Life can be frustrating at times. As a matter of fact, sometimes life throws us enough stones that we can feel completely defeated. It can be hard to move forward or look up at these points in time. Sometimes there is so much fog that the future isn’t simply unclear, it seems to not even be there at all.
I hate it when my friends are facing those moments, but I’m happy to help them find the way when they ask. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the purpose of our situation. Sometimes we need to find a purpose in it. Sometimes we need to get out of it completely. And yes, sometimes we need more than an anecdote to move forward.
For me, being an expat comes with moments so upsetting my heart feels like it will shatter into a million pieces. It comes when I can’t speak for myself, when I can’t speak up for others, when someone is hurting and giving them a hug would be a great issue. Even more, it comes when I feel lost.
I often need my friends at times like these. I need them to remind me of the purpose in this process. I need them to remind me of my own life’s vision and the role this plays. I need them to give me the anecdote that helps me move through the moments of utter sadness and devastation.
Instead, I tell them I’m okay. I say, oh it’s just cold. I tell them funny stories about school, and interesting things I see in the supermarket. I tell them about my pot of soup.
I don’t tell them that I cry every time it snows. I don’t tell them about the teacher that makes me question my purpose. I don’t tell them how incredibly lonely it is to not understand anyone. I don’t tell them that I feel absolutely unloved living amongst strangers who don’t touch. I don’t tell them how much sleeping in on a Sunday offends the core of my being. I don’t tell them that not being there for them hurts my heart so much my chest is sore.
Instead, I remind myself that I asked for this. I remind myself that there is more to learn here. I remind myself that God has never left me alone in the wilderness. I remind myself that this, this is not my home. I remind myself that I have a home to go back to. I remind myself of all these things, so that I can remember to be grateful. Because gratitude changes my perspective and kicks me out the pity party. For me, gratitude takes me from misery into happiness, and from tears to laughter.
I’d rather laugh than cry, so I do.

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