“How are you, honestly?” This is a question I wish I had someone to ask me. When I left the U.S., I feel like I left my friends – I rarely hear from any of them any more – and it’s been hard to make new friends in a foreign culture. But I wish I had some. Because the truth is, I’m miserable, and it’s entirely my fault.
Don’t get me wrong – I adore my beautiful son, and I take great joy (and pride) in him. I love my beautiful wife, and I take great joy in her companionship. But just about everything else is falling to pieces.
In the past, I’ve made a LOT of bad choices, and I have never done a great or even good job of being an adult. Recently, I’ve tried very hard to change all that – to change me. But as much as I try to move toward the positive and away from the negative, it seems as if the negative still heavily outweighs the positive.
I’ve poisoned, if you will, my present situation with my past actions. I’ve made the people around me miserable. I’ve almost destroyed my marriage. My SO is (justifiably) angry much of the time. I don’t have a job worth mentioning. We don’t have much. And I can attribute those to my past actions.
I feel like I’m getting there with the “change yourself” goal. I’ve figured out a few things that help me get past the confusing hurdles in my brain and actually get things done. I’ve learned how to take the initiative a bit, instead of just reacting (I know my wife would love it if I took much more of the initiative in life).
And I’ve been working hard to find a better job. Unfortunately, it’s a very aggressive job market right now, and I don’t have many skills I can bring to the table. The years I spent working in customer service and sales & marketing are almost completely cancelled out by my less than perfect grasp of French. Higher education is so much easier to achieve here that employers don’t understand why you wouldn’t have a degree. Even things like dishwashing and manual labor are hard to find.
I’m desperate for a real job. I’m desperate to fix what I’ve broken. And I’m desperate for a chance to bring my family forward into a better time. But to do that, I have to keep fighting off the negativity I’ve created, fighting off the urge to give up and weep, and keep moving forward, tiny step by tiny step, looking for the positive.