Our special guest writer today is Sandra from A Momma’s View blog. Sandra has a great blog where she talks about her expat adventures, homeschooling her children and her feelings and thoughts as a mid 40 year old woman, wife and a mother.
Sandra, thank you for sharing your story with us today!
Writing your Real Story
When I grew up I always thought my Dad was the one who had a real story to tell. Real people tell real stories, right? In my books he was one of them. A person who had the right to tell his story. Because it was a great story. A story only life can write. A story of persistence, love, success, obstacles, achievement, happiness, creativity, willpower, motivation and inspiration. A story of being at the right place at the right time, being offered a fantastic opportunity and then having the guts to grab this chance and make something out of it. I thought this is what a real story is all about.
I still think that those stories are amazing.
I have also realized though, that we all have our personal real story to tell and that all of our stories are in fact worth listening. Some might be more exciting, a bit like a good book we buy or a movie we love watching. A story that takes us in, that makes us feel breathless and makes our heart pounding while listening to it. Then there are the other stories, the beautiful ones, maybe slower ones and yet still so worth listening to.
I realized that I have a story to tell too.
It’s not the story of an expat that I have to tell. It’s not the story of the wife or mother I am. It’s not the story of homeschooling our children. And it’s not the story of being a woman. It’s “simply” the story about me and who I am.
It’s the story of growing up thinking I’m loved and protected and well guided. The story of the little girl who so desperately wants her mother to be proud of her and to love her. It’s the story of the little girl who is loved deeply by her Dad but so desperate to make sure her mother realizes that she tries hard to do the right thing. And do it the way her mother wants it done because it’s the only way.
It’s the story of going through my teenage years without much friction between me and my mother but many loud words towards my Dad. The story of growing into a woman, thinking I’m free to follow the path I chose, to find my own personal love story and for the first time step feeling like I need to leave those tracks I was put on to follow.
The story changes there. It turns into the story of realizing that suddenly you are not good enough anymore because you choose to follow your own path, your tracks, even if it means putting them down first. And there is someone from the outside backing your decision up. It’s also a story of growth, persistence, pain, fear, willpower and discovering who I truly am. And a story about life and how it actually does guide you.
I strongly believe that nothing happens without a reason, without trying to point you in the right direction. So when we got the option to move to Australia 10 years ago, I know that this would be the biggest chance for us as a family but also for me as an individual. It was the one way to finally be able to focus entirely on us. It was the chance for me to break free and be myself, listing to what I want, where I wanted to got, how I wanted to do things. Maybe this realization was also the reason behind the fact that we always looked at this move as a permanent move.
So we packed the couple of things we didn’t want to leave behind, made sure our dog would follow us soon too and my husband, my son and I boarded that plane.
I cried when the plane took off. Not because I was sad to leave but because I felt an incredible amount of relieve. The weight lifted off my shoulder. It was one of the best feelings ever. Finally I felt like I will be in charge of my life. I felt I would not have to explain anything anymore. I could take charge of my life; of my family of the way we do things. It was about us.
We settled, we built up a new circle of wonderful friends and were joined by our beautiful baby girl. We grew. Not just as a family but also as people. We grew because finally we could. Finally we were no longer limited and put in place. Finally it wasn’t about what other people expected us to do but what we wanted to do, how we wanted to approach things.
Don’t get me wrong; we were not simply just left alone. Stories are never simple. They are never straightforward. We had our obstacles; we had our frictions with our past. Too often, especially in my case, the past tried to creep up and get the grip back I was in for way too long. It took a lot to shake it, to keep going, to not let it get to you. To turn down that good-looking apple, this sweet seduction, over and over again because I knew it was poisoned…
I wasn’t always successful. Too often I thought that that one step forward was made and that everything finally would be good. So I made that step closer again, I opened up, I let this person in again. Only to get hurt again. But my story doesn’t end there. I learned. And I grew. We kept growing as a family, as a unit.
Life is a story. It’s a story about relationships, love, disappointment, pain, lessons to learn, falling, getting up, falling again and getting up again. It’s a story about growing and taking on board the lessons life tries to teach you. It’s about choosing wisely which battles are worth the fight and which ones you walk away from. The story is about your development.
In a way it’s almost like a tiny expat adventure, because you will have to venture out. You will have to settle again with something new, something unfamiliar. You have to let go the old and invite the new in. It’s about people you leave behind and the ones you welcome in.
My story is not over yet. The last page is not written. But the stroke the story is written got stronger. Most importantly I tell my story now and not someone else’s.
I know that I did it. I got to where I am now. I got here because I found the right person to join me on my journey, a man who loves me for who I am, who supports me in whatever decision I make but who also tells me if I’m completely wrong. I found a partner who let’s me be myself, who encourages me to grow stronger and is not aiming on keeping me weak in order to get me to do the things the way he wants me to.
I also think that our expat journey had a lot to do with me finally emerging. That day we stepped on that plane was the day all the ties were cut. It was the moment we let go of whatever was part of us before. In a way we let go of the story that was ours until then, ready to write a new one. Ready to redefine ourselves. Ready to let go of all expectations which I’m still working on…
Hi, I’m Sandra and I blog at A Momma’s View. Pretty much 10 years ago my husband, son and I moved from Switzerland to Australia, our dog following us only shortly after. We’ve settled in in this beautiful country, welcomed our baby girl to the mix and made heaps of new friends. My blog is about our little expat (or should I say transplant) adventure, about my feelings as a mid 40 year old woman, my thoughts about being a wife and a mother, and also about homeschooling our children. I don’t have a clear niche. You find many different things on my blog and I like it that way. It’s like having a conversation with a friend, you know. You chat about many things and not just one subject.