What's your story?

Monday, June 26, 2006

I just saw an advert for a theme park they have out here and was reminded of the following story - Have you ever had one of these sort of days?...

I once had a guy dump me on a roller coaster. I didn't see it coming - everything was fine all day and I thought we were having a great time together and then, while going up to a very large drop, he said, "I think we should break up. I can still almost hear the creaking of the wood panels and the cranking sound of the chain pulling system that brought the car to the top.  I was shocked; my head swung to my side to look at him in disbelief and all I could think to say was, 'What??', I probably would have cried or maybe even choked him, but just then, we started our plummet to the track below and all I could do was scream.

Who knows what caused him to choose that very moment to dump me (only to change his mind later). Maybe he thought I couldn't react too violently or badly while strapped into the the car of a roller coaster, maybe he wanted to make sure I would always think of him every time I visited an amusement park or maybe it just came out of his mouth without warning to even him because it had been on his mind for so long. I'll never really know, but what I do know is that it's a moment I will never forget.

Have you ever had an Ally McBeal like moment similar to this one? Or just a bad day that has a comical slant to it now that enough time has passed? What's your story? I'm always sharing my life with all of you and I'd love to hear some of your stories too.

Pin It


Sunday, June 18, 2006

UPDATE - After a nearly a week working on it and trying a load of different software packages, I was able to recover all of my lost data (except my emal contacts and messages, but beggers can't be choosers)! Phew, I feel so much better!

My computer crashed for some unknown reason, so with everything backed-up to a secondary hard drive, I did a system restore. For some reason that I still don't know, the system formatted and did the the restore to the back-up drive and I ended up losing everything. Everything! I'm sick about it. Even now as I type I'm sick to my stomach when I think about all that I lost. Everything I've done for my web training (including all of my websites I've done) - gone! Every document, every email, every contact from my address book, every piece of music I've paid for and downloaded, every photograph and every file - Gone! I just got my first job doing a website for my personal trainer. I've already submitted the design to him and that too is gone. I'm going to have to start all over again. I cried for about a half hour when I realized what had happened. I'm just gutted. I'm not sure if non-computer type people really get it, but I'm a tech and a big portion of my world - just got wiped away. I'll guess be busy for a while re-building my computer.

BTW - if in the last 6 months you've started corresponding with me via email - please email me with your addresses. Thanks!

Pin It

When did I grow up?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Occasionally, I like to put on my favorite radio station from back home. It feels good to hear the familiar voices of the DJs and hear the music I used to listen to; although a lot of it seems pretty dodgy these days - my taste in music has changed considerably since I've moved here. It seems that every time I put on the station, they're playing Bruce Springsteen (typical of a NJ radio station I guess) and I almost immediately want to turn it off, but suffer through to see what else they'll play.
This morning they played a song that reminded me of a time that seems to be a lifetime ago and I'm suddenly realizing that I'm so much older than I feel and how long ago it was that I was a teenager experiencing things for the first time. It's funny how I'm still making some of the same mistakes now that I did then. I guess some lessons are never learned.
I just can't believe it's been nearly 20 years since I fell in love for the first time or that it's actually been 20 years that I've been friends with my best friend (or that I'm suddenly living with out her for the first time in all of these years). I know it's been forever, but I can still remember those times so clearly. Which is weird because some days, I can't remember what I had for breakfast, but I can still tell you exactly what my first Love's face looked like the first time I saw him and what we were both wearing (oh Lord, now I really feel old)!
I don't feel 30-something. I still feel 20-something and yet, I got my first gray hair before ever having my first child. How is it that I'm now using eye cream to desperately try and stop any wrinkles from forming and I'm at the gym every damned day (6 days a week) and still haven't lost any weight in months? How is it that I suddenly don't like music played too loud and I now consider teenagers obnoxious? Wasn't it just yesterday I was one? And how is it that when I see a kid with a cigarette, I suddenly want to ask them - does your mother know you smoke?' When did I grow up?

Pin It

Anyone one for an expat meetup?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'm thinking of trying to put together an expat meet-up in maybe London. It seems that's where a lot of people are based out of. Wouldn't it be great to have a bunch of a American girls (and their British husbands) hanging out for the day?? If anyone else thinks it sounds like a good idea - let me know!

Pin It

What a difference a day makes

I'm feeling pretty good today. It was only yesterday I was feeling down, sluggish and forcing myself to go to the gym, but today I was up early and back from the gym by 11am. The heats been brutal but my mood feels lifted. I can attribute this to a few of things...

1) I have a bit of business coming in with my new make-up artist venture and I at least feel like it might go somewhere slowly.
2) I met with my personal trainer yesterday to go over his website I'll be doing for him. I worked on it today and it really feels good to finally be doing a site for someone else. It also feels good to have the confidence to take it on.
3) I've had some fellow expats contact me recently that have really made me feel so much better. It's been really nice to have someone to relate with for a change (other than my husband of course) that isn't going to make some silly American joke, only to point out the obvious - I'm different than everyone else around me.

I still have three football matches a day to endure until the world cup is over, but compared to yesterday - I'm really feeling better. I guess I can only take it one day at a time.

Pin It

I miss air conditioning

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm supposed to be at the gym right now. I think the heat has me feeling sluggish. I keep telling myself to just get up and go, but I really don't feel like it. The dialog in my head has been - 'I guess I don't have to do weights today. Maybe I'll just do cardio' and 'Maybe I can go later' followed by 'God it's hot today - why doesnt his damned country believe in air conditioning??' As I type, I'm still debating in my head on weather or not to just go before I don't go at all.
My weekend pretty much sucked. The only friend I thought I had - I lost over the weekend. Our doom has been impending for a while now. I won't go into details, but he told me he wasn't me friend after a drawn out discussion. I've been told that my standards are too high and I expect too much out of people. Maybe it's true. Maybe I do judge too harshly. I just expect that if I'm going to be friends with someone, we have to at least have the same values and morals. I can't respect someone that lies, cheats or has no integrity. I can't be friends with someone I don't respect. So yeah, maybe my standards are too high, but maybe it's something I don't really need to change. I don't know. Maybe I should just go to the gym...

Pin It

A Special Thank You

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I started this site as a way of keeping in touch with friends back home and it quickly became an outlet for me. A forum to be heard on those days I felt invisible as a stranger in a strange place. Living in a foreign country is not an easy venture and this blog helped so much through the really hard times. That being said, lately I haven't been keeping up with it because I've been feeling low the last couple of months and I felt like there was no need to be writing 'woe is me' entries all of the time. But during the last couple of months, a wonderful thing started happening - I started receiving emails and comments from people offering heartfelt well wishes, support and friendship . The best of the correspondence I've received have been the ones that have said 'thank you for making me feel like I'm not alone in how I'm feeling' or simply, 'thank you for making me feel less alone today'. Receiving emails and comments like those really mean the world to me because it makes me feel like I'm doing a good thing for people and it also makes me feel less alone and validates all I've been going through too. So thanks so much for the special people that have contacted me and have helped so much during this difficult time. I know it won't always be this hard, but it really helps to know there are people out there who know what I'm going through and are willing to listen when I need to be heard.
Much Appreciated

Pin It


Friday, June 9, 2006

It's been a really long week and I'm so glad it's Friday. One more day home alone and I think I would have lost it! I think this week was a tough one for me because Wayne had to work part of the day last Saturday, so it was an extra day by myself. Plus, the football was on when he got home, so I might as well be by myself.
Soccer I'm not looking forward to the next three weeks with the world cup. I have a feeling we won't be getting out much, but I'm sure I'm not alone there! The English and their obsession with football (Soccer to Americans) is a strange phenomenon that's really hard to get used to. I can't believe how big it is. It's all anyone has talked about for weeks with the world cup coming and there are England flags everywhere (funny how they're only patriotic when it comes to football)! It is slightly contagious because I have to admit that even I will be watching the England matches. It's the rest of the games that will bore me (yes, even the US team).
We're going out tonight for a couple of drinks and spending a quiet one alone afterwards. Now that I'm looking forward to! Tomorrow, we'll be at Doug's house for the game and probably again on Sunday. Luckily, Doug is not a football fan so we'll spend the day sunning in his back garden while Wayne watches the football on the big screen TV. Looks like everyone wins (for the weekend anyway, but I'll be stuck with match after match during the week)!
Anyway, I'm in better spirits today with the weekend arriving. Thanks so much to everyone that's offered support in the last month or so - it's really been lovely Happy

Pin It

Expat Frustrations...

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

I'm really feeling miserable today. It seems it's becoming a real trend these days. I've been consciously staying away from blogging because I really hate to be a wet blanket, and since a lot of what's bothering me has to do with being an expat - I hate to seem miserable all the time because I wouldn't want to give future expats the wrong impression of life as an expat. Everyone's experiences are different, so if you are a future expat, please keep in mind that what your reading may not be 'the norm' for all expats...
I have a lot of frustrations lately due to living here. I feel like I'm 15 again and depending on someone else for everything I do. I don't drive here, don't have a bank account or any friends for that matter. This leaves me lonely, walking a lot (way too often in the rain!) , asking for rides and asking my husband to write me checks for various things. It's a real frustration and it's starting to really get to me.
I don't drive here for a couple of reasons 1) For my first year here, my New Jersey DL expired and I couldn't drive here without it. After I went back and got it all sorted out, I guess I lost my nerve and I've been really afraid of trying to learn to drive here. 2) We only have one car and my husband needs it for work - plus, it's a stick shift which I don't know how to drive; not only will I have to learn how to drive on the roads here, but I'll have to learn to drive a stick shift as well as being on the wrong side of the road driving on the wrong side of the car! I keep telling myself that because we only have one car it's not like learning to drive is going to make my life any easier because I won't have a car to drive!
I also can't seem to get a bank account in this country (because I don't have any established credit here) so everything I do, comes out of my saving in my US account or out of my husbands pocket (makes me feel like saying 'thanks Dad' everytime he has to give me money). I can't write checks and half the time, I can't use my debit card because it doesnt have 'chip and pin' and a lot of stores won't except my card. This is more frustrating than you can imagine because it's inconvenient and really expensive with the exchange rate.
I stopped carrying a hand bag when I moved here because basically, I don't have anything to put in it. I don't carry keys when we go out because I don't drive, I quit smoking so no need to carry cigarettes and lighter, I don't have to carry a cell phone when we're out because I don't have any friends here so nobody calls me and I don't carry a wallet because there isn't a lot to put in it (no need to carry a driver's license I'm not using etc etc). So no hand bag. What I wouldn't do to need a hand bag again! A hand bag means you have a life, so girls - next time it's bugging you because your's is too heavy - consider yourself lucky!
The highlight of my week is meeting with my personal trainer because for a couple of hours, twice a week, it gives me the illusion of friendship. We laugh and talk and get on real well and for a little while, I feel normal. But the truth is that we're not friends. I've never seen him outside of the gym, we don't chat on the phone or go out for coffee - he's my trainer and as much as I like him - that's about all he is.
I'm supposed to be making calls to get some things going for my new business, but all week I haven't been able to get the nerve to pick up the phone because I have this overwhelming feeling that people won't want to deal with me because I'm American. I may be wrong about that, but I'm truly afaid to find out.
To top off my day, I had a fight with my Mother earlier and it just really upset me considering I was feeling down before she called. Maybe it's just one of those days, but I have to say that lately, it feels like one of those months!
I really miss my friends...

Pin It