8 years

March 23rd.
We have been here in the good old USA for 8 years today.
Is it proof that time really does fly?

I sit here wondering if I should go back and read the other ‘yearly’ blogs that I have blurted out as each anniversary rolled around. As yet I have not done that. Something is nagging at me to NOT read them.
There has been so much change in the past year, that to go back and read my state of mind from those past yearly anniversaries just seems counter productive.
For the first time in a long time, I feel like there is something to look forward to, some reason to actually be interested in what the future holds for us here in Southern California.
For the first time, I think I can start to see some of the reasons we were allowed to have this opportunity. None of them were what we hoped and dreamed for while living in our home in Buninyong. It was also a much much much much much much harder road than we ever could have imagined.

Freddy has resonantly made two good friends in the past few months, she met them while out walking Mal in the mornings. One is an English gal, the other Irish. (Both have very strong accents). The two families include a range of kids. So a lot like us in that regard as well.
The English family has been here 5 years, the Irish, around 8 months.
The astonishing thing is that they both have struggled (are struggling) with almost the exact range of issues we did. The husband of the English gal struggled so much that he ended up going back home for about 10 months a year or so after they arrived.
Freddy has been a huge help to both of them as she has really sorted out the shopping/finance side of living over here, ie how to save money in this nickle and dime society.
She has also been a help to those ladies as a source of encouragement, that things can and will get better, that it will take time and effort to settle here but it can be done.
Both husbands would seem to be pretty solid on the Introvert side of things. Both are nice guys. Have met them and spent only a little time with them. Like all bread winners over here, we/they are super busy working long hours.
Anyway, my point is – stick with me here – that I took some encouragement from their struggles. For the longest time, I thought we were freaks, we were ‘doing it wrong’, we were called out and somehow marked to be given a hard time by life over here…. As such, I was able to reflect that back to the guys and encourage them that we had much the same experience. We are few years in front, and was able to assure them that it should/would get better, just hang in there.

Sure, I could talk about work, or money, or the lack of weather, or the traffic, or the toilets, or the 4 ways stops, or the broken college system, or light switches all day long but to what end?
The past few months have been pretty eye opening for me… To point of saying its even been mind expanding perhaps…. Sure, I still get frustrated trying to turn on (or off) the lights, but at the end of the day the real issue is not the direction of the light switch, it is my reaction to it that matters more.

Anyway, I guess my point is, each month seems to bring a little more light to the end of the tunnel.
I wish we could have been where we are now 5 years ago, but doubt that it would have been physically or mentally possible.
There are a ton of things I would love to change, but feel trapped with many of them, so are simply learning to live with them. They are what they are, I can’t do anything except not let them wind me up.
Someone once said that “it is not the event that defines you, it is your reaction to it”.
Thus, each day, I expend a HUGE amount of energy trying to not react to stuff over here. (And yes, that includes myself).
So far, almost 3 months into the year, I have to honestly say it really is helping. (Sort of).

So, am I glad we came?
Was it worth it?

P.S. Are you a new TheBaldgeek blog reader? Wondering what this blog is about? Want a horror flashback? You can review the past blogs by following these links.
First year.
Second year.
Third year.
Fifth year.
Sixth year.

And, if you make it through all those, you really really need this.