There are many things which are simply not worth your time when living abroad. Chief amongst them for me is cutting out carbs, because I’ve got the rest of my life to be miserable.

The first year overseas is a learning curve in regards to language, relationships, and customs. Simple acts, like ordering a sandwich, or repairing a flat tire, are victories—hard-won victories that involve bargaining, tears, and/or secretive consumption of chocolate.

And as that initial terror becomes mas normal, it’s then a lesson in letting go of the compulsion to compare.

It’s so very much not worth your time.

Somebody is always going to have a better home, or well-behaved children. There will be mothers who seem to effortlessly integrate, and classmates who roll their “rr”s as if they were born in Cadiz.

And now that I have started CrossFit, there are those miserable souls who can squat with such agility and grace that I kinda want to weep. A bit.

The life abroad is a constant opportunity to find your true grace. But to do so, you need to let the layers melt away.

When I write, or think, or review my day before drifting off to sleep, I don’t always always feel peace. I second guess my words or my interactions. I question motives, and consider angles.

So not worth my time.

But in working through those feelings, I shrug off another layer. I learn, as I so often tell my kids, to say less and do more. Remove toxicity, Stay Gold, Ponyboy.

Tomorrow, I will celebrate my favorite festival. I will gather with dear people, and eat good food. My children will play until they are caked in dirt, and when I close my eyes, I will know, por seguro, that I was exactly where I needed to be.

Alchemy through humility. Heavy becomes light. The sun streams through the pine trees, and I am home.

So very much worth my time.

3 thoughts on “Alchemy

  1. Thank you for your words about letting go of layers that are not worthy of investment. I will remember this – and hope to apply your perspective – next weekend as we join my sister and her family for a first-ever gathering of the oldest and second-oldest surviving generation. The occasion is sister and brother-in-law’s 50th anniversary. This fragmented family is trying, as adults, to learn to accept one another. It’ll be an interesting weekend!

  2. I crave your perspective. The refining, the letting go…it’s something I’ve been feeling the need to do again for a while.

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