10 Years ago today, our family stepped foot on American soil ..... We were ready to embark on a new adventure. We were filled with hope, excitement and optimism ..... with a little bit of anxiety and nervousness thrown into the mix, just to keep it real.
10 long years have passed .... at times I cant believe it has been so long, and other times it has felt like an eternity. I look back along the road we've traveled this past decade, and it looks nothing like we had expected it too ..... it's a road littered with heartache, disappointment, despair, hopelessness, betrayal, unemployment, damaged relationships, a loneliness that is crippling at times ..... I could list hundreds more adjectives .... it hasn't been a pretty journey.
As you'd expect with any journey, I've learned a few valuable lessons along the way ...... First World does not always mean better (and this has been particularly true in the areas of education and medicine)...... Just because we speak the same language, does not mean that we are culturally anything alike .... Cut throat means a whole lot more than I ever believed it did .... Despite what they'd have you believe, America is not foreigner friendly - I've lost count of how many times I've met people who have been very frank about telling me, that they view foreigners with suspicion (and my children go to school with their children ..... concerning on many levels)...... A journey such as this one, changes you as a person, and not always for the better - pessimism, fear and jealousy have become all too familiar to me. I don't like these character traits, but they're ever present.
This journey has been one, in which we have lost absolutely everything and gained nothing ...... however, it has also been a journey of faith for me (this in itself is priceless)- I've found myself on my knees crying out to God more times than I can count .... I believe that faith is the only reason I'm still standing 10 years on.
I do not know what the next 10 years will look like for our little family ....... frankly it terrifies me.. Added to that, is the fact that our children are 16 and 14 ..... College is so close now, as is the independence that comes with that ...... I try to spend as little time as I can thinking about that ... I dread it, I feel that when they move on (as they should), I loose the only things we have left .... this Mama Hen is nowhere near ready for her Chicks to flee the nest !!!
I know this post is nothing like my usual crafty/foodie posts ...... There is a sense of relief though, in having put feelings, that I've kept close to my chest, into words after so many years. The most common question we still get asked (after where are you from), is "So do you like it here?" - it's a difficult one to answer honestly, only because people are so easily offended - so I'm going to take this opportunity to answer it here - honestly, in my own little space - We're from South Africa, and NO, I absolutely do not like it here ..... Normal posts will resume soon.