The why of it all… my expat life


Once upon a time lived a very adventurous girl who always thought she would somehow change the world. She set out to do just that…

Years after travelling the globe and searching what it was she was looking for, she found herself at a loss for words. The more she wanted to change things the harder it seemed to be able to do so. It was sad for her to think that life had little meaning, as insignificant as the ant in the garden.

You can be a good person, and there will always be someone there to tell you that you are not. You can be a generous person and they will always be someones to say you are selfish. You can love wholeheartedly and they will say you are evil to the core. There is no winning, and honestly at times life can get a girl down.

So what’s next for the girl? I am not sure. I am still working towards my very expensive degree which will make little to no difference in my current situation. I am at a job where I am not always appreciated or respected by my colleagues, I am in a country that views ‘Americans’ as overtly stupid, and I cannot seem to find people that make it all bearable. I am busy, which is good and my business is a huge success, but so what. Life seems a little empty here for me, and lacks those family bonds I was hoping to create. My family have all broken apart, bits and pieces spread across the world and moving too close to anyone makes no sense. I feel very alone in the world this morning as the weather changes from spring to rain again.

By all standards I am doing everything right; working out every day, reading and broadening my mind, making plans and accomplishing them, but I just feel sad.

I started thinking long term, five years down the road, after working very hard and saving my pennies I plan to cash in my chips again and retire. I know I seem a little on the young side for retirement, (and we all know we already did the pre retirement in France for five years). I will be fifty then but I am having difficulties seeing the why of it all. Why work so hard, why try to conform, why try to learn and teach, why make yourself better, why when it makes no difference.

Then it hit me. A little ripple in the water… that’s how it starts. The ripple of enlightenment in the eyes of my students, that percentage of change in their thinking that could set them into the world towards world peace or some kind of amazing innovation. Teaching is the most important job in the world, and I think of the hundreds if not thousands of children I have met along the way, the minds of the youth in our hands a few hours per week. If we can share the window into other cultures, show the similarities and not the difference we can show the beauty of our diverse world, and the simplicity of it all. Then they too will go forth trying to make positive changes.

Maybe I am not making political steps, or starting a movement marching down the streets with flags held high, but every single person can make a positive impact on the ones around them.

For those moments of discouragement and difficulty, there is always a light that keeps us going.

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