I am the director of marketing for a training and coaching company back home in Texas. I have been with the company for the past five years, three of them while we have been here in Jakarta. Not only do I oversee the marketing, but I also am on the leadership team that helps guide and makes decisions for the company. Each week we have a meeting with the five leaders of our company. To say they have all wanted me to come home is a complete understatement.
Everyone on our team has known the past few months that moving back to Texas has been a huge possibility and they haven’t stopped talking about how happy they are about. But for me, I don’t know if I’m happy or not, so I have delayed telling them that we are moving back home for sure because I knew they would have so much joy about it without even thinking or understanding how I’m feeling right now. So last night during our call I finally told them and opened up about a whole lot more.
Understanding the Change
I know, I should be excited to go home right? Don’t get me wrong; I am excited to see my family, life is a little easier, driving a car myself, and being more independent. But I also know that I am not the same person I was three years ago. My thought process, how I view things, my priorities and how we live our life is just different now. I can’t fully understand it myself or even describe it completely but I know I’m not the same, and everything back home is not the same.
Last summer when we went home is when it was different to me. I felt like a foreigner in my hometown. Everything from roads to buildings, to people, was different. You would think after almost two months home I was used to even little things like sticking your credit card with a chip into the reader instead of swiping it. Again, I can’t describe it, but everything was just different.
Opening Up About My Fears
So last night I opened up about some of my fears. I am in a group on Facebook called I Am a Triangle. This group was formed for people who have lived in other countries and cultures, and it has been a huge help by helping me get mentally prepare and start thinking about repatriating back to the U.S.
Some of the issues they have talked about I already saw just from going home in the summers. The first summer we were home I got back, and everyone thought I could just pick up right where we left off. Work was like I had never left with phone calls coming in all times of day, people wanting to talk and set up meetings, etc. I had just spent a year away, and it had me feel like I was out of control. For a complete year, I had been able to work in a quiet environment without interruptions to come home to what felt to me like chaos. After two weeks I was ready to come home to Jakarta.
But one of the interesting conversations that people have had in this group is that others couldn’t understand that they were different and what they were going through. Others just expected them to be able to move back to their home country and be completely normal. They felt like others needed them to change and adapt instead of being understanding about the changes they were going through.
Part of what I saw going home before were things like everyone wanted to see you but didn’t want to come and see you, they wanted you to go to them. Sometimes it worked out, but there were so many times we had to say no cause there just wasn’t enough time.
Big Move, New Changes
I guess I’m writing this because yes, I am already having a little anxiety about all the changes when we move back. The first couple of months is going to be chaos for our family. As soon as we move back, I have to leave three days and fly out for work. My husband is flying to see his sister in Alaska. Aaron also starts his new job. We have to find a house and then move into said house. We also have to get my kids enrolled in school in Houston, get the paperwork from school here in Jakarta and transfer it to the boy’s new school. We also need to buy a car…..you see; the list keeps going. And all of this is supposed to happen while we adjust to living in another country. A place we once called home but has changed just as much as we have these past three years.
We know our number one priority is our kids. We want to make sure they have a wonderful transition home and into their new schools. I know that they are going to go through some of the same feelings we are. They are going to miss their friends, be in new social situations that they don’t understand, won’t be able to relate to their friends about the places they have been and what their life has been for the past three years. So our focus is definitely on them.
Honestly, I know all this is going to happen, but I’m still not ready for it. I told Aaron I think it’s like postpartum depression: new life, new challenges, emotional pain with a whole set of new responsibilities. People may not see it, or understand it, but it’s there.
Am I ready to go home? Some days yes, most days no. But I know the Lord has a plan for us, so I’m just going along for the ride.