Fear of putting down temporary roots

One thing that's tiring about living in limbo is the feeling like you can't fully let yourself put down roots.

It's been almost a year since we "temporarily" left Singapore for Bangkok. Initially, I (perhaps naively) expected to be in Bangkok for about three months. Yet, here we are still.

When we left, I was just starting to feel settled down in Singapore, just past (I hoped!) the culture shock stage. 

Back in Bangkok, I was nervous of reverting to our comfortable and very familiar ways because I feared it might mean that when we did return to Singapore, I'd suffer through the whole process of relocation, culture shock, and adapting all over again.

But living in limbo is also hard. It's like your adrenaline is always running and you feel like you have to be on your toes, ready to move again at a moment's notice.

This article hit the nail on the head: 

David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken in Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds advise us to let our roots grow in each new place that we live. It was Ruth's father, Charles Frame, who told her:

Wherever you go in life, unpack your bags—physically and mentally —and plant your trees. ...If you keep thinking about the next move, you'll never live fully where you are.

And I believe that.

But it turns out, putting it to practice wasn't that easy.

The silly thing is that no matter how we try not to settle in, we do. And saying goodbye to the familiar life, no matter how temporary, is going to be hard anyway.

...So...we're trying to see if we can get the permissions, etc., to return to Singapore. If all goes well, we head back. And if it doesn't work out, then we will settle back in to Bangkok life.

Both options have their pros and cons. I wish I could focus on the positive and be excited that we might be in either (ah that's an idea) instead of feeling sad about leaving and sad about not leaving!

Photo by me, from Mt. Nagao...if I remember correctly...


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