Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I as well as many if not all other women struggle with the feeling of inadequacy in who I am. There are a couple of things I know I am, some good and some not. God is first in my life. I am in love with my husband. I am weird and silly. I say and do inappropriate things, sometimes intentionally but most times not. I do not get along with everyone, even though I always thought I was a person who did. I tend to say things I don't mean when I am pregnant. I like my laundry to smell like the snuggle bear. I love it when people can enjoy something I cooked. I love people and getting to know them. The feeling of becoming a mother is one of the best feelings I have ever had. I hate it when people treat me like I am a child. I mostly find circumstantial things the funniest, which is why I like shows like Arrested Development and The Office. Sometimes the most awkward things in life are the best, like when we saw a guy riding his bike yesterday with tight spandex on and a very prominent hole on his right butt cheek framing the pushed white skin coming out. I know many things about myself, but trying to express them here is sometimes as though I'm trying to fit my finger through a needle's eye.
When I came to Germany I never thought that ever so difficult feeling of inadequacy would be so prominent in my everyday life. The culture, the loneliness, sitting at a table of people speaking German at record speed and straining to understand what is being said. Getting lost in translation, having it later translated and fake laughing ten minutes after the joke was said has never been something I have ever experienced in my life. When I first started high-school I had a similar feeling because I was shy, but I got over it. I started making myself apart of things. That's the thing, if you want to be apart of things it has to be you making the effort and not expecting everyone else to accommodate for you. I have learned patience in one of the hardest way's possible. For me to fit in is to learn the language and I certainly can't learn a language overnight. It takes years. People are very kind in offering to speak English, but the problem there is I will get used to it and not learn the German I need to. Understanding in the heat of the moment that this is life right now and I need to accept things the way they are is one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. Sometimes you just want to give up. I was talking to another American girl who married a German and now lives over here who is going through a similar thing as I. We expressed how we feel like a part of our personality is gone. We can not always express how we really feel, make jokes, or just be us.
Last night after dinner with a bunch of Germans I realized something. I was not in control. That's the part I have a hard time with. Sometimes you feel invisible because people don't even look at you when they talk, they only look at the people they think are understanding them. It's not intentional, it's just natural. Taking little trips to the bathroom to pray and to remind myself it is temporary helps a lot. My heart now even more than ever goes out to the people who even in their own culture don't fit in.
I have learned that as much fun as it is to be apart of things and included, it's not all there is to life. If I thought that my life would be pretty pathetic right now. Yeah at times I tend to think that and I have a breakdown, then later realize it's not true.
I catch myself feeling sorry for myself when I over and over again feel like I'm an alien here, but it only makes it harder. Ultimately I need to turn to God for those feelings of inadequacy and reflect on being me and how fitting in doesn't make life happy or more complete.
Some people may wonder why I share such personal things of my life on my blog. I don't really care. For one it's a way for me to express how I feel and hopefully other people get something out of the lessons I learn in my life. There's something about seeing some one's raw insides, then you know you can identify and perhaps learn a lesson from it or not make the same mistake I did. If I weren't sharing the shitty stuff in life as well as the funny and exciting things I would be lying and making my life here look like it's a fairy tale when it's not. It's hard. But to help me get through the hard God gives me the good. I do have some really great people here who care about me and are there for me, and I am so grateful for that. And the best part about it is that I am never alone, because God and my husband are always there. I have certainly gotten to know both God and my husband in ways that I wouldn't have hadn't all of these events happened in my life. Christoph has been there for me through thick and thin, and his life is the only one that being a part of really matters. He is now my family, and of coarse the grapefruit sized baby in my tummy.
Today is a wonderful day because God gave me breath and life, a husband who loves me, and a little bundle of love on the way. I would say that including the difficulties because those are the times that make you grow, I have a great life and I thank God for it everyday.
This is me and who I am does not depend on things I always thought it would.
There is a verse that reminds me of something very crucial in living my life to it's fullest.
"....But one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."