Almost four months ago, we left our house in San Francisco. Two and a half months ago, we landed in Denmark. Less than two months ago, we moved back into our apartment. Three days ago, I suddenly started feeling better.
I have had this sad feeling, constantly lingering. I would get tears in my eyes, when my husband and I together would recall our beautiful California adventures. I have felt shaken, confused, and forgetful. Suddenly, I’m starting to feel more grounded and in control of life instead of trying to keep up. I think that time helped, but what helped the most are all the little decisions and steps we have taken, which have added up and made me feel more empowered. In our relocation to San Francisco, my husband and I were both struggling, but separately, not together. This time, we are a team and we hold each other up and talk out our feelings, thereby creating a “safe space”, where we can return to and recharge.
The decisions and steps that help us feel better:
- Going back to California this summer. It turned some of my homesickness into anticipation. It was a huge relief.
- Moving back to the Bay Area, one day. Our decision to return to the Bay Area in a few years makes me appreciate our life in Copenhagen more.
- Making our apartment cozy. Finally, I feel at home in our apartment. After some building projects in our living room and having found “the right place” for all our belongings, our apartment feels like our home.
- The kids’ school. The bilingual school program is awesome, kids love it and the fact that they are getting both an English and a Danish education is a gift for them for their future. We love the international environment and the fact that all communication happens in English. We love that despite a vigorous curriculum, the kids are thriving.
- Our tween’s newfound independency. Our son loves his freedom to walk home from school and bring friends along. And so do we!
- Our baby’s preschool. Starting our baby at preschool is hard for him! So far, he’s only had short visits there. In our expat life, we never had him babysat. But if there’s anyplace I would leave him, it’s there: I love the teachers, the cozy environment, and the atmosphere. I just hope he and we will stop catching all the viruses going around there: being and getting sick is the worst part about returning to Denmark.
- Starting to work. I am beyond excited that they put me in charge of one of their biggest projects. It’s going to be challenging to learn a new legal field and to be in charge of making people implement whatever recommendations I’m going to end up making. I’m so grateful for the new skills, I will acquire! Workwise, doors keep opening. If I want to, I will probably have good opportunities in the U.S. to use my new legal skills. Or I’ll get back to freelancing within the communication field, time will tell :-)
- Our everyday life routines. Routines are finally starting to get into place: my husband walks the kids to school, which is a cozy 20 min. walk; I take the baby to preschool, which is a 2 min. walk; our tween walks home by himself; we pick up our daughter from SFO (bookend); kids will do their homework before reaching for electronical devices on weekdays; we have all the shopping stores we need within a five min. radius.
- Getting used to the weather. We have been away for only nearly five years, and fall was a shock to me! I’m adjusting. Since I started covering myself in a wool sweater under my jacket, when I go outside, I’m good. In our apartment, we put in light bulbs with “daylight lightening” to help us deal with the darker months, and it helps!
The only thing missing is that I should start studying for work. Today, baby’s preschool is trying to put him down for a nap, and if they succeed, I’ll start to get time to study — which makes me excited and happy!