12.13.2007

Nothing to Fear, but Fear Itself

I find it hard to believe as of this Sunday, Max and I will have lived in Germany for two weeks. I find it even harder to believe that during this time, I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing.

For as much as I have complained about being a lady of leisure, I’ve taken to it extremely well. Over the last 11 days, my routine consisted of straightening the apartment, taking a nap, watching CNN Global, perusing blogs (when I’ve had a reliable Internet connection), cooking a quick supper for Max, and taking Charlie on brief walks around the neighborhood. I had aspired to do so much more—work on my writing, study German, and venture out to see the area. But despite my industrious disposition, I’ve done nothing except watch my nails grow and wait for Max to get home.

Why? I asked myself this question again and again. I blamed the dreary weather, though I doubted cool, damp conditions kept me bunkered down in the apartment. I also tried to tell myself that, after all the stress of the last couple months, my body and mind simply needed the break. But in quiet moments, when I’ve listened to my inner voice, I learned the truth of my inactivity could be summed up in one word.

Fear.

There, I’ve admitted it. Trying to start a new life in a foreign country is downright intimidating. I walk out of my tiny apartment and understand almost nothing. I’m afraid of getting lost. I’m afraid of not being able to communicate easily. I’m afraid of doing something wrong. I fear I can’t do this.

But now that I see these words typed out in Times New Roman 12 point type, I realize how silly I am being. My new life is going to unfold no matter what. If I want to ensure failure, then I will continue to hide away. No... It’s time to step out of my comfort zone (without Max to hold my hand) and venture out there to see what this new life has in store for me.

Ready or not, here I come.

I’d write more, but I gotta run. Life is waiting for me.

16 comments:

Me said...

Sunshine, email me....lakilani@gmail.com.....I think I have some expat friends in that area who have book clubs, speak German and English, know the area...all married to Germans or such....there might be a connection for you..and you can talk with them. When my friend Kim moved to Germany to be with her husband, she had the hardest time initially...it's a big change..don't beat yourself up over the first 2 weeks. You left your home during christmas time and you are not settled into a new place...:)

June said...

YAY!! I cant wait to hear all about it!!

AmyD said...

I was thinking it might be a bit of depression...leaving your home and comfort zone is NEVER easy. But fear makes sense, too. Either way, you are in limbo right now, waiting to get into your AMAZING home. Once that happened, my guess is you will get right into the swing of things. Hang in there!

brandy said...

"my life is going to unfold no matter what". I think, in a single sentence you've typed what 99.98% of the population forgets- myself especially. A good reminder when things don't go your way. I hope this has been a turning point for you and you find ways find comfort and happiness in your new surroundings

Bubblehead said...

My wife and I regret not taking the opportunity to go overseas when I was in the Navy. I envy you that chance, but I'm glad I couldn't do it now with my kids.

Thanks for swinging by my blog. I hope to be making a trip to Germany next summer so I may have some posts about that eventually.

gemma said...

What an adventure and I'll bet it is scary. No problem with that emotion as long as you do what you're doing. Step into it and enjoy the ride. My college roommate moved to Japan and then to Germany and she married a German. They lived there for 12 years and then moved back to the states. Funny but when she was in Germany she wanted to be here and now she always compares things to the German way and usually their way is way better.

Michele sent me by the way and I'll be back to see what new things you are into.

kenju said...

I don't blame you for being reticent, but you have to kump right in, I suppose. I bet you'll love it when you do.

patches said...

It's always best to do it when you're ready. You sound ready. I can't wait to hear about it.

Jennifer said...

I can't even imagine how intimidating it all must be. But you know, you jumped in and went. Now, you're ready to jump in and live it. I have a feeling you're going to be just fine in no time at all.

Heather B. said...

You have just started this incredibly new and daunting thing. Don't be hard on yourself. I'm not giving assvice I'm being completely sincere as a person who cried for three weeks straight when she moved to Madrid. You will be fine and even though I don't know you, you will have such a fantastic time. I cannot wait to read all about it.

Dan-E said...

when i lived in prague for three months a few years ago, my moment of fear came on the plane ride over. the move itself and all the accompanying chores had to be done so fast that i didn't have time worry about what happened when i actually got there.

however, once i left london and i was two hours away from prague, my brain finally realized "holy crap, this is really happening, isn't it?" i didn't know the langauge, i didn't know the customs, and i completely forgot that it was now called the "czech republic."

yet, once i got there, i did well. it probably helped that i went there to serve an internship with a couple of other americans and i was, in a way, put in a position to constantly meet people. i had my little language guide but i never mastered the language (though i memorized "may i have a beer, please?" but enough people there knew conversation english that doing the basic things was never a problem. but i had an anxious moment there on that flight.

if i can do it, you can easily do it. and there's the built-in advantages of having charlie and max.

running42k said...

Your feelings are completely understandable. Throw in the fact that we are 10 days away from Christmas and the issues and feelings that brings up and you have a lethal mix.

I am certain within a few weeks you will be blogging about how happy you are.

Carmi said...

I'm inspired by your sense of adventure and your approach to this new phase in your life. How much happier the world would be if more people chose to look for the silver lining instead of the grayish clouds.

Cheryl said...

Hey, we all get bogged down by fear. You've got time, and I can't wait to see what you do with it now.

Rachel said...

Think of all the things out there for you to explore!

*sigh*

I'm jealous.

Tonya Allison said...

Girlfriend, I am SO SO proud of you!! Your determination to explore and become part of your new community is inspiring! I can only imagine how overwhelmed I would feel. I can't wait to hear all about your new adventures! I am def living vicariously through you now, no pressure ;)

Love you girl and have fun over there...I know you will!