Expat life and second chances

crayonsWe all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.  – Harrison Ford.

The famous second chance. Normally, we all deserve at least one, but I would say several of them. That is of course because we all need them, very few of us are superhuman. And we need them and deserve them for different reasons and at different levels throughout a lifetime. To make good, to make it…

Sometimes it might be hard to see that we need one though, or that we’re given one, and to grab it. And it might be even harder to give yourself that second chance and grab it, even though that’s what we need to do at certain points to move on.

We’re given second chances every day of our life. We don’t usually take them, but they’re there for the taking. – Andrew M. Greeley

When we enter expathood, we’ve already moved on in one sense of the term. We could choose, because it is often a choice, to use this new existence to make another move, especially if you’re a desperate expat wife wanting to be less desperate.

Quite a few of us, meaning us as in expat wives, are in the fortunate position (OK, it might not always seem fortunate, but then again you can often turn things around) to have flexibility. The kind that comes with time and money, but also the kind that comes with a broadening of the mind as a natural consequence of change and new cultures.

This flexibility could offer us a second chance, couldn’t it? It could trigger something in us, to do something we’ve always wanted to do or something we never thought we’d do, to think in completely different ways or go in a brand new direction. I believe other things trigger this as well – having babies, reaching a certain age – and sometimes all these trigger factors coincide and become forceful.

What do we do then? Well, some of us start to write and some of us start up an expat magazine. Others have a new longed-for baby and yet others make drastic career changes. Keep in mind that the word career comes from Latin carriera via meaning carriage road, so you might choose to see it as the road you follow instead of the ladder you climb.

Could expat life be an opportunity to do something with our talents? Talents we all have at least one of, and that might have been banging on closed doors for years, desperately wanting to come out. What a relief it might be to let them out!

Opportunity rarely knocks on your door. Knock rather on opportunity’s door if you ardently wish to enter. – B. C. Forbes

I was once offered a very simple – in wording, perhaps not in action – piece of advice, that I have followed on many occasions, so far without regrets: When in doubt, do it!

Leap and the net will appear. – Julie Cameron

By Unni Holtedahl, January 2013

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