When I began blogging about being a expat I made a promise to myself to blog not only about the good parts, but the bad parts as well. This is a post about the bad parts.
I was watching an episode of Bones on Sunday called The Doctor in the Photo, in which the main character Brennan relates too much to the victim and begins to see parallels between her life and the victim’s life – mainly their inability to form connections with other people. This episode rang a little too true for me (damn you, Hart Hanson!). I am having trouble making connections here. I know I’ve only been in Germany for five months which is way too soon to form deep connections with people, but I worry that I am not even at the beginning of forming those kind of connections.
Because of the language barrier, I find it hard to meet people who are not English speaking expats. I don’t know a single lesbian here in Hamburg, which makes dating, well, impossible nor do I know how to go about meeting other lesbians that does not involve a loud bar, which to be honest is not my scene at all. Going out to clubs is more like torture than a form of enjoyment for me.
The things I used to do in Australia like martial arts and skeptical endeavours are difficult at best here because of the damn language barrier. I do not have a German partner who can introduce me to people nor a partner of any kind who can join me in walking into a room full of people with whom it is almost impossible to converse with because my German is almost non existent. I get the most enjoyment out of talking to people about science, skepticism and other fantastic geeky subjects, which is not going to happen any time soon – well at least not in German.
I know I should get the hell over the fear and just do it, but truth be told, my self esteem and self worth were left fairly shattered by the ending of my 10 year relationship 6 months ago and it is taking some time to rebuild. It is damn hard to put yourself out there when you are feeling extremely fragile.
I have done some things that others consider fairly brave in terms of getting out there and meeting people and I have no doubt that I will continue to do so. But right now is a low point. A point where I’m not sure I will ever make the connections I crave. A point where everything just seems more scary than I’m sure it actually is.
I wanted to put this all out here, not so you all feel obliged to tell me that I’m great or whatever, but to show that this expat thing is not all fun adventures and good times. It can be tough and terrifying and that it is okay to feel overwhelmed. The thing is not to feel this way for too long so that it becomes impossible to break out of those self defeating things you tell yourself in times like these.
I’m going to give myself this week to wallow in self-pity and hole up at home, but this week only. Next week, I get myself out there again. I get over this bullshit and get my ass to the fencing class I want to go to but have been too chicken shit to attend. I’m putting this out there so you can all hold me to it. Deal?
Anyone else going through the whole ‘this is way harder than I thought it would be’ thing? Cause you know that misery loves company.