My husband and I have rented out our house and are moving to France for the next year. We leave at the end of June.
It is a dream I have held for my kids for a long time: to experience a different culture, be exposed to different points of view, learn another language, learn resiliency and how to “figure it out as you go.”
It feels like an opportunity and adventure for our family.
It also feels like a reclaiming of our lives which have in recent years become less of our own. Volunteering in the community, providing opportunities for our kids to develop their talents and interests, plus all the chauffeuring that comes with that…
Going abroad makes one acutely aware of how super-sized everything in the US is. Not just homes and cars, but expectations for achievement, definitions of success and commitments to sports and other activities.
So, going abroad for us is about learning a different way of life, and it is also about simplifying and reconnecting with the basics: family meals, weekends spent together, quiet time, unscheduled time.
I want to disengage myself from the expectations machine of our American culture. I want to re-envision what success means for myself and for my kids. I want to live intentionally, rather than being swept up in the current of busyness.
Of course, there will also be challenges and frustration and the sheer exhaustion that comes with being in a foreign place. I am hopeful that I will have the wherewithal to manage those moments. Going at a slower speed should help.
As I write this, I hear expectations creeping in, and so I remind myself to hold those oh-so lightly. I am looking forward to taking each step as it comes. First moving out, second moving in, third settling and finding the nearest boulangerie.
I do not know what is in store for my writing in the coming year, but I hope to share some of my experiences here.
I may be MIA for some of June as we make our way through this transition. I will be reminding myself again and again to loosen my grip on any expectations of how this transition should go.
One step at a time…
What transitions are you currently experiencing or anticipating in the near future? To what expectations do you notice yourself holding fast? What might it be like to loosen that grip?
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.