Just a little over 5 years ago I moved from Paris to Shanghai. With Nicolas. Because of Nicolas.
I had very mixed feelings
Excitement at staring a new adventure, but at the same time scared as I was in China for goodness sake – so a mixture of fear and enthusiasm, as I was leaving a corporate career of 14 years in a multi-national company that had provided me with great opportunities, but had never really made me feel fulfilled.
I was starting a new journey.
Being me, I had made sure that before I left Paris, I had all of my ducks lined up work-wise. I was changing career paths, which was really thrilling and things had sort of fallen into place (or so I thought – more of that another time), so I would have something to start on part-time as soon as I was more settled.
It all made sense
But before getting to this stage I had really struggled to make the decision and take that leap.
When Nicolas first told me he had this job offer, I was extremely proud and happy for him. But I had assumed I would just be able to get a job transfer as well. Which did not happen. And it made me scared.
No security net, no financial independence. Depending on someone else?
I was not one of ‘those women’. I could not even think of that.
Looking back it almost makes me wince about how many twisted judgmental thoughts made up my beliefs. And how that is extremely powerful and can make us stay stuck, paralysed and unable to see a way out.
I needed to go through that painful process to free things up, and let go of the heavy weight of those beliefs that were not helping me at all.
Nicolas was a rock. He helped me see things differently. He made me feel safe. He told me to look at this as an opportunity to really do something I loved.
That was my turning point
It was so liberating. It changed everything.
Suddenly, although it was scary I felt free. I could do anything I wanted to. No pressure.
The ‘blame game’
Because of all this, I have never played the ‘blame game’ – the ‘I am sacrificing it all because of you and your career’.
The ‘blame game’ usually shows itself when we are stressed.
When your basic needs aren’t met – and there are a lot of them when you move abroad – you feel vulnerable, you have a huge sense of loss of identity, you feel hopeless at getting simple things done because you don’t know the ropes. So you blame it on ‘him’. After all, if it weren’t for him and his career, you wouldn’t be going through this.
So instead of playing the blame game or saying it’s all his fault, play another one: ‘the opportunity game’: I have the opportunity to live in a different country and I have the time to do all those things I never have time for ‘back home’.
- learning a new language
- taking up a hobby
- doing volunteer work
- learning a new skill
- starting a business
- spending quality time with my family and being a domestic goddess
- meeting new
- exploring the surroundings of where you are living
- being a social butterfly
Or whatever tickles your fancy. There is no right or wrong.