Life in a New World: Reality Check

12,000ft high in the Rocky Mountains, CO.
12,000ft high in the Rocky Mountains, CO.

When people hear that I am moving to another country it seems glamorous. It is almost as if people forget that moving your entire life to a new place takes a lot of work and courage. The truth is I was thinking it would be just as glamorous as everyone else! Little did I know the last days would be much harder than I expected. It’s not just packing your bags and taking flight. Thankfully I have a great partner that’s helping me along the way. Though I would like to complain, I have to remember that the journey is just as thrilling as the destination…even if it does get a little stressful. Nevertheless, here are my current situations.

No Partner, No Job

In an effort to make the move as simple as we could my partner left earlier than I. He returned to Brazil in mid-October to do some fieldwork and get things in order. This is not the first time we have spent an extended period apart either. I learned pretty quickly in our relationship that being involved with a scientist in education means that he will have to travel often. This is good news for me too! His earlier trip in summer 2013 took him across Europe and to Colorado, where I was able to meet him for a weekend camping trip in the Rocky Mountains. I remember when he picked me up at the bus station in Boulder last year. It was love at first sight all over again. I am counting the days until we recreate that moment.

However, the stress of moving to another country started to get the best of me this past week and not having him around has been difficult. As an over thinker I have a tendency to over plan, and the thought of starting new began to stress me out. Unlike most ex-pats I know, I am not moving to Brazil to play around and spend all of my savings. I have to make it work! These thoughts made me revert back to my last semester of college when I was job hunting. My world became so obsessed with trying to get a job that I found myself on interviews for jobs I never really wanted.

The notecards were created by Cast Paper Art using roses that my partner gave me at the beginning of our relationship.
The notecards were created by Cast Paper Art using roses that my partner gave me at the beginning of our relationship.

Thankfully with Skype and What’s App we have been able to talk to each other – but nothing will be more rewarding until that moment I get to see him again. In our online chat he reminded me that I needed to stop worrying about my next job. While finding work is still in the back of my mind his kind words help me realize that I should focus my attention on the family and friends with whom I will be saying goodbye to in a month. He also left a series of notes throughout the apartment with the sweetest messages. They may not be the hug I desperately need, but it actually feels more like a kiss!

Downsizing is a Bitch

Moving to another country means that most of what you own will have to be donated, sold or discarded. We started an online moving sale last month and things seemed to be going quickly. Then, suddenly it wasn’t. Thank God for the site that takes just about everything! Not only do they pick items up for you, but you are donating to a great cause.

Downsizing does have its perks too. In fact, I recommend it to anyone even if you are not moving far away. For example, you get to get rid of old memories you no longer need anymore. I can finally let go of that band t-shirt I plan to never wear again or that sweater my ex gave me a million years ago. I can’t hold on to these things forever and they have no place in the next chapter of my life. Good ridding!

The Couch Surfing Adventure Begins

The first half of my move actually starts next week. To save a little cash I decided to leave my apartment a few weeks before I take my flight. This means I am technically homeless! A few months ago the thought of bouncing around from friends’ apartments seemed way more exciting until the New England chill started to kick in and the sun is already set before I even exit my office. Without a car, hopping around no longer seems as fun as I thought it would be. But, I guess I will just have to cross that bridge when I get there. And hey, what’s one month with your grandma right? In fact, it is probably exactly what I need.

Reality Sets In

The more I spend time with my family and friends; I begin to face that I will not see them on a regular basis like this for a long time. As much as I get frustrated with how full my apartment seems or how far my partner is, I always give myself a reality check and say you’re going to miss these moments. So no matter how stressful this last month will be – I have to enjoy it while it lasts. Ah, I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

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Published by Stephen J. Grant

Stephen J. Grant, sometimes known as Radio Stevie, is a writer, artist and non-profit professional currently at the Guggenheim Museum.

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