In case anyone has figured it out yet from my experiences, being an expat is hard. It's one thing to study abroad as a student, knowing that you're in a temporary experience and will soon return to the familiar. It is something completely different to make the conscious decision to make living in another country your reality. It is exciting to start from scratch and learn an entirely new system of living and working. But that's not to say it isn't one of the most challenging things you'll ever do either.
I am so blessed to have the Scarecrow in my life. As much as I've always been fascinated by Ireland I don't think I would have ever made the decision to live here permanently if it weren't for him. He makes living here infinitely easier for me. He understands our insurance. He knows where to go to get the car fixed. He understands jokes, slang, and hot topics that would fly over the head of anyone who hasn't lived here their entire life. And I have finally realized that I have come to use him as a crutch. Sometimes I worry that I won't get it right; that I'll say the wrong thing. And so we go together. Certainly that's what marriage is about, working together as a team. But we need to learn that I can handle it.
A couple of weeks ago the Scarecrow heard about a meteorology and monitoring symposium to be held in Galway on the radio. Since I subscribe to the list serve of the Irish Meteorological Society I'd heard about it but hadn't thought much of it. He asked me if I was planning to go. I had assumed when I first heard that I would have to work, we would have some other activity planned, etc. But when I realized my weekend was free I decided what the heck!
We had toyed around with the idea of the Scarecrow coming along, hanging out in the city or maybe golfing with a friend. But when none of those ideas panned out we realized how silly it would be for him to tag along when he would be much happier at home. This seems a little ridiculous given that I'm a grown and capable woman, but I was a nervous to DRIVE by myself, navigate the city, figure out where to go, and be comfortable in a setting where I knew absolutely no one. And I think the Scarecrow was nervous too. That's when I realized that I have allowed him to become my security blanket. Of course I need to rely on my husband. Naturally he is my greatest support and cheerleader. But I can't be afraid to do things on my own.
I have no idea how people make such a transition on their own, without a "native tour guide" like I've been blessed with. These people are certainly braver than I can ever be. But my new goal is to take more opportunities to stretch and do my own thing without the Scarecrow there to take the lead.
I leave you with your Irish tid bit. Everyone loves a good flash mob, especially when it's local! For some perspective, the Scarecrow works just next to this airport.