On Off the Couch

I’ve written it a gazillion times. I’m very fortunate and very lucky. I’m healthy, have family, friends, travel, enjoy my (new) job, etc, etc, etc.
But since I’ve come back from this last vacation, I’ve been in quite a funk. Not such a funk that I don’t laugh. Or that I don’t socialize. (As I get older?) I am realizing that all these little things that I don’t feel like doing when I don’t feel fantastic actually help me in the long run. I’m working out regularly. I’m doing all of the things that someone should do to feel happy.
I have a good…everything.
But I don’t feel good. I feel disconnected to the world. I don’t often go into town anymore. Edmonton doesn’t feel like home. Quebec doesn’t (yet) feel like home.
I sometimes feel like my Las Vegas weekend with my cousin, friend, and cousin’s fiancée wasn’t great for my “moved far, far away from home” movement that I was finally okay with. I loved spending the weekend with them. It’s rare that I get to see anyone that I knew pre-MG for more than a couple of hours at a time. It made me feel that I have no real connections.
It’s not factually true – although I’m not a huge phone person (the times I can talk are either at before breakfast my time or after a 12 hour day of work), but I keep in touch with a few people via email. My mom, my grandparents, a couple of friends. But I don’t know like the day-to-day stuff. My Vegas trip was so awesome. And not because it was SO AWESOME (well, it was pretty awesome), but I got to hang out with people that knew me pre-MG, people that I a long history with. People that shared the same experiences as me WITH me. I wasn't "Nicole from Madagascar". If anyone asked where we were from, I said Canada and didn't elaborate much (Ok, lie - I did tell one taxi driver, but that was when I was drunk).

While I love Louis and the girls (and his family is seriously awesome), we’re all on new grounds together. Even though we’ve been involved in each other’s lives for two years – it’s TWO YEARS, not five, or ten, or twenty  (or thirty two). Louis and I are still young in our relationship and learning how to balance work, fun, and kids.
I don’t mean this to discount the friendships I have since moving to MG. But it’s just different. They all have their day-to-day lives and they all work 72+hours per week and they have their own shit they’re going through.
This time I had that super sad, kinda sick to my stomach feeling when I was leaving Canada (which pretty much happens every time).

The night that I got back from Las Vegas, I was tired and irritable. Louis was struggling knowing that he was saying goodbye to his kids the next morning. I couldn't sleep and somehow fell asleep on the couch in the early hours of the morning. I didn’t get a chance to ay goodbye to the girls. It makes me feel horrible. I didn’t need to have a big crying send off, but I really wanted to say goodbye to them…and I didn’t. I’ll see them in July and really - it's a small detail - but it bothers me. Louis and I had our spidey senses up and we both knew that we were struggling a bit. Yes, we’d be back again soon…but sometimes it being away can feel like an eternity.
The morning we got to Frankfurt, Louis was a little cranky with me. It was a pretty minor event, but it was the straw blah blah blah. I had enough. I didn't want to be around anyone. I gave him all of his travel documents that he needed and told him to go and book a hotel or do whatever he wanted but I didn’t want to spend the day with him. He knew something was going on in my head but wasn’t sure, he stayed patient and refused to leave, which frustrated me even more, and outside of Terminal B airport I had a nice crying session in front of the world. I was crying for the people that I miss. I was crying for the worry I had for how my involvement in the girls’ life impacts them (we’re pretty sure they are fine, but I love to worry…), I was crying for the people that I didn’t see, or didn’t get to spend enough time with, or didn’t talk to enough while I was in Canada. I was crying for being overwhelmed with all of the million errands that I had while I was in Canada. I was crying because being a “blended” family is never easy and probably never will be (on that same note, I don’t think any family is easy? No family is perfect and without their struggles). I was crying because even though I’ll be back in Canada in September, I’ll be a visitor. I was crying because I don’t know what goes on in everyone’s day-to-day lives, and I won’t know for a long time, maybe never again. Lastly, I was crying, because I was so freaking tired and jetlagged that my brain didn’t know how to work properly.
(FYI - Obviously, Louis didn't leave, he stayed with me while I had my dramatic airport scene, I calmed down, and then we went on exploring the city. In a very, very, tired state)
Phew. I feel a relief writing that down. After all my “I’m so adjusted to expatriate life” …spending a “normal” weekend with my cousin and friends set me back what feels like a year of trying to get used to being super far away from the world I used to know. I’ve been unhappy and anxious lately, and I haven’t been able to figure it out. [Side note: when I say unhappy, it’s like, moderate unhappiness, I’m not like sitting at home crying or anything. I just notice some signs of ….unhappiness that I’m not comfortable with.]
So, I’ll have to learn to be a bit more patient. To let myself feel homesick and people-sick and just realize it’s all part of the expat game. Maybe I am a baby, and maybe I am emotional, but “toughening up” isn’t something that’s ever going to happen. I may learn how to deal with things differently or in a more ahem, adult way, but I’ll always be the person that cries if I’ve had a super bad day. I’ve been fighting that for a long time but maybe its just time to accept that if I have a crappy day, I’ll cry a few tears, then get on with the rest of my life.

Well wasn't that just a wonderful little therapy session.


  1. My Dear Girl, You have had a very big change in your life just getting married and you need to give yourself time to miss your single life and grow into married/family life. Be patient Darling, it will all come together for you. God Bless your heart. We are missing you as well we just don't tell you often enough. Love G&Gxxoo


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