Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Jealousy

I am actually jealous. I don't think I've ever been jealous before, not a REAL jealous... but when you have a real jealous you know it - its no fun either. :(

I often acknowledge that others sometimes have things I want:

- a neatly decorated "magazine" house, opposed to the toy fest I live in;
- a nice fun car, opposed to the long seven seated station wagon "brick" I drive;
- a mega stroller, opposed to the squeaky puny one I push;

... but when it comes down to it I like all my stuff just fine and I think what I have is perfect for me. I'm not really jealous.

HOWEVER....

The last American family is leaving and going back to the States... back to a normal life with soccer teams, Targets, libraries, Safeways, girl scout cookies, American TV, holidays, dollar stores, etc... AND I AM JEALOUS. : (

I'm happy for them.

But I want to go too...

So I was in a bad mood. I was grumpy. I didn't like anything for a day. ...just being honest. Today I am finally over it.

It's a definite mind set you have to be in to survive here away from things you know and prefer. So I've gone back to trying to get what I want with things that are here... and being happy about it. :)

8 comments:

Kelli Nørgaard said...

you are not alone. We all feel this way sometimes. I think it is harder when you have an actual return date that you look forward to instead of like me, who just assumes I will live here forever...lol.

Hang in there...this too shall pass.

'Babs' said...

I feel jealous a lot and it makes me very sad.

Mostly I am jealous of those of us who have the funds and drive to get out of this country every now and then, I wish I could go on holiday and I really beat myself up about being 'stuck' here. No amount of bucking myself up helps, and it's quite shameful. Obviously, I need to get out of here (DK) once in a while (AT LEAST!!!!) so the jealousy tells something, but still....it's not a nice feeling.

Even worse are my jealous and often resentful feelings towards people who have managed to figure out a way to leave Denmark for America/England/oh anywhere but here and they have jobs and houses to go to, and family....when they are jetting off I become almost catatonic with an inward rage and frustration.

Great huh?!!

Every year we 'lose' international families who leave Denmark for long periods of time (some of them live in two countries at once) or those who just go and say goodbye for ever and don't come back. It makes it really hard for me to want to 'invest' in yet another heartfelt friendship only to be the one left behind.

I can be quite horrid to people who are leaving as by the time their leaving date is approaching I have to distance myself because we have spent more than too much time crying over beloved friends who are leaving DK.

The hardest is when we've spent an intense time with people who are undecided about if they can stay here,and we go through it all with them, and then they decide no, Denmark is too hostile/xenophobic/limited etc and they leave because they just can'tstand it any more.

Then there are the couples who split up, with the international one leaving the Danish one behind. EEK, and we don't want to stay in contact with the Danish half.

It's a weird life, ending up here, especially if we miss something else, especially if it hasn't worked out the way we hoped it would, especially when it feels like a great conveyor belt with people dropping off at the other end!

Kelli is right, I think people who begin life here assuming to be buried here at the end probably have an easier time than those of us who had some date in mind when we would leave.

My original plan was to stay here until the kids were teenagers, and then to move on. It's just that the period between them being kids and teenagers is taking so long that I have kind of lost sight of the exit. The only way I can get through the dominating culture here is to imagine that one day we will leave, even though it doesn't seem very likely that that is any day soon.


Quality of life is so important. Just reading your post struck such a nerve with me that I am forced to face up to my own lack of glee at being in this particular place, the way things are here. If the only thing that is keeping me going is the idea that it is possible to move on, then I better start planning properly for that, even if it is some years in the future the plan will come to fruition.

Thanks for being so honest, so many of us are just getting through trying to put a brave face on it, when actually, we need to admit (at least to ourselves) why we feel the jealousy...in my case it's because I am jealous of those who get out because I feel I have stayed here too long and I want something else.

honeypiehorse said...

Do you really miss Girl Scout Cookies?

Tara said...

:) I can get by without the cookies...

It's more the process I miss... I never had to sell them though, I just liked buying them from little kids hawking them off in front of stores. :)

I miss organized things like that... even the bell ringers at Christmas time.

Ingrid said...

Hi,
We are really happy that you still are here!!!!!
Lots of hugs!

C and H Romenesko said...

I agree with Kelli. But...you still have your fellow expat bloggers / fb'ers out here. And...in about a month we'll be getting together...and....I'll have baked some goodies. Not that Beijing is the same as the US, but need anything?

Monica said...

Oh, Tara...we totally understand this one! Being a mulitcultural family (my husband is a dane as are his children), we have tried to be really careful about saying how things are just different, not strange and how some things are similar, but man is it difficult! I have to say that sometimes I can't even stand myself because I can't seem to find a positive thing to say about anything! But, I'm with Kelli...this too shall pass. Next thing you know we will adopt some crazy (oops - different) Danish custom and just love it too...right?! (At least that is what I am hoping for! ;) Monica
Oh, and I would shave my head for a Target close by! I can't wait til summer to walk aimlessly through the aisles! The sweet bliss! :)

Tina said...

I have SO totally had days like this. The only thing I have found that works for me is just to start counting what I have and no what I do not... but honestly sometimes it's really hard. I find the cynical side of me popping up... 1. I am happy because I have a lot of time with my kids. 2. I love the trash pile next to my house. Oops. 3. I love having an "adventure" every day and discovering new things. 4. I love being harassed by men on the street and being treated like a piece of meat. Crap. Oh well! Maybe tomorrow, right? LOL!

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