Sunday, April 29, 2007

old, new, changes, happiness and opinions

A quick introduction...

This is my first entry on Ornery Women. I originally posted this blog on MySpace... something I have been doing less and less in recent months, mainly due to some extremely narrow minded 'friends' misinterpretting my words. I actually deleted every blog i'd ever written a few months back. Now, I have Ornery Women to turn to instead. I'm excited to be here, a place where opinions can be expressed freely.... ahhh, so liberating.

For people that aren't aware... I'm British, relocated to America, and I have a few things to say on the matter. Mostly good, so far... who knows what will happen, rest assured, I'll let you know!

It's been a while since I logged down any tangible thoughts, particularly on MySpace, preferring instead to ponder more and speak less. Apart from that, I haven't really made time for myself to sit and write. "Do, contemplate, evaluate and then express" Well, I've had a lot of 'doing to do', before I could sit back and contemplate any of it.

I'm all too aware of the perils of speaking one's mind openly on the internet. All too aware that 'tone of voice' sometimes gets misconstrued when typing rather than speaking. All too aware that, sometimes, individuals will read one's words and choose to take them personally, as if all words written must automatically be about them. (If you think they are about you... well, what does that tell you about yourself... hmmm?) I'm not here to place judgement. I'm here to speak, honestly, give my opinion and express my personal feelings.

No Americans were harmed in the writing of this blog... ha!

OK, off we go...

The last year or so has been a time of tremendous change for me. I uprooted myself from everything that was familiar and safe and it was the best thing I ever did. Doobie and I were finally together in Tennessee by 29th December 2006 after a full year of waiting for paperwork and visas. We married in Murfreesboro on January 23rd 2007. What can I say about the day itself? I think private and perfect would sum it up nicely. It was very relaxed and intimate, exactly as we'd both wished.

A friend recently wrote that I was brave to emigrate. I was a little suprised by that, I mean, I was flattered, of course, but suprised nonetheless. I had never really thought of it as a brave thing to do. Having said that, I'm proud of myself for coping with the move to a new country because, no, it wasn't easy, but at the same time, i'm aware that millions of people have to leave their home country because they don't have a choice. I did have a choice. It was my decision to come here. I'm one of the fortunate ones who chose to move from my country of birth because I was moving towards something great, rather than running away from something terrible.

By something great, I mean:
My husband and his family. New friends. An extremely creative community. New music. New food. New.... well, countless things really, up to and including, (and it has to be said).... a new and interesting climate.... (bye bye seemingly endless grey dismal days of drizzly spitting precipitation and clouds that can't even be bothered to burst, dramatically). Now I have thunderstorms and tornadoes to look forward to! I'm funny like that.

By something great, I do not mean:
Fox News, endless commercials for erectile disfunction and racist redneck meth brewers and crack addicts. I thought it was just a stereotype, but no, these people really do exist. I have seen them with my own eyes. I wish I hadn't.

Moving on...

I miss England - very much, actually - but I've reached the stage now where I can think of my 'old home' and my 'new home' and both leave me feeling happy and grateful, with not a tinge of sadness. My old home is now a fond memory, rather than something I'm trying desperately to cling onto.

The inevitable homesickness did hit me quite hard for a few weeks, but it was nothing a few massive husband-hugs (new word), dog licks and pep talk phonecalls from mom and dad couldn't alleviate. It was difficult but it really didn't last that long. I chose to stay somewhat secluded in my new home for a couple of weeks after our wedding, just to allow myself the time to accept the fact that I would not step outside the door and hear birdsong native to England, I would not see the postman that I'd said "hi" to every day for the last seven years and I would not see the elderly lady with the limp... who would pass by my home everyday, with her dog... with the limp...ha! I miss seeing her - I didn't even know her, but thinking of her and her funny little dog now just makes me smile. See? Fond memories. No real sadness anymore.

I noticed this change just recently. I realised I was slowly starting to think "that's different to what I'm used to, but I like it", instead of, "that's different to what i'm used to, i'm confused".

Who knew I could put a letter in the mailbox at the end of the driveway, raise the little plastic flag and wait for the mailman to post my letter for me?!!! So that's what the plastic flag's for! It may seem like a ridiculous thing to get excited about, but trust me, finding out little things like that leave a big impression when you move to a new country. Also, the drive through thing. Drive through fast food I was familiar with, of course, but, drive through banks, drive through utility bill payments, drive through weddings, drive through funerals... ok, I made that last one up but it wouldn't suprise me if they do exist here.

Becoming more aware of the little differences between living here and living in England has helped me to feel more secure and more importantly in many respects, helped me to laugh again. Yes, we all speak English, but, my goodness, there are so many words that leave me asking "What does that mean?". When I first arrived here, I found it daunting that I would have to sometimes ask people to stop talking and translate for me, now, it's hilarious.

If there was any doubt in my mind, about my general level of happiness right now, it has been put to rest by this small but significant fact:

I can't stop painting.

I'm finding, for the first time in years, that I have so many ideas, I can't paint them fast enough. I wouldn't say all of the concepts are amazing, by any means, but the ideas are starting to flow freely again and that's all I would ever hope for. Painting is the one thing that I can always turn to. I've painted since I was old enough to hold a paintbrush (thank you mom), and now, not only am I painting at a reasonably fast pace again, without ideas running dry, I'm also getting the opportunity to paint in the same room as my husband, both of us in our own little creative worlds, seperate but together. It's wonderful, to say the least.

Marriage:
I love it. I love him. I love us. I'm one half of a very strong partnership. We communicate unbelievably well and we're both aware that marriage requires effort. We both work hard to talk openly, honestly, resolve any differences and move on. Oh - and mom was right, I'm never going to go to bed on an argument. Hugs at bedtime, always, always, always. While i'm on the subject of marriage - why do some people think they can put a ring on their finger and then expect the rest of their married lives to be simple? I've never understood that. A wedding ring is not a magic wand, it's not a difficult concept to grasp. Anyway, i'm digressing.

Something I am very aware of (and thankful for) is this - I learned to love myself fully, just before my husband and I met, two years ago. We wouldn't have married otherwise, it would never have worked out. How does that saying go? "Love thyself first; then all other love will follow".... or something like that. My memory for quotes is not one of my strong points. Suffice to say, we both know that to be happy with each other we first had to be happy with ourselves, and we are.

Friends and Locality:
Since early childhood, I've had three very close female friends and I was dreading moving away from them. Knowing that I could talk to them via e-mail certainly helped, but not seeing their faces, hearing their voices, was always going to be a sad and frightening prospect. They were, still are and will always continue to be my angels. So, I admit, I was a little nervous about moving here and having friends that may have just liked me 'by association' (via my husband). Slowly but surely though, I'm making new friends and building on friendships that began last year on my previous visits. I have a great circle of friends now, that I trust, love dearly and am very grateful for. They've definately helped me feel more confidant about socialising and just walking up to people that I don't know, to initiate conversations. Murfreesboro, at least the area of the town that I live in, has a fairly tight knit community. I love that I can walk to friends houses, drop in for a coffee and a chat and then stroll home again, without it being a major feat of organization. It's relaxing and easy going and something that I need and want to do, regularly. Also, because so many people know each other and because the majority of people here are very honest, it means that anyone who chooses to be deceptive, is found out, quickly. I'm not used to being around people who lie. It's sad. My personal feeling is this; any adult who spreads lies about others, blatantly, is someone I can only feel pity for. Rather than feel outraged, I prefer to believe that they have some deep rooted emotional issue that causes them to behave in such a way and hopefully, in time, they will resolve this issue. I did feel angry and dissappointed about it recently. I chose to not stay angry, I chose to accept the fact that all humans have to take responsibility for their own conduct if they want to have fulfilling adult friendships and if they don't, well, it's their loss. C'est la vie. I can only wish them a future of internal happiness. What else can one do?

Animals:
My wonderfully cute, comical and as it turns out, pretty damned tough, 3 year old West Highland Terrier, Chester travelled with me from England. Honestly, wondering how he would cope with the journey and then being here was my biggest concern last year. Well, he's done me proud. He adores his new 'brother', my husbands Jack Russel, Clovis and he is coping really well with Mr Grieves the cat. Mr Grieves is very loving but temperamental (sometimes just plain mental) and he delights in smacking Chester on the arse when he's sleeping. All in all, the three boys that rule the roost get along really well and I'm so thrilled that I didn't listen to that little voice in my head last year that suggested I rehome Chester before I emigrated. I couldn't be without him.
He's happy: i'm happy.

Conclusion:
That's easy - happy happy joy joy happy happy joy joy

Time to wake the hubby from his nap, so, until next time, farewell and thank you for reading my meandering thoughts. I've darted from one subject to the other but enough is enough.
Time to leave the computer and return to my homelife.

*i will not run spellcheck i will not run spellcheck*

Over and out

5 Comments:

Blogger Billychic said...

We are so thrilled to have you here, sweetpea!
Thank you for sharing - and joining OW.
You are so brave - hell, when I travelled to the other side of the pond for a month's tour, I got lost in the building on my first day there. Thank God for beer and Ploughman's lunch. LOL

xxxoo
d

11:14 PM  
Blogger mrs lungsquish said...

Yeah, I recently realised (that's realise with an 's', not a 'z', ha!) that the mailbox numbers here are divided into blocks - ie. if I get lost - I just need to count the blocks to get home. It's kind of pathetic when you think about it, but NOT knowing stuff like that is scary as hell when you first arrive somewhere new. Thank God for beer and grits. ;-)

2:19 AM  
Blogger Wordstrix said...

Welcome to the blog!!! Hope you find it better than myspace...I abandoned that site awhile back. I couldn't take it anymore!
xo
jw

3:41 PM  
Blogger mrs lungsquish said...

Thanks so much JW, I'm loving being here already. I've come so close to deleting my MySpace account SO many times, simply because I was feeling inhibited when writing my blogs on there and so many 'friends' on my list were commenting before they'd even read my words in full. What the hell? Anyway, it was getting ridiculous and a waste of my time and energy. In the end, I deleted all of my old blogs, last year, and kept my profile to stay in touch with people I genuinely care about and to try to sell/share my paintings. If I had deleted my profile, I would never have got the invite from Billychic asking me to join this blog site - so, every cloud has it's silver lining... and all that jazz. ;-)

5:49 PM  
Blogger Nikki_Jilton said...

"No Americans were harmed in the writing of this blog... ha!"

LoL but I'll bet some Mexicans and some Iraqistanis were! Those poor drug dealers and rednecks! hehehe

6:31 AM  

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