A couple posts ago (read it here) I talked about a list I found online of the 10 Things That People Who Love Their Lives Are Doing Differently. As mentioned in that previous post, many items on that list seemed, to me at least, specifically applicable to the expat life.
One item on that list, When you ask them where they live, they say “at the moment…”, hit closer to home than anything else. I am often asked where I am from and where I live and I find myself usually answering that I am from Buffalo, NY but right now, I live in Dublin. Now, in more than one post on this blog I have said that if I think more than two or three years into the future I come dangerously close to a panic attack. I have absolutely no idea how long I will be in Dublin or where I might go next if I decide to leave.
This has been one of the hardest notions for me to take on board since moving to Ireland and I’m not entirely sure why – I’ve been moving around since I went away to graduate school, albeit always in the United States. And there has always been a degree of uncertainty as to how long I was going to stay in any given place. I never moved anywhere and thought, this is where I am going to live for the rest of my life. It’s not that I haven’t loved some of those places. I have. But I have never been able to make that promise of permanence.
As an expat, I could give in to the panic regarding the uncertainty of my future whereabouts but I have made a conscious decision to embrace the at-the-momentness of my life. Not knowing where I might be in two years is scary but it’s also exciting. And it has become an integral part of my expat adventure. I can’t imagine living somewhere and knowing I was going to be there for the rest of my life. No offense meant to anyone who has put down permanent roots, but that is just too boring a road for me to go down. That is not a life I could love. But this life, with all its uncertainty and moments of panic is one I would not trade for anything.
I am an expat. I have no idea what my future holds. But, at the moment, I love my life.