So it’s been one year. One long quick year. I understand that the year didn’t pass any slower or faster than any other year but today we all looked at each other and said, “Has it already been a year?” and “Has it only been a year?” We just sent out our Christmas letter with a few of the things we have done over the year but I thought I would blog about about the emotional roller coaster that has been this year.
The language learning roller coaster. It starts out slow as you climb the big first hill. You struggle to say words like hello and ask for the time. You then reach the top and start to pick up speed. You can tell people you like to go to the movies and you can order a coffee without stuttering. Then they another hill and you slow down you start to turn. Everything you learned before starts to feel different. Another crest of the hill and you think you are further along. The next hill doesn’t seem to big but you realize you were looking at it from a distance. It’s a bigger hill than you thought and there are twists and turns again you make it to the top but this time the ride down doesn’t seem as fun. It’s the up and down part. You are good at one thing but worse at another. You have a conversation with a neighbor about living in France but you fail the grammar test. You catch your breath and breathe deep hoping not to vomit. The next hill is coming and you are still going. It’s a long ride. But on you go…
The parenting roller coaster. This is the ride I (Tony) have struggled with the most this year. My highs have been when my daughters have been low and their highs have been when I was low. Being a student has meant there is has been very few nights away from home. It has been overall a good thing but a hard thing to get used to after being up and running as much as I was in the USA. I can’t say I haven’t vomited on this ride and lost my hat along the way. But it has been a ride I have learned to ride and hang on at the right moments.
The cultural roller coaster. Things are different and that’s okay. Things don’t always work, look, taste, feel or seem the same and that’s okay. I have never liked shopping but add another language, slower checkout lines and a ton more people and I dislike it more. Finding the things that can be tension relieving can be difficult. Things that used to soothe can now be frustrating. Personality is wiped clean and rebuilt as you learn a language and culture. Humor is tough to find. Emotions are raw but each moment God provides His grace. And His Grace is always sufficient.
Life is a roller coaster. But it’s a good ride.