You know those FB pop ups? Today I had one “4 years ago…” There were some photos of an event I attended with my MIL whom I’d only recently met at that point in time.
I showed my husband the photos and he said, oh yes I remember that day – “You were crying”. Of course I didn’t have that written on my ‘social media highlight reel’ – but I do remember… The reason I was crying was because of frustration – I couldn’t communicate with or understand my husband’s family who speak only Dutch.
I felt so stupid that I couldn’t understand anything, that I couldn’t express myself beyond child language and hand signals.
And I cried. I just felt so overwhelmed.
Family is important to me and I wanted to know these people who love my husband too.
Four years later, I can communicate with the family, even laugh and joke.
It didn’t come easily. I had to persevere. I had to focus very hard to try to gain meaning and context in conversation.
My husband’s family have always supported and encouraged me in my efforts. I’m so appreciative for their patience.
I had to keep trying even when it felt hopeless.
I kept speaking Dutch in all situations that I could and didn’t let others discourage me – “you don’t need to speak Dutch in The Netherlands, they speak good English” fellow expats would say.
My encouragement for you today is to keep persevering so that in a few years from now you can look back on those tears or frustration with pride on how you handled yourself and the situation.
Wondering if I can help you achieve those goals?
Feel free to PM me or book a free mini-session.