To a Fairy Goddaughter moving abroad,
You are standing at the edge of an unparalleled leap. As you can already sense, the world is waiting. From an ocean away, because I’ve lived oceans away, I will tell you what I can see.
Once you live beyond the borders of America, everywhere seems so much more accessible. It is a ticket to everywhere. You will forevermore feel like a citizen of the world. The chance to live like this has been one of the most amazing and defining opportunities of my lifetime, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Things back home will mostly continue as before, while your life will feel like you are learning and growing and gaining new experiences at lightening speed. Your brain will be building maps and connections and different perspectives every single day. It is exhausting and addictive and alive. Let this change you and make you bigger. My favorite thing is the way unexpected moments of wild humanity sink and resonate down into me, forging new contours in my heart. Let yourself be moved, and don’t let the naysayers pressure you back into being anything smaller. There’s no turning back once you stretch yourself this way.
Beyond the new culture you are joining, you are also entering a community of people who live beyond their passport country. We can’t wait to have this in common with you. Even if we always live on different continents, you will be amazed at all the new ways we inherently understand each other’s experiences out in the world.
There will be so much that works differently than you expect and you won’t realize it until you are standing somewhere looking like an idiot. In those moments, have the courage to laugh at yourself, ask for help, have patience, and use the opportunity to marvel at the crazy amazing variations on the human experience. Read this again when you’re embarrassed or frustrated, and remember that even the hard stuff is, by definition, sorta frickin’ cool.
You will absolutely miss big events in the lives of those you left behind. It will be painful, and you will feel so far away. You must make peace with this.
To many people at home you might as well be on another planet, and they will forget to include you on things. Perhaps this disconnect is rooted in them not knowing what your life is like anymore and not feeling a part of it. Many of them may not even ask what you are experiencing when they do see you. Be gracious and share anyway. Make new bonds, and never take for granted the people that do the work of knowing the evolving you, despite the distance.
It is going to feel scary, right up until you realize that it’s not. It's just LIFE, and you are still you, and you have all the tools you need in order to figure everything out. Ask questions that feel stupid and questions that feel hard. Take ten deep breaths and start taking on those hurdles one at a time. You’ll eventually look back and feel empowered beyond belief.
I’m cheering cheering cheering for you. Go get ‘em.