Acceptance

Is acceptance the last stage of grief?  If so, I think I have finally arrived.

I have come to accept the fact that I live in France and I have to come to terms with the decision that we took three years ago.

I have always thought of our situation as temporary and have never allowed myself to settle in, to make friends to enjoy this opportunity that we've been given.

I find myself always wishing for the things "back home", I fill my days longing about what I would do if I were back in the States.  I find myself always comparing what I do here to how I would them back home.  Always saying how much easier my life would be had we just stayed in South Carolina.

It isn't fair.  It's not fair to my son or my husband and it isn't fair to me.

France is the only home my son has ever known - this language this culture and it's people are part of who he is.  I hope and pray that he doesn't lose his American or Romanian identity, but I have to remind myself that France is also part of his identity.

Thanks to this experience he is learning and speaking 3 languages.  He has visited over 8 countries and traveled more in his 2 years than more people travel in a lifetime.

I fought this life for so long, afraid of losing my identity, afraid of losing myself and my connection with anything familiar.  I have finally realized that living here doesn't mean having to make a choice or sacrifice the person that I am.

And so, I have decided to accept the fact that I live here.  To stop crying for the things I can't have here, the things I don't have and focus on what I do have.

I have no idea how much longer we will be in France.  A few more months?  A few more years?  But as long as I am here I will embrace what is around me and be content in the life we are building as a family.


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17 comments:

MrsB @ crankymonkeys in london said...

We live in a "third" country as well and it took us a while to settle in, but my kids are 6 and 2.9 and I see that they have no problem embracing being Estonian, Australian and English all at the same time. It really is wonderful to see.

Kiddothings said...

Great one Barbara. Nathan definitely has travelled more than me. This whole experience of living abroad will enrich your lives I'm sure, although I do understand how you can feel homesick too. I'm happy for you that you've finally come to accept it.

Natalie said...

I know it must be hard! But I'm sure everything happens for a reason...and you'll look back at your time in France as a great experience! I know that it would be hard for me to move somewhere else just in the States can't imagine another whole country.

Mark Himes said...

That would be difficult for me too. I wonder if being connected via the Internet is a good thing or a bad thing. Meaning, maybe it would be easier to embrace what you have if you didn't see so much from "The Old Country". Kids are resilient but it is much harder for us old timers.
Enjoy your day.
Mark

Missy said...

Oh, hon. Here I am, reading your stuff thinking how cool your life sounds. But I imagine it would lose its lustre when the newness wore off and the things that we (can) take for granted in America would be what you missed the most.

Hang in there. Glad you have a blog!

Sandra said...

Good attitude! Because you're right, your son (and you!) are gaining so many opportunities that many would love to be able to have. Enjoy what time you have left and submerse yourself in the culture (yeah, I'm French, a little biased, I admit it :)

Elena said...

I can imagine that would be really tough to get used to. You hear that a lot from people who move abroad - that they never really settle down roots. I'm glad you've come to terms with it - I'm sure it will make this experience that much more enjoyable. :)

Shell said...

I needed to read this. Though it's not a different country for us, just a different state, you've described how I feel.

Jessica said...

I have moved to a different state and that was hard, I can't imagine moving to a different country and what that must be like. You have had some wonderful times while living in France based on the posts I have read from you. Continue to enjoy your time there. You don't want to come back to the States and think, I want to go back to France because I should have enjoyed it more.

TwistedMummy said...

I guess that's kind of how my parents felt when we moved from the UK to Canada when I was three. I never really thought of that because Vancouver is always home to me. Scotland is STILL "home" to my Mom. Hang in there.

Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

I've been living in WA for 6 years, and I'm still not at the acceptance phase that we're not back in Michigan where I grew up and a ton of my family lives. My boys are from here, the mountains are a part of them, and I need to accept it. Thank you for this reminder. I hope I get there, too.

Skywaitress said...

This is fantastic. I lived overseas for awhile and it definitely changed who I was, but for the better. Your son's world is going to be so much bigger than most people's. You are giving him and yourself a gift. I'm glad you're finally learning to enjoy it.

Colleen said...

I understand so well. I live in Norway with my husband and son and have fought it so hard even though it was my choice! I chose to come here and live here yet it's almost as though I harbor this deep deep resentment against being here sometimes and the way things are here. I would love to let this go...
Very wise post. You have me thinking.

glitnir76 said...

It can definitely be tough to be away from the things we miss most. But hey, live it up in Europe! That's an opportunity most people won't have; have a croissant for me!

pmlevitt said...

I wrote about the experience of relocating as well today. It is hard to build a new life in a new place. There are always trade offs and some feelings of loss involved. But there can be really wonderful new experiences as well. I am learning to hold both the joy and the pain of being "away" from "home" in my heart and not feel like one has to force the other to vacate:)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

ThIs is such a big steps! What peace it must give you.

Amanda said...

Good for you! Embrace that opportunity and think of all the people who are jealous that you get to do that. :)

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