My first trip on an airplane was as a 22-month-old flying from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Fayetteville, Arkansas via California. I lived in 13 houses in the first 18 years of my life and split my childhood between coconut trees in a small province in the Philippines, idyllic Arkansan suburbs and smoggy Manila.
When you start your life as a third culture kid, it turns out you just keep looking for it and it keeps looking for you. University came next, again in northwest Arkansas, and I followed that with three years in Australia, a trip around the world, which is how I met the man who would become my husband in Geneva. We lived there for three years before moving in 2013 to Stockholm, Sweden. This summer, we packed up our life in Stockholm for our epic move to the far side of the sea, Melbourne, Australia.
I’ve moved on average every three to four years in my 33 years, it’s a way of life written into my DNA, stamped on my passport and echoed in the chambers of my heart.
But moving to a different country is one thing as a child or teenager. Moving as the parent is a different story. This is where you find me today, in the middle of my second international move with kids. So here it is, Falling Forward: 31 Days of Thoughts and Tips on Transition.
Because transition is all about falling: falling apart, falling down, falling in love, and because transition is all about moving forward, into the next thing, to the new place, to the new life that is waiting. There will be some reflective writing, but there will also be many practical, short tips. You can expect posts on grief and talking to kids about moving, tips on car and air travel, making bucket lists, taking it slow and saying goodbye.
I wrote most of these posts in Husband’s childhood home in Frankfurt, Germany, literally in the middle of the most transition-heavy month of my life. Our kids woke up too early, we went to bed too late, we are all grieving in different ways, and we were (are) blind exhausted. I am not writing this out of any expertise, but out of a desperate need for these things to be true in my life. These are notes to myself first, ones I hope will resonate with you as well. Yes, I grew up moving around every three to four years, but no, that didn’t make me an expert. It has only been the past five years that taught me how to grieve, let go, practice gratitude and embrace the new, good things.
This series is somewhat specific to physical moves and the emotional upheaval that comes with it, I hope that whatever life transition you find yourself in right now, you will find a kindred spirit in the thoughts expressed here. This is my offering to those of you who are in the middle of the life change, may you find rest and peace in these words this month, and may we be each other’s companions on the journey.
Now it’s your turn: If you are new to the blog or an old friend and are following along for this series, please say hello in the comments box. What kind of life transition are you in right now?
Here is a rough schedule of post for the next four weeks. I’ll update this page daily with the new links for easy navigation.