Being an expat is exhausting sometimes, and although we expats have moved across the world to live our dreams, we aren’t immune to fear. I’ve been learning lately that it’s okay to be afraid of things, even though I want to present the best me.
Recently my boyfriend and I started watching the Harry Potter movies. They are my all time favorite books/movies and hold a special place in my heart, so when I found out he hadn’t read/seen them, I knew we had to remedy that. One funny moment we had while watching the first movie together on Skype was the Sorting Hat scene. My boyfriend exclaimed, “This is random!” and I had to laugh, knowing how seriously we Potterheads take our house sorting.
I am a Gryffindor and I sometimes forget what that means. Sometimes it’s hard to see yourself clearly when you are always looking inwardly. But by getting outside opinion and by taking a step back from being harsh on myself, as I always am, I have come to see just how much bravery and nerve I have in me.
I moved to a foreign country alone, learned an entire language through sheer will power and determination (and a few amazing teachers), and I have taken up hobbies such as taekwondo, kyudo, and I even went scuba diving. Sometimes I see my friends on Facebook posting about how far they ran that day, and I start to feel lazy, even though I exercise as much as I can. But comparing myself to those people does me no good. I may not be the best chef or blogger or teacher, but I had the nerve to try, the willingness to persevere, and the gaul to keep going when I didn’t want to. Beginning a new hobby or task is always a challenge, and at the core of it all, it takes guts to get up and do it.
I had to want to break out and do something new and different and a little terrifying. Last year I finally finished my novel, and although the task of editing still lies ahead, daunting as it is, I know I will complete that step as well. I also took my kyudo test and was able to see my progress over only a few months since I started out.
I am looking for jobs in Korea and thinking about how much my life will change yet again now that I am in a relationship with someone from a different country, culture, and background. Both of us had to be willing to jump in even though we knew it would test us. I recently got an A in my second graduate school class. While I am proud of the fact that I got a good grade, I should remember how nervous I was about even thinking about having a full-time teaching job along with studying for a Master’s degree.
Life is scary. Sometimes I get so caught up in the stress and worry that I want to feel validated by measuring myself to others, but in the end, everyone has hopes and dreams along with their fears and anxiety. I have faith that it will all work out, and I will always have a challenge in front of me, as well as a few hundred behind me.
So keep it up everyone! Do the things you love. Stop asking yourself “Will I be good enough?” and start telling yourself that you already made it to where you are now, and that’s something to be proud of.