The 18th as a date seems to hold significance for Rhys and I as a couple. We got married on the 18th. We moved to the UK on the 18th. I got accepted for my British Citizenship on the 18th. Rhys had his US embassy approval for his green card on the 18th. (technically the paper came the 19th, but verbally it was the 18th) We moved to America on the 18th. and most recently we closed on our house on the 18th.
We dont plan it that way, it just happens. Strange, but true. And today is the 18th of February. Tonight Rhys and I are going to the TU basketball game, which is nothing particuarlly special except it will be something fun and different to do; but today also marks 10 months of living in America.
It has been a while since I have a done a "how I am doing since I moved back to America and am having a hard time adjusting" post. And since I know everyone is just dying to know about my life and my thoughts, I have decided to make everyones dream come true and write such a post! Hooray, hooray!
10 months and counting since we have been official residents of the United States. And I think that I can say- I have adjusted. The first few months were miserable. Seriously miserable. I couldn't think of one positive thing about living in America. Well, aside from my parents and chick-fil-a. About month 5 things started to perk up and we got more accustomed to the 'American' way of doing things. But I think my attitude, and heart, really changed when we moved into our house in December.
We finally had a place we could call our own. We could make our own rules and live our own lives. They way when wanted, in the time frame we wanted. It was a glorious sense of freedom. From that point on, it didn't seem to matter which country we were in, for the first time since summer 2009 we had our own place and were living as just Team Williams. The little things faded away and life seemed to fall into place. Not in a "oh life is sunshine and roses and nothing ever goes wrong" kind of way. For those that read my last few blog posts, you know that is not the case. But things just seemed to fit. Neither one of us were missing as much or gripping as much or wanting something different. Apparently at the base of it all, we wanted a place to be JUST our family. And when that happened- everything else slotted right in. Plus the amazing 'winter' weather helped too. Who doesn't love 70's and sunshine in January.
We have an amazing church here in Tulsa. Both Rhys and I have met and connected with people that we really enjoy, people who understand our hearts and have similar stories, experiences and goals. I have found some amazing women to be share life with and Rhys has connected with some great guys. The church has a broad world perspective as well as a local focus. The culture of the church is what we would have wished for but not thought possible in Tulsa. Having that community has made these last few months of transition a lot smoother.
Dont misunderstand. While I am fairly well 'adjusted' there are still times I really ache for our 'old life'. I miss bagging your own groceries, I miss every single store expecting you to bring in your own bags. gotta love the 'bag for life' concept that is everywhere. I miss public transportation. I miss chip shops. I miss fish and chips. I miss walkers crisps. I miss going to pubs to watch sports. I miss the local pub quiz. I miss the two rings that you hear when you call someone. I miss walking along high streets. I miss walking places. I miss sidewalks for that matter! I miss fair trade products everywhere- because people cared enough to fight for it. I miss the seasonal concept of fruit and veg. You didn't get everything all the time, just what was in season. I miss the variety of accents and trying to pick out what part of the UK they were from. I miss curry. I miss the variety of cultures that you interacted with everyday. I miss big red buses. I miss easy jet and ryanair and the ease of travel. I miss match of the day (shhh... dont tell Rhys I miss that one) I miss Live at the Apollo and Celebrity Juice. I even miss Eastenders. I miss Marks and Spencer. I even miss their 2 for 10 meal deal. I miss squash and winegums and tea cakes and biscuits and hobknobs and cadbury chocolate.
I still say things like bin and post. Not on purpose, but because it is still a habit. I have to watch myself because I spell with a 'U' in words like colour and favourite, and I use an 's' instead of 'z' in words like organise and realise. It takes effort on my part to go back and correct those things when writing. Habits are hard to break and part of me doesn't want to even try and break those. But I am trying, and eventually I will say trash can and mail without even blinking. But I hope that day is not anytime soon.
So see? I do feel as though I am adjusted, but I still miss (and love) so many things about the UK. The above list does not even come close to all the things that I miss and think about, most on a daily basis. Not to mention the people. The family and friends that we left behind and miss constantly. I wish we could just pop over to the Williams' for Sunday dinner. I wish that tonight I could go out with the baby girls on their night out (have fun everyone!) I wish that my Saturday mornings were still spent down at the Fullers watching Rhys, James, Dan, Oli, etc... play rugby. And I even wish that my Saturday nights were spent down at the pub with the rugby crowd until 2 or 3 in the morning. Although that is a bit unrealistic considering our life stage.
I can say I am adjusted and still so desperatly miss those things because my attitude has changed. I can remember and love the good about the UK, but now I can also see the good about America. More specifically the good about Tulsa. And not just family and chick-fil-a. There are hundrends of benefits to living in Tulsa. There are countless things that we like about it. And numerous ways that God has shown us this is exactly where we need to be. My heart is at peace and that is the first time I have been able to say that for a while. I still miss so many things about living overseas, but I am also grateful to be here, living in America.
And that is how I am doing 10 months on. Missing the UK, but enjoying America.
Happy 18th everyone!!