Yes, Adults cry!
When I was 28 years old, we moved from Kiel, Germany to Bordeaux, France. I had already learned German fluently and thought, hey I can do this again. I spent a few crazy weeks setting up our home, and then I organized my first language classes. By this time, about four weeks into life in France I knew it was desperately necessary to learn this language. You see, just to get our TV hooked up I had to call my husband’s secretary and have her talk to the TV guy. The same for the internet and most of our bills. I felt completely useless and inept! The pressure was on me to learn this and learn it fast.
I needed a babysitter for the summer to take care of Carli during my classes and had the brilliant idea of flying in one of my teenage nieces.
Sydney came, and within a few days of being there, I had my first lesson. Three grueling hours of French grammar being taught in what language? French of course. My brain was burning, and I had to do this five days a week! After a day or two more I came home, I saw Sydney playing with Carli. She asked in a friendly chipper way, “So Ali, how was French?” I didn’t answer. I threw my bag on the floor, myself on the coach and starting sobbing. Sydney and Carli came and stroked my hair, “What’s wrong?” my answer was a simple “It’s so hard! I don’t want to do this, but I don’t have a choice!” Sydney’s reply, “ I didn’t know that school was hard for adults too.”
Yes, I cry, and yes I still cry. Expat life and being thrown out of your comfort zone time and time again is hard. Be real and own up when you’ve had a bad day. I don’t know why we think we need to hide our frustration. I know Sydney remembers this incident, and now as a mother of three little ones I’m sure she cries too. We are all thrown hard things in life. Whatever your hard is, own it, embrace it and know that you’re not alone.