Before I moved here, I heard stories of these parties or visits that would last hours and hours, and my first thought was always, “I’ll never survive.” Seriously, that sounded like a really bad dream. How could you possibly sit in a room for hours upon hours, drinking tea and speaking a different language?! And yet, that has become a reality and one that I have come to not just survive, but enjoy.
This, beingcomfortableintheultimatediscomfort, seems to be the theme of my life for the last couple of years. Also, the idea of comfortable is so relative, isn’t it?! I sometimes look at my life and think, “if this were happening to me in America, I would be SO UNCOMFORTABLE! Never, would I Ever!” And yet, I tend to live so out of comfort that there is no box for what “comfort” should be. Case in point, This baby party I went to the other day. I’ll just give you a play by play.
If you follow me on instagram, you will know that I was invited to a baby party (basically a baby shower, but after the baby is born) last week. I was going on day 3 of single-parenting, day 2 of potty training Hannah, and it was at 5:30 on a Thursday evening (dinner time after a long day at school for the big kids). If I’m honest, I decided to go because there would be free food and I was too lazy to cook. 🙂
I knew this party was going to be a late one. But like I’ve said, I’ve gotten used to hours and hours of sitting. So picture this: I walk into a room FULL of beautifully dressed woman (who have obviously spent a good portion of the day getting ready), a band is playing over a loud speaker (so loud my kids covered their ears the whole time), people are dancing and here I am with my brood of crazies, a too-big long skirt, grey shirt and cardigan, and my needstobewashed hair in a bun. I know 1 person in the entire room, and I am the only foreigner. If I actually took a second to step out of my life for a second, I’m not sure it could get any more uncomfortable.
Let’s just say that when I lived in America I was not quick to put myself in situations where I would be out of place. I liked to know my surroundings and the people who were going to be a part of them. I was very very rarely the “new” girl in anything. My family had lived in my town for 5 generations, I went to the same school for 13 years, there was never really anything “new” about me or my life. Even when I went to college, I roomed with my friend from high school and slowly worked up the nerve to have conversations with people I didn’t know. I don’t think anyone would have pegged me as a “shy” person, per se, but I have always dealt with debilitating insecurity that kept me from doing things that were out of my beautiful comfort zone. And then years later, I was lovingly pulled away from “normalcy” and “comfort” into this crazy neverincontrol life.
And yet this crazy life, this “new girl” thing has become my normal, everyday life and I have learned to love it. Somehow, the sitting for hours and the only-white girl and the crazy kids and the trying to speak a different language and the trying to dance but looking like a fool, has become my normal and I don’t just love it, but in the midst of it I’m so full of JOY I’m brought to tears. (just so you know, there are also been plenty of times that I am brought to tears because I’m so overwhelmed with the fact that I can’t speak the language, know the culture, made a fool of myself, etc…It’s not always a huge joy party…but I try to hold onto the joy moments, so that it’s easier to keep going in the ijustwanttocrawlinahole moments.)
So I think my definition of a “Good” Party is really different then it was a couple of years ago. Yes, we sat a lot and yes, we were there for 4 hours before we actually ate dinner and yes, my kids’ bedtime was 10:30 that night, but somehow the fact that I should have been uncomfortable, but wasn’t, made it the best party I’ve ever been too. Oh and the dancing the night away was pretty awesome too!
(Just in case you want to see what a typical party is like, I took a little video so you can experience it!)