The One Foot Syndrome

Not long ago (ok, it was back in March but I’m only getting around to writing about it now), I had a revelation.  I have One Foot Syndrome.  Alright, that doesn’t really exist. But it should.  It was about truly living our lives here and not being able to let go of what was in Barcelona. I’ve had one foot here and one foot there for the last 2 years. What’s sad is that I did the same thing when we first moved to Barcelona over 6 years ago, only then I was keeping that foot in the US.

There are some people that are able to just jump right into their new culture and embrace everything about it – the shopping, the new / different living spaces, the food, and everything in between.  I both envy and hate these people (my husband being one of them!).  They make it look so easy and I wish that I could be more like that and just jump in like it’s no big deal.  These are the people that also tend to show up with just a few suitcases, ready to tackle their new lives and leave everything else behind.

And then there are people like me who need those creature comforts from home (whichever previous home it is) to help the transition from one culture to another (along with at least 110 boxes from that previous country).  We keep one foot in our old lives and one in our new.

What we don’t realize is that often living with this one foot syndrome means is that we aren’t fully embracing our new culture.  We are hesitating and holding on to the old for the fear of the new, when in fact, the majority of us actually moved in order to explore and better understand that new culture.  So a bit of a contradiction to say the least.

But how do we cure One Foot Syndrome?  Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a perfect one size fits all cure for it.  For me, it was the realization that I was actually subconsciously making these choices to hold on to my American life and then my Spanish life rather than embracing our new Dutch lives.  Maybe it’s all about time?  We’re two years into our second international location and the newness has worn off and become our normal now. I will always miss our homes and that’s ok, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t live my life for the now and plant both feet here in the Netherlands til the time comes to jump with both feet into our next destination.

Knuffels en kussen,


3 thoughts on “The One Foot Syndrome

  1. Pingback: Live for the NOW | The Expat Chronicles

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