For those who don't know, most of my family and I have moved to Grafenwöhr, Germany. So today (18 Feb) I finally felt completely overwhelmed. A real “WTF am I doing?” moment. Bordering on panic attack overwhelm. Maybe it was the stress of having lived in 5 different hotel rooms over the last 45 days. Maybe it was not having viewed a single new place to live yet. Maybe it is the lack of a vehicle to drive around in. Maybe it was the whole 5100 miles from home in a new continent. But maybe it was just the third meeting in which I was the only non-German speaking person and EVERYTHING was being discussed in German. For some time now I’ve been thinking about re-naming my blog. Over the weekend the inspiration of what to call it hit me: Outside the Comfort Bubble. I am so far outside my comfort bubble it isn’t funny. Today was just a massive exclamation and emphasis of that point.
It’s also an odd point because I started blogging not only because I wanted to write but because I had time on my hands. What I was doing at work at the time was easy. I was on cruise control. My blogging started to taper off when I reached into the unknown. Or as a friend, fellow engineer, and blogger would say I began to stretch myself. Even my writing began to taper off as I further reached with my deployment to Afghanistan. Since arriving in Germany just over a month ago the desire to write, to point out my observations, and just plain express myself has been building but that step outside the comfort zone is overwhelming. I am a sponge soaking in new information and trying to find a way to process it.
There’s the new location, new roads, new rules of the road for driving, new language, new staff, new support staff, new standard operating procedures, almost none of the things that I have taken for granted remain. I remain the most humble person you will ever meet, yet I was good at what I did. In taking this new job and moving most of my family I said, “I got this, watch and see.” Since arriving, I have gone from “WTF!” to “WTF?” What have I done? This is going to be a challenge. This is going to be harder than it already has been. I see that now.
At the end of the day on the way home I heard on the radio Tubthumping. Now it isn’t that I’m a big Chumbawumba fan, but something about the lyrics resonated with my eternally optimistic side. No, it isn’t that I was concocting a session wherein I alternated whiskey drink, vodka drink, lager drink, and cider drink. It is the reminder that I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.
It will be a few days before I fix the blogpage. It may be a few days before I post anything else as well. But it’s coming. I am reminding myself as I recently did my oldest daughter of my favorite piece of kitsch hanging in the Biloxi Hard Rock. It is a signed drum head from Alex Van Halen that reads, “Fall down 7 times, stand up 8!”