depressing you readers, and I’m really sorry about that. I’ve had disagreements with friends, family, and foreigners alike; this has been a troubling time for me. It seems like I’m having an implosion, and just trying to talk about this has left some friends and family to advising me that I should seek professional help. At first I thought, yeah I guess that is what I should do. Then it struck me; wait a minute, aren’t I supposed to talk to my friends and family about my problems? The thing is, I went to an adjustment counselor here in Germany, and he is super nice, but in our sessions (which I still go to), he told me everything I’m experiencing is completely normal for an expat and that I should seek solace in my friends. Confusing.

Which is pretty much the number #1 reason why I blog as of late. Because I’m not getting that support and I don’t feel like I’m crazy but I don’t want burden others. I hope that is never the case. I think when you are an expat blogger, you should be honest. You can’t sugarcoat your experiences, it’s lying to yourself and to them, and I think it gives you an example of something you MIGHT experience. Everyone experiences things

Back home in Boston, where Halloween rocks!

differently, some expats adjusted just fine without incident, whereas some have much worse experiences than me.

I made some changes that should hopefully alleviate the stress and difficulty being here. I quit my job; I didn’t think it was such a good fit for me, and I think the staff felt the same. This job kept me up late at night, and was the cause of many tears. Now I have to figure out what I want to do next, maybe teach English classes? Teach baking? Who knows. I have to make opportunities for myself here, and that actually excites me.

WANT. Some of my favorite Halloween candy!

I would love to travel a bit more; I see other expats writing about travels a lot and I want to do that!! I have a gigantic list of places I want to see and experience. I think I would like to write more also, about much happier things too. I want to be happier here!!! I want to take a photography class, the issue is that my German is not awesome quite yet. I could take more German classes but I think I wanna hold off on that till I have more balance. I want to learn more arts & crafty things, and for goodness sake, I want to go to those InterNations meetings and make friends. I’m not sure I will, but I want to work myself up to it. I would also love to make friends here and have dinners and Halloween parties. It’s a lot, but I want these things. I want my German life to be as happy as my American one.

And I want to thank you all for reading this and offering support, and not losing faith in me. It means the world to me.

P.S. Happy Halloween!



15 thoughts on “Honesty and Changes

  1. I’m glad you are making changes to make your life in Germany more enjoyable. I would recommend that you start those German classes asap. You aren’t going to find more balance in Germany until you can communicate well with the locals and start being able to do those art and photography classes you want to do. Also German classes are a great way to meet other foreigners who are going through what you are.

    1. Agh yeah I took two sessions already. I’m A2.2 at this point. It’s just too difficult to do and learn well when you work with children for 45 hours a week, and even after quitting I still have to work there for 3 more months. There is no way to learn German on the weekends here and still feel like I’m doing well at it, you know what I mean? SO I have to wait till the 3 months are up, and my time balances out.

  2. I was going to make the exact same comment as Riayn, but she beat me to it! Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate already, but those evening courses are made for people working full-time jobs. I found even one evening a week to be a good compromise — it helped me keep things in perspective by putting me in contact with other foreigners learning the language, but also wasn’t too overwhelming to handle next to my work. In any case, sounds like things are on an upswing and that you’re making choices that will help you enjoy your life here more.

    1. Yeah I only found one course that would meet at a time that fit with my schedule and it was 2 times a week, 3 1/2 hours each. It was just WAY too much. Now I’ve been self teaching, which has been pretty cool. I didn’t feel like the classroom I was learning matched my learning style, so I need to find other ways to learn German. But I’m looking into it! Thanks for your kind words and advice!!

  3. get your boy to talk to you in german. and only german. i know. this sounds shitty and for the first few times it is. took me a few beers everytime because i felt like why on earth would you want to put up with my broken ass german. but my wonderful boyfriend is thankfully stubborn on this and insists i practice, and come up with vocab words, just ten, that i should have learned by the end of the week. and this surprise, surprise, works. yeah you have no grammar but its true, germans dont care about grammar. it gets easier to talk in your broken german when you bulldoze through it and people see you are intent on speaking to them in your german or not at all. and then those that want to help step up to the plate. and it gets easier to begin the conversation in german. and before you know it, you randomly begin conversations in german. drink wine if you have to.. but really when class is so fixed in your day, you can practice your german with anyone willing to listen (g man). that being said, you could totally bitch to me. anytime. i know i live in a different city and have to go to lab at 8 am then to german class then back to lab and finish my days around 6pm mon-fri. but i get breaks to read emails and check FB : and as much as i wish i could be in nürnberg on a more regular basis to hang out, truth of it is i dont have the money. but. if you cant bitch to anyone your gonna hate your life. bitch to me 🙂 and teach baking. i think they have a version of home economics in high school. you dont need so much german as in… history or maths, and germans actually like to cook here. might be worth a shot. or if thats not your cup of tea, teach me baking and i will tandem german with you 🙂 ich sollte jetzt anfangen! much love 🙂

    1. Yeah, he and I speak German together, not 100% because that would be a little weird. I don’t really have anyone besides him, you and this blog to communicate with in English, so I like it 50/50. But I do try. I’ve been self teaching with flash cards and asking questions, I’m a big fan of bulldozing through it. This has worked for me so far. But thanks for the advice and your support!

  4. Sounds like you’re making the changes you need to make. Sometimes it helps so much to cut out the things that are stressing you out – and a change in work seems like it could help a lot. The InterNations thing sounds like a good ide – it would probably be good to meet other expats who are going through similar experiences.

    1. Thanks Diana! I appreciate your kindness, and really miss talking to you and that beautiful warm Florida weather. I think it would be great to meet other expats, I just need to get more confident and less lazy about social situations. And work was a completely bad experience, so I’m glad to be getting out of there. How are you doing??

  5. You are saying that you don’t want to burden others. I wonder whether this is a cultural thing to some extent. In German culture “burdening” a friend is totally acceptable. This is what makes the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. So I wouldn’t worry too much about “burdening” others. Friends should be prepared to go out their way to help you. If they don’t, taking them off the list of your friends wouldn’t be too much of a loss, would it?

    1. Thanks so much Peter, it’s good to be understood sometimes. Thanks for the link, it seems really cool. I’ve been self teaching with flash cards for the past month or so, and before that I was taking German classes. I just don’t think the classes are the right atmosphere for me; maybe my learning style doesn’t match up. Anyway, I like self teaching! Thanks for sharing this, your support and understanding!!!

  6. Sorry to hear that you’re struggling. I think it can definitely be a bigger adjustment than people realize and everyone deals with it differently. I lived in Stuttgart for a year which I found tough, but moving to Munich last year has been great for me. I found my grove here. Sometimes I think it just takes a while. Everything is new, but bit by bit it all starts falling into place.

  7. You have been on my mind this week because of the storm. I hope all of your friends and family are safe. I appreciate your complete honesty in your posts. It makes me feel less crazy,less alone. I think you help more people than you realize. Happy Halloween. I have Reeses! lol

    1. Thanks. My friends and family are ok, some were evacuated and their cars were flooded and/ or smashed, their backyards had fallen limbs, but they are all ok, thank goodness. I have two nieces there, so I was panicking.

      Thanks for your kind words, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate them. It’s good to know people experience some of the same things I do, and Happy Halloween back! I want reeses!!!!

  8. Thank God your family’s safe, Ellie. Been praying for Sandy’s victims. And don’t worry, share and rant all you wish with us- we’re here for one another!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s