A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed on a German podcast called Eigenstimmig. Here's how the podcast describes itself (translated from German): "...from now on, every week we'll be introducing amazing women that are in one way or the other living their calling and passion - sometimes in their job, but sometimes as a hobby or lifestyle.
We tell their authentic stories, with all of the obstacles and successes to show you why it's worth looking for your own path and living your passion. The goal is to show amazing women who are role models and who can give other women advice, and above all, inspiration and courage to make their own way."
We talked about how, as an expat, I feel "other" much of the time. Of course, I am different, not just because I am an expat, but because of the other aspects of my life that have changed in recent years. It took me 25 years to get to the place of living authentically. I know that many of my friends who are over 40 say the same. At some point, you stop worrying about what others think.
But it's not just that. It's so freeing to just BE. I can send out love and acceptance to others and see each person just as they are. I can empower others by building them up. I can help and support as much as I can (with my oils and emotionally). And maybe I can set an example by living my truth, even if other people don't like it. It may be that they wish they could do the same. I never know what drives other people or what goes on in their homes and relationships. But I am trying to focus on the important things in life. My family. My business. My passions. My community. As an expat, you sometimes have moments of loneliness and doubt you even have a community.
I learned a bit more about community this week. A friend of Emma's has been living with us for three months. She was having issues at home and couldn't go back. She had no money and did finally get an apprenticeship, which was supposed to also include housing. It didn't. She had a hard time finding somewhere to live with very little money and no parental "sign off" -- but she did. So now she has an apartment, but NOTHING else. No bed. No dishes. No table. No towels. Where do you begin? I begin where I always do. I posted on Facebook. And guess what? Within eight hours, her apartment is taken care of. A friend brought over dishes. An acquaintance offered shelves. Someone I hadn't seen in seven years has mattresses and bathroom cabinets and more. Some people say social media doesn't offer "real" community. I say it is. If people can come together when someone is in need that quickly, it's a true show of love. We are grateful every day for these kind of people.
You can hear the podcast here (if you speak German).