Lessons I Learned From Living Abroad-#2

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions. Most of them great, some of them anxious to get back on the track of life, and some of them nostalgic for the care free life we were living in China.

We’ve been doing our best to get back into the swing of things and back to our day to day routine but things around here still feel different. It’s because we’re different, and I love it.We had a Happy New Year, and I hope you all did as well. We made our way up to Zion on Saturday with Derek’s siblings. It was nice to enjoy the red rocks that we’ve missed so much, and to be able to breathe the clean air quality while we hiked our 8 miles. We met Derek’s parents for a late lunch in Springdale as well.

We celebrated New Year’s Eve with a few friends. A lot of our friends were out of town this year, so it wasn’t anything too exciting, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t special. Like I’ve said before; a holiday is for time spent with the people you love, and that’s exactly what we did.

Speaking of people I love, I am excited to share the second lesson I learned from living abroad.

Our happiness can not depend on other people, especially people who don’t value who we are.

I’ve always been a big believer in loving and accepting people for who they are, and to love them in any form and any way that they are. I’ve always loved to make the effort with my friends and reach out to them when I know that they need it, and even when they don’t. This quality of mine has resulted in me having many friends and very close family members with many different personalities. And I have always enjoyed it.

Leaving to China was hard for me. I knew I was going to miss the life I was currently living so much… My weekly dinners with my in laws, my girl nights with my mom and sisters, my coffee dates with Marie or Jamie. My dance parties with my boys, and my wine nights with my girls. My grandma’s cooking and my grandpa’s jokes, and of course my cuddle puddles with Harvey.I knew that all of these things were little parts of my life that contributed to my overall happiness. What I didn’t know is that I could be completely happy without them. When all of those things were temporarily taken away from my life, I had to learn how to be happy completely on my own and to put all of my focus on myself and my husband.

I didn’t realize how dependent my happiness was on the people I love, and how much effort and energy I was putting into these relationships, until I didn’t constantly have them around. I am not saying the energy I was putting towards these people was a bad thing, but I didn’t realize how much energy I wasn’t spending on myself until it was the only option I had. 

I have learned to love myself in a way I never thought I would. I am more in touch with my emotions, I enjoy alone time more than I ever have, and I have accepted who I am mentally. The highly sensitive, emotionally expressive person that I have always been. Even it comes off as weird, or “too deep” for others. 

With all of this, my connections with others have changed since being home. I now know that I am happier putting my energy towards myself and my alone time instead of putting that energy towards people who don’t value every part of me. I now know that no matter how far I leave, the people who I am connected to, will always be connected to me. My family and my best friends, who know every piece of me and who still love me. And to the people who don’t value every single piece of me, well I know now that I can be completely happy without them, so I am not wasting my time or energy anymore.

Sometimes it takes taking everything and everyone you have ever known away from you, to feel 100% complete genuine happiness. I know have a sense of happiness with myself that I have never had, and all of these people who I surround myself with are just a bonus.

Here’s to self love, self acceptance, self improvement, and complete happiness. And everyone who not only add to it, but accept and value it as well.

Onto the next adventure, Wren

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