So the last few weeks have definitely been some of my most challenging, as I mentioned yesterday. (And yes, you are not mistaken, I am completely trigger happy with the ‘Publish’ option these early days as a new blogger, two days in a row, wuh-bam.) Not only was there the uproot from Geneva to Nyon, and then the passing of my husband’s father after quick, vicious bout with lung cancer, but there was also Nash’s rite of passage into the 18 month old realm of absolute chaos, and then the realization that most of my friends in this expatriate haven of French-speaking Switzerland have already or will be in the near future, leaving me.
I know, I know, woe is me and whatnot, especially after my ruminations yesterday about the sensory beauty that surrounds me here in Switzerland, but come on. Six years. A best friend a year. You do the math, that’s a lot of time spent cultivating quite a bit of closeness and then saying goodbye to that presence in my life, at least from a physical standpoint. And really even more than that because seriously, it is hard to keep up that tight ‘So, whatcha’ up to today’ on the telephone from thousands of miles away.
And so here I sit feeling a bit sorry for myself that one of my closest mommy-friends is moving away in a few months. She hasn’t even left yet and I am already grumpy about it. There are times when I lament, ‘ If I know that a new friend is leaving in the next year, she’s out.’ Or, ‘I am not wasting my time on expats anymore…’ Or even still, ‘Whhhhhy do I keep making friends from my own cultural/linguistic background, I must only befriend with Swiss women, they aren’t leaving anytime soon!’
But then I realize how my abandonment (ok, so I am being a little dramatic) is spawning this blog in the first place and I guess I should be telling all you deserters (and you know who you are), Thank you! I miss each and every one of you so much and for the most part don’t get to speak to you nearly enough, so here is my new outlet for *hopefully* inspiring you to share more with me. Isn’t that how this all works, karmically speaking? The more you give of yourself, the more comes back to you in return? But on the other hand, and to be completely frank, in some ways me writing like this feels like self-indulgent yammering on about my spoiled pampered life here in Switzerland. N’est pas?
But wait, back to other hand. The fact is that as glamorous as living abroad sounds, the reality is that it is actually no different than anywhere else’s daily affairs (Western world specific, of course). We get up. We eat our cereal. We run laps around the kitchen. We chase cats in the garden. We reheat our cold coffee a fourth time. We put on Yo Gabba to have 25 minutes of peace. We call our friends to organize our day. We read crap online. We forget to pick up the baking soda at the grocery AGAIN.
You see where I am going with this?
Granted, some weekends we will make trecks up into the Alps for a fondue (rare). Or jump on that three hour train to Paris (done it only a handful of times since arriving here.) Or float in Lac Leman (Geneva) to cool off on a hot summer day (because we have no A/C and let’s face it, its only warm enough to do that here about 2 months out of the year.)
So what I am getting at is that it’s the same you-know-what. Bedtime ritual probably looks as similar as that of the morning, no kidding. So before you go rolling-your-eyes-and-want-to-punch-me-in-the-face on me, have a think about that.
And this brings me back to my earlier lament about my friends here. With all the beauty (yes, the views are breathtaking all the time) and all the Europeanness and all the ‘glamour’ of this life here, the real reality is that friends don’t stick around. And it sucks big time.
But what it does mean (to lighten this up a bit) is that NOW I have this network of beautiful, amazing, interesting, affectionate women in my playground that is the world, right? And while that usually means that early morning chats are out (minimum 6 time zone hours ahead is not on my side), if I DO happen to wake up and can’t sleep in the middle of the night, guess what? I am not alone!
What I am trying to say as you so generously check in on my goings on is that hopefully me getting this out, me sharing my life with you in this forum will motivate you to do the same (it already has for some of you!) And then, I don’t have to feel as though this is all in vain, that I am just blabbing on to hear myself type. Because I miss all of my friends and family immensely all the time, and I wouldn’t take back a second (even if they were VERY limited) of time with any of you, that is for certain. And seriously, guys, Facebook just isn’t cutting it for me. I feel like a stalker, plain and simple.
…to all my friends (and fam) far and wide, my self-proclaimed excusez-moi for being so out of touch over the last six (or one or two or TEN) years… love, nat