Updated: Jul 25, 2020
My Unfiltered Life Abroad
I want to be totally candid on my blog. I am also of the belief that being vulnerable is where you see the most growth in life. And I want to be vulnerable here. If you see my beautiful pictures and think I have it all, I want you to know that behind those incredible experiences are oftentimes tears. I know you can't see tears on my Instagram page, but you need to know that they exist. Our generation is all about posting the positive, great, but know that life hurts and you aren't alone.
Moving to a new country has been a whirlwind of emotions for me. It started out really exciting, but quickly it got difficult. I am not the one who moved for a job, my fiancé did. So I was missing direction and purpose. I've found it hard to make friends in Denmark. The culture is different, the people are different. I've found the country to be cold and isolating at times.
In January for the first time in my life, I experienced real depression. I am a person who is naturally positive, optimistic and outgoing. I didn't think depression was an emotion or disease that could impact someone like me. I was wrong. There were long days, days where I couldn't get out of bed. Days I cried myself to sleep. I forced myself to admit this to my parents and friends so that they could help. My fiancé also tried to help, but he couldn't bring me the familiarities that I craved from back home. On my actual 25th birthday, I cried all the way through breakfast. It was painful, I wasn't where I wanted to be.
When you move abroad no one warns you:
You will get homesick
You will miss birthdays, weddings and funerals
You will lose friends
You will have less in common with people back home
You will feel like an outsider
All your insecurities surface
It won't meet your expectations
It is painful.
I will say, I am better for it. This experience has taught me what it is like to be an outsider, which is something you can never really feel if you don’t stray far from home. Being on the outside is hard, and I'd been used to being on the inside. Honestly, I've always been popular and people have tried breaking into my circles. I haven't always been open to accepting new people.
I am sure now, I am more likely to take strangers and newbies under my wing. Those few people that have opened their hearts and homes to me here have really helped. Thank God for them. If there are international people among you or someone who is new-- be sympathetic to them, please, for me. Invite them into your homes.
I feel like I am finally settling in, the emotional rollercoaster has morphed into a bumpy road. Some days are really high and others, really low. But this is what life is all about. A bit sadistic, but maybe subconsciously I was seeking pain when I agreed to this, to know true happiness.
Thank you to Rasmus, my family, his family and my close friends for continuing to be my shining beacon at the end of the tunnel. We only have a few more months left in Denmark, and I am actually feeling optimistic. I am enjoying biking everyday, I am getting used to the language, the grocery store, the people, and I am trying to be present every day and be thankful for this experience.
Life is hard. No matter what path you choose. Being in your 20s is hard. I may have very well felt similar emotions had we stayed in the USA; I’ll never know. But life after high school and college becomes totally uncertain. Like PhD Meg Jay puts it,
“It’s like taking off in a plane from LA, and with a slight directional change you could end up in New York City or Orlando.”
Every small turn you take in your 20s really shifts your future, and truly at any age you may find those Ys in the road. (Read my post on your 20s here)
From my experience, choose the path that seems the hardest. If you think back to the things that were the most rewarding in your life, likely, they also were accompanied by adversity. I promise, it sucks, but you are going to love it.