Transition Coping Mechanisms (Demo)

By Sher Martelle-Climas

Folks, this little ditty is about something called transition. We all experience transition in our lifetimes. It comes in many forms – from the bliss of a marriage or the birth of a child, to the bitter depths of divorce, or the death of a loved one, things change. They change and we adapt. Right? What’s the alternative anyway? I guess we could NOT adapt. I guess we could lay down and die. Or, in the case of an expat and a posting that provides complications – we could just …leave. And what complications am I talking about anyway? Choosing to live in a new place can bring so many riches – like new culture, language, fabulous new foods & fashions, sure. These aspects of transition are so sexy n’est pas? But less sexy – leaving behind a fulfilling career that formed your identity to be supportive of your spouse’s career prospects, or your young children asking “Mommy, when can we go ‘HOME’?” Ouch.

And still, we roll with these things. These are the understood trade-offs for an International existence. My kids know their way around airports, I can order dinner in 4 languages (so far). We’re nomads… with therapists. This has been the year I truly discovered the very necessity of sharing my experience with a professional and seeking advice from others in the same boat. I discovered I’m a terrible “stayer” meaning I hate watching people leave me. And leave me they do. The expat lifestyle is a revolving door of come and go. And sometimes, we are the ones doing the leaving. It’s complicated and messy and emotional. I am still trying to find my way with it – and this is year 14! Transition, and more transition.

Right now, central to my approach is to be very selective about what I read – helpful tips in a whatsapp group are a big yes, social media forums full of cranky expat complaints are a curse to be avoided. Some days are just plain hard and I feel like I’m just constantly “buffering” to endure Bucharest (traffic and parking alone)! Other times I head for the mountains or sea-side or old town architecture, breathe it in deep, and marvel at the beautiful madness of this place.

I’m always grateful to Romania for being part of this fabulous adventure I’ve chosen for my life.

These are a few of my favourite things… I hope they help!

Truman group: This is online therapy for EXPATS…they get you…they really do!

IWA: I credit the local chapter of this women’s organization with saving my life in my 1st year here.

Run, don’t walk. Join now!

A funny & irreverent site started by 2 Ozzies… great advice for wherever you are…or are going.

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