The Truth Comes Out

September, 2000

Posted to my online writer’s group:

I am OK, it’s just a bumpy patch right now. Today I am ditching the kids and taking my new toy (digital camera) downtown all morning to photograph architectural wonders. That helps a lot!

I had a conversation with the husband last night after slicing my finger so badly that he almost fainted and brought over two neighbors to handle bandaging me up (how embarassing!) Anyway, the ironic thing was that I sliced it while slicing the bread that I had tried to bake for those same neighbors as a thank you gift. Except that I forgot to put in the salt and the oil, which I realized just after putting it in the oven, at which point I whisked it back out, punched it down, and tried to salvage it. It turned out OK, but this is the same sourdough that I can normally make in my sleep.

Anyway, my point (and I do have a point) is that I realized that I am very distracted right now! So I began to list the adjustments that I am making:

Adjusting to an entirely new culture. While I am right at home in Latin America, I am completely new to Europe. I have never even traveled here, except for a year of low-budget study in the UK, which is nothing like continental Europe.

This is the first country I have lived in, in which I really do NOT speak the language. When we landed in Bolivia I was a 2+/2+ in Spanish. Thank God I have what I do–at least I can read signs and menus, etc. but feeling like an idiot is a new one for me.

The weather. It’s still summer, and we have had many 60-degree rainy days. I can live with it, but it’s really not my kind of climate! I’m already stocking the house with plants to cheer me up.

This is my first tour as a State spouse. And it sucks. Not only that, but I’m going from being a real, live, normal adult, back to being a spouse/dependent. Ugh.

My first tour in a modern country. The differences: the Embassy community is much more widespread and independent because we don’t need each other as much. That’s OK, and I expected it, but it’s new to me. Refreshing too, but it requires you to be more assertive about meeting people etc. than in a “lifeboat” post.

Launching my own business. I’m taking it very slow right now because I want to get settled first (HHE arrives on the 19th!), but that’s scary! And exciting too, of course, but it’s all stressful.

I’m no longer a Mom with a capital “M.” For the first time both my kids are in school, and I’m not one of the playgroup crowd–or running the playgroup like I usually do! Actually I don’t mind this at all–I’ve done my hitch and I am ready to move on to other things. But again, it’s a transition.

So it’s no wonder I’m feeling a little strange! But this, too, shall pass. The husband is very happy here–I knew he would be–and since he has this way of spreading gloom when he’s not happy, I figure that’s a very good start. The kids love it too. I’ll find my way.

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