Monday, December 6

The risky side of risk taking

Our 2 month "anniversary" of living in London came and went a couple weeks ago but I never documented it. I've been debating on how I want to approach this month's reflection.

Moving to London was a huge risk for Sean and I. It's nice to dress it up in words like opportunity, potential, excitement, adventure...but when you take away the glitz and glamour of it all, it was a risk pure and simple.

We sold our cars. We sold our furniture. I quit my job. and expats we became.

We told ourselves the risk was worthwhile, continuously striving towards the inevitably amazing reward that was sure to come from all this risky business. We patted ourselves proudly on the back for making such a courageous life decision and spouted off lines from Robert Frost about taking "the road less traveled". We scoffed and deflected the "conventional" stepping stones of college, marriage, house, baby. We knew we'd get to it eventually so why rush it?

and yet, here we are, almost 3 months into this adventure and it is not the picture Sean and I painted for ourselves. Recently, we've faced some really major setbacks here...the kind that grip you in your gut and make you lay awake at night, staring at the ceiling in an absolute panic about the future.

We are doing our best to maintain a state of calm in the midst of this life chaos that is currently happening to us. Sure the red wine intake has certainly stepped up a bit, but we are doing our best not to let it overtake us (the stress, I mean, not the wine. I'll always let a little wine overtake me)

It is hard when we are feeling this way, for me to not get caught up in the comparison game. Logging onto Facebook becomes dangerous territory as every newsfeed brings announcements of houses bought, babies born, milestones accomplished. It amplifies our problems and the life choices we've made and is like a siren screaming out: YOU SCREWED UP.

But this is the gamble we took. This is where the risk of risk-taking really lies. Whenever you take these chances, failure is a possibility. You hope it won't be, you make every effort to avoid it, but sometimes it just happens. The question then becomes: What will you do about it? We rolled the dice and so far, we've lost...but all we can do at this point is cut our losses and move forward. We need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and look towards a brighter day. (I'm pretty sure I mixed a few metaphors there, but you get the point)

We can't compare ourselves to our friends. We aren't them. We are us. and it is as simple as that.

and I will continue to tell myself that over and over and over again, until I start to feel better. I will remind myself that everything happens for a reason, that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, know, all of life's important lessons.

The greatest challenges are still ahead of us. We are United States bound in 9 days, which will provide the battery recharge we so desperately need, but after that it is back to London. Our adventure here isn't over and even if our reasons for coming aren't as exciting anymore and the picture we painted as been tarnished and faded, I refuse to spend the next 7 months sulking.

We may be down, but we're not out yet. Not to mention, I have Kate's wedding in April to attend. Someone told me that she's not allowed to have a bridal party, which is probably why I never got the phone call to be her Maid of Honor, but I know my invitation is in the mail.


Preppy in Polka Dots said...

You guys are on an amazing life adventure! You haven't failed! You are living your lives and hit a bump. You will get past this! I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. And you can't measure your life against someone elses! Everyone is different. Love you both!!

Jennifer said...

You two are amazing for attempting this adventure....walking off of the plane to your new adventure and living it despite the harsh reality of the bad aspects makes you two the strongest people I know. I spent the first 3-5 weeks of studying abroad in complete homesick panic and depression, and honestly you were the only person online when I desperately needed someone from home to speak to. You are the strongest person I know and I wish that I could come over to your flat after work and pop a bottle of the amazing spanish wine I just discovered and give you a big hug to make it al better, but hopefully a sappy comment on your blog will suffice! I LOVE YOU...

VL said...

This is honest and I like it. Some of your best words here.

AT said...

We've all been there dear. The trip home will give you some needed recharge.

Around 4 months in, I clearly remember crying in our flat asking David why we had been "cursed" with the opportunity to come here b/c we clearly wouldn't turn it down even though it was not a great time to uproot. Also don't be surprised if you're sad to leave home this Christmas - again, I was crying in July after our summertime visit. But low and behold, a mere one month later, things started clicking. Hang in there.

Linda said...

You've gained so much. You won't even cash those chips in until later in life, when spinning a yarn, either to a friend, a child ,a stranger, or a loved one your story includes "when we were in London.." or "when we went to Amsterdam...".Your currency is your strength and convictions, your wealth is your knowledge and experience. All you're doing is enriching your wonderful lives. Live on, and sweat the small stuff later...DOD

Anonymous said...

Hey Keep your head up, everyone falls down. It always seems to be worse when you are going through it. But trust me, it is not as bad as it seems. You are both strong and will overcome many milestones, including this one. Just put on your Superman capes and fly, you both have what it takes.

Lauren said...

Hi Marie--You and Sean should be proud of yourselves for the risks you've taken. Moving to London was a dream of yours--imagine if you hadn't taken the risk...wouldn't you always regret it?

Have an awesome time in the US and I hope things get better for both of you! xx

Elizabeth said...

I have panic attacks every time another friend gets engaged or I see that another baby has been born. And then James comes to my rescue and reminds me that we should be happy being us and not compare ourselves to everyone else. And I still think that what you're doing is amazing even if it is tough. You have each other and that's certainly something. The house, marriage and family will come. And when it does you'll be reminscing saying "remember that time in London".

Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun said...

This is my first time stopping by your blog but I can only imagine the challenges doing something like uprooting your lives would bring. You seem to have a very good approach to it all, though. I'm sure things will continue to improve. :)

Caitlin said...

You know, I don't think many things in life turn out the way we picture them in our heads. It all feels like a crock of you know what because when you're little, grownups know EVERYTHING, right? Yeah, about that.

I can FEEL your struggles, your doubts, your fears - all of it - from across the pond. I know, girl, I know.

Let me share with you what a dear friend of mine shared with me in a time of struggle.

Someday, when things are calm and you feel like you've got a grip on life. When you're confident about the decisions you've made and you're happy from the deepest part of your heart, you'll smile and whisper to yourself, "It was worth it. It was worth it. It was worth it."

Worth it for all the BS, the tears, the wondering, the sadness, being homesick - it will all be WORTH IT.

Much love going out and over to you <3

Anonymous said...


Angela said...

I'm so glad that you mentioned that you can't compare yourself to others. It's a hard lesson to learn, but an important one. Life is not a race. There is no prize for getting married first, having a baby first or buying a house first.

I'm visiting from Hollaback Health and I'm enjoying your blog (except for the Mariah obsession, but hey, to each her own) :D

LC said...

Hey there,

I found your blog through today's Hollaback guest post, and I have to tell you this post resonated with me so much.

About a year ago, I quit my job, left my hometown, and drove out to California with my boyfriend. I don't regret it for a second, but it was very. hard. Harder than I expected. It strained our relationship, our bank accounts, our emotional selves, and made us put off dreams (marriage, career goals) that probably would have happened already if we'd stayed back there.

But I still don't regret it. You KNOW what your life would have been like if you'd stayed in the US, but who knows what great things are in store for you now? I do love California just as much as I expected, and one year later, with perspective, I can admit that moving was harder than I thought, but also character-building, eye-opening, and broadening. And I promise, it gets more fun too.

Sorry to write such a novel - guess I should do a post on this myself :)

Marie said...

I love each and every one of these comments so much. I cannot tell you how great it has been reading them, each time my email dings and I see its a comment from this post, I am renewed

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