• Carole



I have decided that my blogging needs to be intimate as well as informative. It is great to explore this wonderful country Kazakhstan and the city called Almaty, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't include writing about my personal feelings and emotions. I have decided to call these blog posts, ‘Confessions of an Expat’. Today's post is about moving with a slightly cracked heart.

When I applied for my job in November I never thought I'd be moving to the other side of the world, carrying someone else, other than close family and friends in my emotional truck. Ideally, you want to move with as minimum baggage as possible and I am not talking physically. However, I had a new piece of luggage. I didn't intend in the slightest, for this to happen. I guess we never do, but somehow the universe decided that maybe I needed to test my emotional thermometer. It makes perfect sense. The universe wanted me to open up. I have so much to give she tells me, so much warmth and love (as I type this I laugh to myself). Prior to this, I had been single for three years and to be honest, never wished to be with another person in an intimate relationship again. Trauma will do that to you. I won't go into details in this post, but will at some point, I promise. Anyways, fast forward 12 months, and I had fallen for an unexpected person, that had somehow been written into my path.

It was not immediate and yes we were in a lockdown, so how does or did this happen? Well, boys and girls, I won’t go into details about all the matters of the heart, but my emotional thermometer is working pretty fine I would say. I am able to now care for another person and actually, dare she say (dramatic old me), envision a beautiful future with someone else. But this came at an emotional cost. I have now moved overseas with a slightly cracked heart, because I fell too deep, knowing that our future would not be written together. Now before you interject with your opinions on how we could make it work, etc etc, these were not the options available. This person did not feel that they could do a long-distance relationship (please no judgment of their character) and hats-off to them, they were being honest with themselves. Does this hurt, oh yes it does. Did I cry, yep just a little tender few tears.

So where do you go now and why write about this. I guess I want to be open about my challenges of moving overseas. I wrote a previous post about feeling lonely, although in a crowd, and actually, some of that loneliness is due to this factor. I am grieving the loss of not only my family and friends, who are no longer immediately available to me as my support network, in such a new environment, but also a person I so wished could do this journey with me. I am a true romantic and believe in love. Maybe that is my flaw! I laugh to myself. I think being out here I also realise why people do ‘expating’ as a couple or couple up so soon after they arrive. That intimacy you want, the basic needs set out by Maslow come crashing in quickly. That is not to say in the slightest that we must do it that way. This is just my emotional observation so far. Doing it on your own is amazing and you learn beautiful things about yourself, but do you get lonely for love? Sometimes.

Back to my slightly cracked heart. I know there are a few of you that will have some suggestions for my remedy. I know I will be okay. I think the hardest part was falling deeper than the other person. Being willing to do the long-distance thing and whatever came along with that. Ultimately we fell differently and I fell a little more than I maybe should have allowed. I guess we can not always control how our hearts attach to one another. Logic sees black and white and I often dream in colour. I can be logical and I get the logic, but my heart keeps returning an undeliverable email response.

Moving overseas is not always easy emotionally. You need to be resilient or be prepared to build resilience. A great couple of books that really helped me process past and present 'emotional health', are Guy Winch's How to Fix a Broken Heart (here is the link to his Ted talk) and Emotional First Aid. My mother had brought these for me a few years back and I still refer to them today.

'Expating' requires you to navigate new people and also make friends and support networks quickly. Doing this while feeling emotionally wounded isn't advisable, in my opinion. That would be my advice. Unless both of you are on the same path, it can be difficult. I allowed myself to venture and feel, knowing that my distance would be too far for the other person beforehand. I knowingly put a slight crack in my own heart. That is the price I have paid for dipping my feet in the fountain of love. But if I am honest, although I would not take the moments and experience back in the slightest, it has made the first few months of this experience much harder. Timing is not always great and this timing has kind of sucked. Feeling vulnerable in my new found environment, I wanted to cling as tightly as possible to the people that I felt gave me security and safety, this person was one of them. My polarity was off and rather than looking forward I was reaching back, with rose-tinted glasses. Although I am doing fine now, my advice to me if doing it again would be, to close doors way before I left, to allow my emotional grieving and healing to happen, before moving, so I could start with a clean emotional slate.

That's My Confession. Until the next one, big hugs.

Carole xoxo

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