This is Life

I write this while sitting next to my baby on the floor, and yes, she is kicking me/using me as a foot rest and “speaking” to her toys at the same time. That’s just the way it is. She sleeps in her own room, which is AWESOME, and she sleeps through the night for 8/9/10 hours straight, which is just… yeah. We get up at 6:30. When I say we, I mean she does, and she doesn’t cry, she will try to escape her crib while talking across the room to her favorite toy owl. I usually don’t move until the talking becomes screeching, and that’s when I literally roll out of bed. A beam of sunshine greets me; she’s kicking her legs and waving her arms wildly in excitement, and has the biggest, goofiest grin on her face. I’m no longer tired. The rest of the day flies by in a blur of changing, cleaning, feeding, laughing, cuddling, dressing, playing, reading books (she just wants to eat them), power napping (her not me), telling the story of Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings/Star Wars/X-Men to the melody of nursery rhymes (very helpful for everyone), shopping, walking through the park, puréeing foods for her, making dinner for us, and making sure she doesn’t roll off any surfaces or hurt herself or scream too much. By the end of the day, I will have taken a 1-2 minute shower, made up a bottle, had the German prepare her for bed in the meantime, and then I will sooth her to sleep. When I partially close her door, knowing she is out for the night, I let out of a sigh of relief. That’s when the silliness sets in, and I enjoy my short time being an adult, speaking to an adult, laughing and joking and relaxing. I’m so tired, I drop bits of toothpaste on my shirt and instead of cleaning it off, I scoop it up and continue on with brushing my teeth. The moment my head hits the pillow, I know I’m already halfway asleep. To some people, this sounds like hell, but to me, this is heaven.

I know how lucky I am to be a SAHM (stay at home mom). The gift and opportunity isn’t lost on me. Heck, Germany practically tosses money at you to have children and to stay home and raise them— which is unbelievable but true. I’m grateful. I miss work, but the kind of work I want to do doesn’t exist in Germany for me. When life hands me lemons, I make the very best lemonade, and drink it. Life’s far too short to get hung up on things you can’t change as fast as you’d like to. I have little disappointments with friends, making friends, fitting in, realizing this new role and phase in my life and not having people who genuinely care about it, family estrangement, loneliness….. BUT these don’t seem to break my morale, I’ve got the lovely, bubbly O smiling at me and breathing more happiness into my life than I knew was possible.

We went to Georgia for two weeks last month; it was a learning experience. We were Away We Go-ing, and I found that Georgia is just not us…. it was weird. I love my Georgian friends, you can see that in smaller parts there is this sense of community, which I long for too– just not there. I enjoyed being in the US enough, and I’m glad to be back honestly. I feel like the longer you are away from your home country, the more you are longing to go back, and the less connected you feel when you are there. Make sense? I wanted so badly to go back, but I got there, and it didn’t feel like home to me— that is partly because I’m from Boston, lived in NYC and Georgia is not like those places at all, but it’s deeper than that. I felt like an outsider. It was strange. Anyone experience that?

I have no desire to fly back anytime soon. I didn’t really see anyone when I was there, despite that being the basis of this trip. Having a baby forces you to further weed out people from your life, and I’m doing just that. People that never cared about me, that would never go out of their way for me— even when I meet them in their backyard, that just can’t manage to make things work out of laziness/poor planning/loads of excuses…. you know the type. I’ve got no time for all of that now. There is not a single person I’ve said goodbye to personally that I regret. I used to get REALLY upset that they had no idea what they were doing or how they were treating me to make me feel the way I do, but now, it’s not my fault, it’s theirs. And no, I’m not jealous. I know a lot of people think this is the one thing I must be to let so many people go in my life, but I’m just not.  I don’t want to own a house right now, I don’t know where we’d buy it— it’s a commitment I can’t make. I never wanted a lavish wedding (we are planning a wedding celebration for our tiny little family of 3 next year in Ireland, we’ve been actually married since Nov. 2012), I don’t have friends and family to invite and could never spend that kind of money- there are so many other important things we need money for… I’d like to be thinner, but I’ll work on that. I have the talent I’ve always had and try to hone and expand, and I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I know I can be flakey sometimes- especially now with O, but especially when it comes to doing things I really don’t want to do that aren’t important— I can be sort of a homebody and that’s really the core of my flakiness. That and I’m introverted and find it difficult to be in groups of people— it takes a lot of mental preparation and time. Know what I mean? But I will go above and beyond for people I care about, that’s just the way it is.

Problem is, the dust is settling from all these broken relationships I’ve mustered that I need to rebuild my support base of silly, somewhat ridiculous, funny and absolutely caring people. And that’s hard work over here in Germany. An unfortunate character flaw with relationships I have is that I’m sort of all or nothing. It is a terrible flaw—- I feel like I’d be more successful if I didn’t have that. Anyway, this is life- my life, at this moment and everything that plays through my mind. I looked through pictures of myself in the past a few minutes ago, and I could see that I was either thinner or heavier, surrounded by friends, and having fun— but that’s nothing compared to how happy I am now. I just need to find the people to round out my somewhat perfectly imperfect life.

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6 thoughts on “This is Life

  1. I know exactly what you are talking about! I am also an all or nothing friend and it is hard to keep friendships up for me if I don’t have the possibilities to actually meet my friends (or Skype with them regularly). I barely have contact to most of my old friends in Hamburg and that makes me sad sometimes and I know that it is also partly my own fault. But that also makes it strange to go back to Hamburg because it doesn’t feel like before.
    I hope you will be able to find some really good friends soon! And your daughter just looks lovely!

  2. I feel the same about home, about friends and friendship in general. My circle is in flux right now and it’s great yet awful at the same time, ‘perfectly imperfect’ I like that 🙂

  3. I have been following your blog for a while, and nothing has hit me more than the words on this post. You make people feel as if they are in your shoes. I know what it feels like to be cut off from friends. I know what it feels like to move to a different location and still feel quite alone, because one is not making many new friends. I am so glad that your daughter is such a joy! She is so beautiful. Thanks for being such an honest and splendidly detailed writer. It makes your blog such a joy to read.

  4. Sorry, but you also have todo something to get friends in Germany. When you immigrate to Germany or any other country you have a Bring-in-fault. This means you must go to the people to make friends, not the people have to go to you to make you as a friend. You have to adapt to German culture and talk with the people when you go shopping, meet them at festivals or parties! Germans are very warm people and when you get the heart of them they can be friends forever! But you must do something, too. Not wait for it, do something for it! This is my advice to you!
    You should also got to clubs (Vereine) like: Traditional-Clothes (Trachtenverein), Shooting, Archery, Beer, Volksfest,…
    As i know from your blog you live in Franken – North-Bavaria – So Bavaria is very traditional, and you should more adapt to their culture then you will get friends, too with a very high quality Made in Germany!
    I also live in Bavaria and my wife is from China (Shanghai). She lives here now for 12 years and if she didnt talk to the people and get used to the life and adapt to them she even would have no friends, too. But she have many german friends all over Germany, good friends. She is a foreigner now in China. And she can live now even in a small town where we live in Bavaria. First time it was hard for her, too. But now it is a normal life and she is used to it and have many friends here.
    So i wish you all the best luck for your future with your Baby and make the best of it.
    Have much fun in Germany – the Heart of Europe – and in traditional Bavaria! And talk to the people and give them some trust! And think about going in a club, you can get to know many people there maybe with same Hobbies like you have!
    Or go into a VHS-Course. There also you can get to know people with same interests in your course!

    Good luck!
    M.S.

  5. “[…]the story of Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings/Star Wars/X-Men to the melody of nursery rhymes […]”

    Hey, did anybody ever tell you that’s an awesome repertoire of nursery rhymes for baby O?

    “That’s an awesome repertoire of nursery rhymes!” <- There you are.

  6. Hi, I just found your blog and I like it =) Just started to read a little bit. I am German and moved to the states for 2 years. In the seccond year I started missing HOME (Germany,Bavaria) ALOOOOT and was randomly thinking to move back with my american husband. Now that I’m back in Germany I feel different. Not that I don’t like it anymore, but everything is different. People seemed to change. When I came back I felt like a Stranger. Like an Outsider like you said. People continued living their life WITHOUT ME. Still do feel like a stranger sometimes for some reason. So funny that I now miss the States, miss the way Americans were. So happy and open minded and tolerant. Even their I LOVE YOU’s which seemed different to us Germans at first=) Always a Smalltalk no matter where you went. I love Bavaria and I missed everything about it, but I can’t say if I am back home in my heart. Like, I don’t know anymore where I belong. Germany? USA? When I was in the States I missed the German language, I missed talking German. Now being in Germany I freaking miss speaking English. ISN’T THAT CRAZY?

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