As I mentioned in my most recent blog post, I have been living in Virginia for two years now. That is totaling my life in the United States to five years altogether.
I can honestly say, the time has been flying by since setting foot on Virginian soil on August 13th, 2018.
I adjusted pretty quickly back to life in the United States, much more quickly than when we first moved to Kentucky in 2011.
Life as an Expat back in Kentucky
Thinking back, I do not think I ever adjusted living there. Sure, we took some trips out to Chicago, the Smokey Mountains, New Orleans, St. Louis (twice), but only to either pick up or drop off our car, and New York. And that was amazing!
But most of the time was spent waiting. I was waiting for the next move, waiting to get out of there. I told myself all the time that I could not wait “to get out of here”; at least three times a day.
My god was I miserable.
Living the American way of life was hard, and I was a naive 28-year old back then.
Also, the fact that I did not know who I really was made life more difficult then. Only after the next move, I realized the way I function is called being an introvert. And finally, I set some boundaries to what I was willing to deal with and whatnot.
Do you know the movie “My big fat Greek wedding”? That is how I felt dealing with my husband’s family. They love to hang out together all the time.
I am the exact opposite. I come from a family that is the exact opposite.
It was so hard trying to fit in.
I love them all, just in small doses, and that seems difficult for people to accept.
Expat Life in Virginia
But my life in Virginia?
I enjoy living here. I enjoy the amenities that come with living close to Washington, DC, and, most of all, I enjoy owning our first house.
2019 was spent making this house our home, and I love it.
We have painted walls and a whole deck (twice!) in 98 degrees, stained a large fence, fixed up sheds, cleared out an overgrown backyard, planted shrubs and flowers, and made this place us.
I love our backyard with all the animals. We have had deer, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, turtles, and so many different birds, that are still currently feeding their babies. I love that about living in the United States. The wildlife here is fantastic. And it is right in front of your front door!
Not comparable to living in Germany.
This year we have been able to enjoy the fruit of all this work and take advantage of the beauty. I have never been sitting outside as much as here. I sit there and listen to the wind in the big trees around us, and that is heaven.
We still are trying to keep busy with some little projects, but it is all wants and not have to dos.
It’s kind of crazy how COVID 19 has come precisely this year, and we own this beautiful piece of land right here, and we can even take walks in our backyard.
Enjoying the Little Things
Every evening, I harvest a whole bowl of our own grown tomatoes and use them in salads, or make tomato-mozzarella sandwiches. It feels right, and oh, so good.
The only thing that is missing in our lives right now is being able to go out to a restaurant or a pub for some out of the house fun.
It has been since mid-march that we have gone out to a restaurant, and it drives me a little crazy.
Going out to dinner or breakfast is a staple living the American way of life, and I miss it dearly. So, the fact that case numbers are going through the roof and there is no end of sight drives me a little stir-crazy. I want Mexican at Soup and Taco!
Making ME a Priority
On another note, I also feel like I have used my time living in Virginia to improve myself.
I have made me a priority for once.
Especially 2020, before COVID 19 did even start here, has been a real transformation for me so far.
I started the Invisalign thing back in 2019 and am going to finish soon. Excited!
I have worked on myself psychologically, and try to be calm and more positive in everything. I try to always find the positive in a negative. Try it out. I ultimately believe that everything happens for a reason and that if one door closes, that is for a good reason. Just keep looking for the next door to open, because that is the one that is meant for you.
Physically spoken, I have finally found a face-cream to combat my melasma in my face. Thanks to the brutal sun in Kentucky, my face suddenly started developing melasma back in 2012, and it only got worse until we left Kentucky in 2014 and returned to Germany. I have tried laser procedures, cosmetic treatments, different face creams, but nothing has helped me until now. I use the Eucerin Anti-Pigment series, and although my melasma will never completely disappear, this stuff has made a massive difference for me, and I am so happy and grateful for it.
Finally, I have worked on my physical appearance since January 28th of this year. Can you believe that I am making sport three days a week for six months now?
I was just not happy about myself anymore, and wanted to shed a few pounds.
I have found that this pandemic thing has been a blessing in disguise to lose the weight—no more distractions from going out, eating, and drinking. So, there is the positive of COVID 19 for me!
Living life in another country can be exciting, but also nerve-wracking when it does not go the way you want. Trust me; I know what I am talking about.
It is mostly your attitude that decides which one it is going to be. I feel like knowing yourself is the key to being happy. Setting boundaries and staying true to who you are is the foundation of being able to cope with whatever life throws at you. It is up to you how you react to a situation, only you.