I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog and yes, the majority of the time I’m ranting when I do post. However there are those very rare times of wonder in my life when I’m inspired to write posts like this one that have a positive spin. Sure…they are few and far between….but….as the saying goes, great things come to those who wait or something to that effect…
Thus I feel it’s time for a bit of a progress report in lieu of the challenge my family and I faced just under 3 months ago. That’s right, the Groenewalds packed their bags and moved to the UK. We braved the unknown and stepped away from everything we had built. Our careers, loved ones, material assets, friends and of course our comfort zone that is the country of our birth.
Let’s be honest, it was never going to be as easy as it was in the B.C. days when you walked out of your literal man cave with fur, rags and spears in hand to walk a couple of miles to the next home in the mountains. Then again, that’s probably a bad comparison considering what lay between you and your destination. I guess traveling to a new country in the modern age, even though it’s a 20 hour flight with plenty of administration. Has its advantages over dodging stampeding Mammoths and hungry Sabertooth tigers.
Anyway, I digress and I’m moving off topic. The point is this. It wasn’t easy and it was probably the hardest and scariest thing I’ve had to do in my life. I would never admit that to anyone except you dear reader. So there’s your bonus for being so dedicated to reading this post…#winning. The first month was a complete nightmare, full of chaos, frustration and anger wondering whether it was the right choice. Yes, it should have been expected under the circumstances but in all honesty, there is only so much you can handle before you begin to exercise your towel “throwing in” rights. It’s not the move that drains you or the closure of your existing life in the old country which in itself is a challenge. It’s the resetting of your life as a blank slate. You have to rebuild your credit record from scratch, you shed tears buying a packet of chips when you consider the exchange rate of the currency you brought over, you slide on icy roads in your car like you are performing in the Japanese national drifting championships and you hear strange noises at night that scare the crap out of you. Only to realize that it is in fact not a woman screaming in fear but a git of a female fox performing the “Vixen’s Scream”. Yes, I know you think you are the man…but seriously…you should try waking up at 3am to hear something that blood curdling. Note: Conveniently send the woman to check on said obscure sound so that you can watch her back…like the cunning strategist that you are.
So yes, it wasn’t all sunshine, rainbows and unicorn magic…but you know what. I can now say we’ve survived the worst of what the first 3 months had to offer. I can say it was worth every single second of frustration that we went through. Sure we miss our families, our friends and the comfort of our knowledge of the country that birthed us and it’s still not as easy as we had it. Due to the fact that we’ve had to work hard to build our lives again from the ground up. But it’s getting better. The she-bear has a job she loves, my son (baby bear) is in school (learning to read at the age of 5) and I’m doing great. I love the weather, (people here think I’m a right nutter —> such a Brit boy) I’ve got a good job that’s dynamically technical and on the whole, things really are looking up. I can honestly say we are starting to see the fruits of our labour and for the first time in a long time, there is a real possibility of making a life for ourselves here.
Oddly enough, the thing that sparked my need to post is the pride I felt in my son this past Friday morning when I learned that he had received a certificate for doing well at school with his spelling. It’s a massive adjustment for him as the curriculum is generally a year ahead and he has started his schooling two months later than the rest of the children this year. Dad, mom and son have been working very hard together to expedite his learning curve and evidently we’ve made progress even though he gets frustrated. More so when dad hounds him to sit down for lessons after literally spending an entire day at school. My son, bless his heart has filled his father with more pride than he will ever begin to comprehend.
So watch this space depending of course on whether I’m inspired to rave or rant (majority of the time, it’s the latter) because exciting times lay ahead for the British Groenewalds.
And so, I say unto my loved ones, as the British government once said in an effort to raise public morale during WW2…”keep calm and carry on!”