It is a story that started about 2 years and 20 odd days ago.
Just after we settled into life in South America I started to have reoccurring ‘phantom’ migraines – I say phantom because I never really experienced the full extent of pain and despair that I have heard many people have encountered.
What I experienced was a really dark greyish cloud that constantly hovered above me .EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for 2 years.
It was a discomfort I just chose to live with.
It was a pain that I knew medication would not heal.
It was my life in a SPANISH speaking country.
I remember very clearly about 3 years ago when hubby suggested that life in Canada was due to come to a close and Chapter Chile was a possibility. I grabbed hold of this offer with with both hands and thought how lucky I would be as an adult to learn a second language whilst emerging myself within the country/community. How brilliant I would become at speaking, reading and writing the spanish language.
Oh…..if only that were true.
I arrived in Chile.
I lived within an EXPAT community.
I had so many friends.
I had so so many English speaking friends.
I had a relocation consultant who became my very best friend.
I had absolutely no desire to further my education and learn how to speak Chilean spanish.
So I became an Expat snob.
I missed out on learning spanish.
I live with a migraine EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
The funny thing is I didn’t even realise I was living with this greyish cloud hovering above me until today, nine days after we have arrived in London UK.
Whenever we move / relocate there is a short period that hubby and I retreat and tackle relocation issues.
We just get on with it.
Pink jobs, Blue jobs – His jobs, Her jobs – Small jobs, Big jobs – however you present it, it’s ‘stuff’ that needs to be done and we both know that we have to retreat in order to successfully complete our tasks at hand.
After we poke our heads out from the cave it is clear to say that we have conquered enough of our tasks and we are ready for company.
Tonight we headed out for dinner as a family of six to celebrate transitioning across the seas.
Tonight we sat there laughing with each other, we conversed with the waitress, we found the washrooms without assistance, we negotiated our way through the menu options with ease.
Tonight I realised my migraine had disappeared.
While I will never. ever. say my time in Chile was wasted (NEVER EVER WILL I SAY THAT)
I will say that in the aftermath I can see that I did live with a migraine and I didn’t do anything about changing my situation.
I know now I could have waved my greyish cloud on, I know I could have taken control of my situation, but I didn’t and I did suffer with my choices.
TODAY my senses are on FULL ALERT here in London.
I feel useful again.
I have regained my position in the family tree because I don’t have to rely on people some thirty years younger to make family decisions for me.
My children can see me as the assertive decision maker that I normally am.
I feel free.
Had you told me some 2 years ago that I would not embrace the task at hand I would have laughed in your face. I was ready for anything and everything.
BRING IT ON I said.
Fast forward 2 years and plonk me back in an English speaking country, now I say THANK YOU GOD for google translate, for all my Peruvian/Colombian friends and THANK YOU GOD for all those Chileans willing to watch my game of charades and bird dances I conducted in order to be understood.
Yes my migraine has finally disappeared.
Yes I am feeling a massive weight off my shoulders as the mum of a family living in an English speaking country.
And yes I would plough through the pain all over again if it meant I would walk away with the same friendships and family experiences I have taken with me during my time spent in Chile.
I have said it before and I will say it forever.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!!!
Vive le Chile!