Saturday, July 7, 2012

Six Month Well-Expat Check Up

Last year we started this planned unraveling of our life in Texas.  We sorted, packed, and discarded possessions and put our house on the market.  I left a wonderful job as an auditor in the midst of testing for my CPA.  We said goodbye to family and friends and moved our life to England.  

We knew that we would have to rebuild that life once we arrived and hoped that it would happen quickly and easily. But life doesn't always follow our timetable, does it?   (Which can be reeeeeally annoying).

I started reading every expat blog that I could find and decided that I would give myself six months to get over the initial adjustment.  And during that six months, I wouldn't even think about throwing in the towel and running back home.

I did not, however, promise that I wouldn't whine about it.

Exhibits A through G. 

18 days in... the Honeymoon Phase
1 Month Well Expat Check Up
Minor Breakdown at 40 days... Lose the Attitude
2 Month Well Expat Check up
3 Month Well Expat Check up
Some proper whining... Get Out your Mini Violins
Still struggling with patience... A Hug for You 

And now it's been six months since we started this adventure.  

It has been a challenging six months to say the least.  Everything has been up in the air.  We are still essentially living out of suitcases.  And the insecurity of it all has been tough.  But, it looks like the dust is finally starting to settle.  

The magic phone call has come!!!  TE has been offered a wonderful, exciting job.  It's perfect for him and he is really looking forward to working with some terrific people. 

We've also found a more permanent housing situation, a terrific apartment with beautiful London views.  By the end of July, if all goes as planned, we will be living on the Thames and TE will be going off to work everyday.   There is still some final paperwork to be done, but things are looking great. By the way, it's a two-bedroom apartment so I expect to start having lots of visitors!  Pretty Please!

The house back in Texas sold a few weeks ago which was a little bittersweet.  It was our first home together and there were wonderful memories of special times in that house. Selling a house a country away is certainly not an easy process for anyone involved, but we got through it. 

And I've finally added a few letters behind my name.  Six years ago, I decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and return to school to get my accounting degree.  After graduating, I began the process of testing to become a CPA.  I studied like crazy and passed the first 3 tests on the first try.  Unfortunately, not the fourth one.  Three days before we left Texas, I retook the test and waited 3 months to find out I passed!

It's been a few more months of jumping through hoops, but a week ago in the mail I received a small little card with Selena, Certified Public Accountant in black and white.  A little anticlimactic, but it represents the fulfillment of a huge dream and some really hard work.  I'm pretty proud of that little card.  It will be interesting to see how the credentials will translate to working in England.  I start looking for employment this Fall. 

It's been a stressful six months, but it's also been wonderful.  We've been able to travel a little and we had a terrific visit from my daughter.  I'm completely smitten with England and London.  I'm so looking forward to the next six months.  We'll have a few weeks to get settled in the new apartment before the Olympics and a visit from my mom and step-dad. 

There were days when I wondered if we would EVER be settled here.  It's funny how everything finally happened at the same time.  And now on to the next phase of life.  But not before a celebratory cruise!  We leave Sunday to cruise out of Italy and will be visiting Sicily, Athens, Turkey and Crete.  I give you fair warning now... there will be pictures!

Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me get through this initial transition... the Englishman who is my rock, his parents who've been so supportive, Sugar Bear who is my heart, family and friends back home for the facetime and phone calls, my new friends on this side of the pond and my cyber friends... thanks so much for your comments and encouragement!  (Sorry, that sounded like a cheesy award ceremony speech, didn't it?)

I'm looking forward to what the future brings and I'll try not to whine so much moving forward. (No promises.)  I don't have any posts scheduled while I'm gone so I'll see you in a week or so. 

xoxo
Selena

20 comments:

  1. Congratulations to you on all of the wonderful things happening in your life. I'm so glad you had such a patient outlook during it all. It's paying off now!

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    1. Thanks!!!

      lol TE would certainly argue about the patient outlook. :D It does feel so good. Like a weight has been settled. I think, like most women, what I crave most is security. It feels so good to have it back. Hope ya'll are getting all settled in back in the States. Aren't you heading back this way soon for a visit?

      xoxo
      Selena

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  3. Wow Congrats on passing your exam and becoming a certified accountant! that's also very exciting news about your husband's job and your apartment with London views! Have an amazing time on your cruise!

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  4. Yay! This is all such great news, so happy for you!

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  6. I love this post. My face is hurting right now from smiling so much. I am SO happy for you Selena!!! Congrats to TE on the new career!!! Enjoy your cruise and I cannot wait to see the pics when you return.

    Love ya and miss ya!
    Jen

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  7. Everything is lining up well. Congrats!

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  8. Oh, I'm sooo happy things are starting to fall into place! You deserve everything and more! CPA to boot? You go girl! What an accomplishment! I cannot wait to see pictures of your new "flat" - it sounds so Londony :)
    PS - Thank you for your sweet comment. You don't know how much it meant to me. Funny how someone on the other side of the pond can make such an impact :)

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  9. I read soemwhere that it takes about 18 months to feel well and truly settled somewhere new - and I would agree (given my own experiences). It would appear you are emerging from your first trimester (and hopefully leaving any morning sickness behind you). Congrats!

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  10. Congrats on earning your CPA! Being married to one, I know what a huge undertaking that was. Hope to hear more about where you are settling in London.

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  11. Many congratulations, Selena...both on your CPA certification, TE's job, and the new flat! That is really amazing in a 6-month period, so you must be so pleased. With all of your good luck lately, maybe you can bring some sun back to England with you from your cruise -- enjoy! :) x

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  12. I love the idea of your wellness checks! Congrats on your HUGE achievement and on your ability to settle in here. Enjoy nesting inthe new place too :)

    Oh, and really lovely to meet you at last!! x

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  13. I'm so glad about the job and house news and I hope you've had a super cruise! Here's to a fab next-three-months with a visit from your mum. Do let me know if you'd like to meet up for lunch. There is a Mela-approved Mexican restaurant near me that we could go to.

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