The expat life is interesting, to say the least. When we first discussed relocating to Mexico, I thought that the move would be easy – after all, I’ve lived abroad on numerous occasions. What I didn’t count on was the effect that having an infant to care for would have on my mobility and willingness to integrate into the culture. In college I was care-free and easily adapted to new locales. I had no concerns about what kind of shelter I lived in, how I would obtain food, or the relative safety of public transportation. These things worked themselves out as I wandered around my new locales on foot.
When our darling little man arrived, a switch inside clicked. I started to look for danger – how could I protect him? So small, trusting, and vulnerable… My world changed drastically. At this point, I have been living in the city for nearly 6 months, and have barely gotten to know my new home. That has led to other problems….
Like expat depression.
I didn’t want to name it when I first suspected it, but I have no doubts now. I’m starting to crack out of the overprotective mom shell/hell a bit as little man grows, and that is allowing me to enjoy life here a touch more, but its not easy. It doesn’t help that we are discussing whether or not to stay, that my paperwork is still in progress, that we are going back to the US for at least a one month trip at some point, or that I am afraid to drive here. DH has mentioned kidnappings, I’ve seen terrifying headlines regarding the violence, and the upcoming elections have stirred tempers beyond the boiling point. And I am still trying to breathe.
How do you start to live again once a baby comes into the picture? Sometimes with little man, as much as I love him, I feel as though I am living the wrong life. Trapped in a three room apartment, in a beautiful, historic, bizarre world so radically different from everywhere I had pictured myself before.
And yet, somehow, life goes on…