Updated: Sep 7, 2021
When I relocated to the USA in 2014, there were so many “I didn’t know”s:
I didn’t know how to make Mac&Cheese.
I didn’t know American school system.
I didn’t know the word “carpooling”.
I didn’t know how to conduct feedback in English.
I didn’t know American business casual attire.
I didn’t know the word “direct report”.
Before the relocation, I was full of confidence. I felt my life was under control. I was busy with two young children working full-time, but I felt that I was doing something productive and meaningful.
I knew how to make miso soup.
I knew Japanese medical system.
I knew the language my whole life.
I knew how to respond politely in Japanese way.
I knew Japanese business culture.
I knew the word “karoshi” is a Japanese word.
So it was shocking in 2014 because I felt as if I became a child again. I thought I lost my experience, knowledge, and background in the new country. And I had to start all over at the age of 40. I didn’t want to do it again.
So I thought I had to give up.
Giving up my career.
Giving up my lifestyle.
Giving up what I have done.
I thought I was lost.
I thought there were no option.
I thought I couldn’t do anything anymore.
I felt apathetic.
I felt angry.
I felt lonely.
One day, I realized:
It was MY choice to come to the US.
It was MY choice to leave my work.
It was MY choice to leave my family and friends.
I could have said “NO”.
I could have stayed. I could have chosen something else.
But I didn’t do.
Then I understood:
I can choose my future.
I can control how to spend my life.
I can decide what I want.
That was the end of my “I feel sorry to myself” life.
I am still not making as much money as I did when I was in Japan, but I am building my new life in the new country in the way I love. I am very fortunate to be able to live in this way, and I do not deny it. However, it is a fact that “now” became wonderful when I stopped sticking to “my past”.
If you are interested in talking about your expat life, concerns, challenges, and opportunities, please book a discovery session from here → https://www.interculturalcandc.com/book-online
I would love to hear your story.