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Moving Abroad – Dealing with my fear of change

I’m scared…

Of spiders.
Finding hidden mushrooms in my pasta.
Death (whoa that got too real).
Change (real but not too real). 
For now, let’s focus on that crippling fear of change, specifically moving abroad, and save death for the therapy. 

I’d like to think I’m reasonably good at coping with change. I grew up moving around the UK every few years, so much that I actually enjoy packing and the thought of opening up endless brown boxes fills me with more excitement than the prospect of hearing Taylor Swift’s new album (if you hate Taylor Swift, you are wrong and please sit down). But we all look back on things with rose tinted glasses and often the idea of something isn’t quite the same as the real thing. (sorry Tay, nothing’s gonna beat “1989″ for me. Call me basic, I don’t care).   

There’s so much to do!

All within the space of a few months I will have dragged, skipped, danced, cried, driven, FREAKED OUT, laughed, sighed and slept through a hell of  a lot of change. I will have become a married woman and foreign military spouse (more on this another day), moved across the OCEAN, changed my name, completed some paperwork, found the perfect area to live, moved house, FINALLY have a visa and green card, completed some more paperwork, left friends and family and my house plants, sourced new furniture and house plants, searched for a new job and house plants, completed even more paperwork and settled into life in another country which definitely has paperwork but may not have the same houseplants that I am used to. And I would have come to terms with the fact that I will need to speak American English to be understood.

…Please tell me where I can get houseplants in America??

By the end of it all I’ll be getting my PHD in planning and paperwork too (what do you mean that’s not a thing? Why would anyone do it otherwise? For love? Hahaha ok). 

Even for someone who thinks she is can cope alright with a few ups and downs, that’s a hell of a lot to contend with. Just one of these major changes can be hard to process. Simply the thought of getting new house plants brings me to the brink. 


So how do I cope??

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by things, so how do you cope with this fear of change and keep it all together? Honestly, I’m not sure.  Some people can go head first into something with zero issues, while others just need time to process all the crazy stuff. So go ahead and indulge in a good cry, or take a page out of my British book and make a cup of tea (it’s magic and solves literally everything). But if you need something a bit stronger, I’m not going to say no to a glass of wine… Anyone for cake and chocolate??

But once that’s out of your system enjoy it! So many of these things will only happen once in your life.

Just go for it

For me, I try to think of it all as an adventure. For someone who loves a good novel, this is the perfect opportunity to make myself the hero of my own story… Ok, not a particularly exciting or original one but still! Don’t ruin this for me, I never said it was going to be a bestseller.

It also helps to acknowledge what you are feeling. I love to write, so getting my feelings out into a physical notebook rather than an endless list of worries in my mind that quickly descends into hell is surprisingly helpful. Discussing your feelings with someone who is willing to listen is another good way to acknowledge your stress. I’m very lucky to have a partner who is a mind reader (observes pretty obvious body language signals) so I can’t escape talking about all the hard stuff very easily. But if you haven’t, reach out to someone you trust and just chat. Chances are they are struggling with something too so you can both unload and share your pearls of wisdom.

Never underestimate the power of a good cry. LET IT GO.

Deal with it

But going further than that, try to channel your nervous energy into something. I love writing and I find it massively therapeutic to channel all those thoughts and fears into into something productive that could become something to get excited about. (AKA Chips vs. Fries)

Make a positive change in your life YOU can control, especially if all the change you are going through is kinda out of your hands. It can be anything… a change in habit or a new hobby. Take up painting, exercise more regularly, or start a blog like me, just make sure you enjoy it!

Strive to be the hero, overcoming all the forces of change in your life. And if it all gets a bit much, look for a helping hand. There is no way Harry could have defeated Voldemort without Ron and Hermione. (But mainly Hermione). And not even Frodo would have made it to Mordor without Sam.


  1. Uncle Dennis Uncle Dennis

    I love your words of wisdom and thoughtfulness!

  2. Ellie, this blog is brilliant, even Mango has a mention!

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