The Look of Panic

Recently I chatted with two American women who just relocated to the Surrey area of England. They both had that all too familiar look on their face. At first I didn’t fully notice, but after chatting for a bit and giving it some thought, it all came flooding back to me. One was very familiar with living outside of the U.S. She had spent the last five years living in Qatar but this move was different. Her youngest had just started college back in the U.S. and this was a new place without her automatic entertainment – the kids. She has to deal with an empty nest and a new country all at once. The other had just arrived a mere 8 days ago. Her kids jumped right into school and she was still living out of a hotel looking for a house to rent.

I saw that familiar look in their eyes. It said, “Can I do this,” “I’m overwhelmed,”  “I don’t have a direction,” “Nothing is familiar.” The same emotions shot through me. Even if you’ve moved a long distance before, when the time comes again all the emotions come flooding back. I had to laugh to myself. I can only imagine the look on my face back in April as we walked through 15 houses trying to find “home.” When the relocation agent drove around and around town asking me if it was starting to look familiar and if I recognized anything, I was completely lost. I had no idea where I was or even if it was the same town. The emotional shock made it hard to think.

The good news is, the panic passes. Your heart rate slows again and things do start to look familiar. You find a place that you can make feel like “home.” And if you feel you are the only one a bit lost and confused, trust me, someone else is in the same spot.

We had a great speaker at our meeting who talked about stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something that scares you. Perfect for a group of women who have just relocated their families from far and wide. She talked about the lines we draw around our lives and how we stay inside the lines where it is safe and comfortable. In reality, it’s when we push outside the lines that life gets really interesting and great things start to happen. What if you started a new job, moved to a different place, wrote a book, took a few classes or ran that marathon. Does the thought terrify you? Great! Look at your list of “I wish I coulds” and pick one to conquer. Twenty years from now you don’t want to look back and still see those items on your “I wish I did” list.

Do the research, plan well, and make your crazy dreams happen. I promise the look of panic fades.

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3 thoughts on “The Look of Panic

  1. Wendy says:

    Relating heavily to this today! The funny thing is Michael is working on a
    T-shirt design that says “RELAX” in nice beach-y writing. He placed a print out on my keyboard mid day just to remind me to take a breather! You are so correct about heading into the unknown.

  2. Paul Froehlich says:

    I love this, it does inspire!

  3. Joan says:

    That was quite inspiring – thank you

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