The Courage to Walk Four Feet

I’ve spent the last half-hour being the biggest self-bully I think I’ve ever been.  I was in the midst of baking hamburger buns (coincidentally the best buns ever) when my doorbell rang!  What a lovely surprise!  I opened it to my neighbor and my sister-in-law who invited me over for a chat and a piece of cake (or at least, I think she did.  She was speaking Danish, and my brain wasn’t expecting that, being quite preoccupied with trying to remember what one is supposed to say/do when one opens the door.)

However, I declined the delightful invitation, saying I was in the middle of baking bread and couldn’t really leave.  They smiled and said that’s alright, but they’ll be right across the hall if I want to come over.

They’re so nice.  They’re so sweet and nice and I so want to walk across the hall and knock on the door and talk to them while their sons play wild games, but instead I’m listening to said sons and said wild games through the wall and unsuccessfully holding back tears because I don’t have the balls to go over.  Most people don’t even need balls for that.  To be fair, though, it doesn’t take much to send me into tears lately.  Yesterday I drooled a large blob of toothpaste on my shirt and bawled for fifteen minutes.

I’m trying to convince myself that I’ll go over on my way to pick up Andreas from the train station, even if it’s just to say hi and thanks and bye, and hopefully I’ll be able to.

It’s just hard to stop berating myself for being such a silly, silly person, and I just think about how I wasn’t always like this.  Proof:

See?  I’m so social and confident and outgoing that I don’t care that my new friend seems completely uninterested in me.

Ah to be four again…


9 thoughts on “The Courage to Walk Four Feet

  1. Aaah, you are so cute! But don’t worry, we have probably all been there. At times it can be intimidating to socialize in a foreign language. And also to always be the stranger in a group. It requires a lot of strength every day, and some days are better, some are harder. I think you should pop over for a while, most of the times it is a lot easier than we think. And don’t be too hard on yourself! After all, it is you who had the courage to move to a new country! 🙂

    • Thanks 🙂 I try to keep that in mind, when I’m feeling particularly shy. I hope you know how grateful I am for every little bit of encouragement!

  2. I hope today is a better day. I had a friend once who always told me to “root” myself to the ground, I didn’t think much about it then, but now it seems pretty wise. It’s like when you do yoga, you need to be in balance to find the balance in the different yoga poses. Haha! I’m not very good at explaining :S ..but I need to think about that pretty often, usually my feet are 1 m above the ground, they’re not “rooted” 😉

    I agree with Kirstin, it takes a lot of courage to move to a new country, be proud 🙂

    • 🙂 Thanks Alexandra! You’re better at explaining than you think you are, I totally get it! We’re doing a bit of planting in the back garden today, so I can think about how to root myself just like the little baby plants 😉

  3. I totally hear you on this! Yesterday I was biking in Copenhagen and it was raining, I was cold, and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I was so overwhelmed with all the bikes, traffic and people. I felt as though everything was just too unfamiliar for me to comprehend and relate to. I was tense and realized I have a really hard time relaxing here. I couldn’t wait to get home and hide under the blankets and romanticize about life in Canada. Life is one HUGE experiment! Keep your chin up, girl. Living as an expat does not come without its challenges, but there are many amazing opportunities around every corner! Looking forward to more posts!

    • 😀 thanks so much! This gave me the boost I need to not be so scared of going out and joining a little picnic/planting party with my neighbors! It helps so much to remind myself that I’m not alone, and other, perfectly normal, people feel the same sometimes!

  4. My confidence has taken huge blows in the last couple of months (again…), and I feel so overwhelmed by things I wouldn’t have this same time last year… and I’m technically in the same spot I was then, not in a whole other country, trying to socialize in a new language. I wish I had the same confidence I did when I was 4 too sometimes, but then again, that confidence was very untested– and when it comes back this time around, it will be even more unflappable.

    Zeta, you’re amazing, and brave and so very wonderful. You’ll get your confidence back, and in the meantime, know that no one worth your time will ever think anything about you that should cause you to beat yourself up. (Though I know that’s easier advice to dole out than to internalize)

  5. I loved reading this blog because it reminds me EXACTLY how I felt when I first moved to England, and we all speak the same language here! It is really hard and it sounds like your doing a great job adjusting to life in a new country. I remember when I moved to the UK (it will be 7 years now next January), and all I did was cry. I even went and saw a doctor (who had moved to the UK from South Africa) and he said “you’ll cry and in a year, you won’t cry as much any more.” He was right. It does get easier I promise, but even now it’s sometimes still hard. So good for you and you definently aren’t alone! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your comment. Every little bit of encouragement always helps! (And that sounds like a pretty wise doctor. I’m excited for a future of less crying, but I’m also (on the good days) enjoying the present, as difficult as it can be.

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