Today I’m participating in a blogging challenge organized by the wonderful Ez of Creature Comforts. Inspired by this post, Ez rounded up a whole bunch of bloggers and challenged us to share what we’re afraid to share.
When I visited America for Thanksgiving last year, one of my best friends commented that she was surprised to hear I was struggling in a few areas of my life because it seemed from my blog that life was just great. At the time, I was unhappy in my job and trying to decide if I should leave it to pursue other opportunities.
I suppose I must have been complaining a little (sorry Beck!), and for the most part, I try not to do that on my blog. Every once in a while I talk about my struggles (like here, here and here), and writing about them here on FCV helps me to process and see the solutions. Often those posts that start out as a story about a struggle turn into a story about a solution.
But today, for me at least, is about sharing a few of my struggles and insecurities without worrying about the solution just yet. So here we go, three things I’m afraid to tell you.
I’ve acquired a little Irish accent.
I don’t mean to do it, but I say certain words with an Irish accent. In my day job, it makes it easier to blend in if I’m answering the phone, and it keeps the focus off me. It’s easier if I’m not the center of a conversation about where I’m from, how long I’ve lived here, do I miss my family, and all of the inevitable questions.
But some days I don’t recognize my own voice. I hear myself say certain words and I can’t even believe they came out of my mouth. Some days I miss the old me – the old sayings I must have used, and even my American accent. I hung onto words like trash can (not bin) and sidewalk (not footpath) for years, but now I can feel them slipping away.
I’m scared of moving back to America, and I’m scared of never moving back to America.
We’re not planning to move back to America. For now, we’re settled and happy here. When people ask if we’ll ever move back, I usually say maybe we will in a few years. But if I’m being really honest with myself, I’m not sure if that will really happen, and I’m not sure which scenario scares me more.
It scares me to think of myself, fifty years from now, still living in Ireland and only visiting America in the summers and at Thanksgiving. But the thought of moving back to America is scary as well. Over the last few years, I’ve felt this growing feeling that America is full of people who are smarter, edgier, hipper than me. What if when we move back, I don’t know how to play the game anymore?
I was raised Catholic, but I now consider myself Christian.*
I was raised in an Irish Catholic family, and I made my first communion and confirmation but as I grew older, I felt that being Catholic wasn’t a good fit for me.
When I married Michael, I started learning about his faith. After a few years of exploring, praying and studying with kind friends, I decided to get baptised as a Christian last summer. It was a wild day, with lashing rain and hurricane winds, and a group of our friends gathered on the beach to witness me getting dunked into the Irish Sea. (It’s the one time I’ve ever been in the Irish Sea!)
My faith isn’t something I talk about very much, but it’s a big part of how I live my life and how Michael and I live our life together. Religion and spirituality are very personal and often a little tricky. I sometimes worry that my family and friends back home think I married Michael and blindly adopted everything he believes. But I think that’s a worry I’ve made up on my own; I think they just want me to be happy.
Thanks to Ez for pushing us to do this challenge – my heart is thumping knowing that I’m about to click publish and you’ll all be reading what I’ve written. That last one was especially hard to share, but I know that’s a lesson in itself. Thanks for reading and accepting!
*Thanks so much for all of your comments, they have all been so encouraging and informative! I did want to note that I understand Catholicism is a form of Christianity. However, in Ireland (at least in my circle of friends) we would think of ourselves as Christian. Perhaps technically, it’s more like evangelical Christian in America. But I do accept it’s changing denominations, not religions. Either way, it was a big leap for me!