I knew before coming to Denmark that I risked coming to the end of my stay here and not wanting to leave. And I think that day has come. The day where my current state of mind matches the weather outside: all mixed up.
With roughly one month left in Denmark, I have mixed feelings about going back to Bordeaux and France. Of course there are some great things in France for me (just as there are some not so great things about Denmark), but I know that I have spent the past few years in Bordeaux having a great time but not really living for me. I feel like I just bobbed along on the surface, just floating down the river.
I know that my feelings today are related to losing a friendship in Bordeaux. I wish that I could give all the details out here on my blog but I cannot. Suffice to say, I really believed that we were really good friends, that we were two peas in a pod, but I guess these were just ideas.
|Rocks on a beach near Bordeaux. Author of photo: Den Nation.|
So how are things going to be when I get back to Bordeaux? I shudder to think. To be honest, I think I have made more "friends" here in the past 5 months than I did in all the years I spent in Bordeaux. I don't really have true friends here yet, but I get along so well with some of the people from my Danish class that I know that I could be great friends with some of them if I just stayed longer. But do I really want to risk that? Put myself out there, believe that something exists, only to discover that I have only imagined it existed in my mind, and then be disappointed again?
As I approached 30 I felt that I was becoming more and more introverted. Now I am sure that I have a bit of a problem. I am getting TOO introverted, cynical of everything and everyone and not putting myself out there more. Sure I took a chance with my Bordeaux friend, but just because I was disappointed once doesn't mean that the next friendship I seek has to turn out the same way. I am introverted, and I tell myself that I don't need friends, but I know that that is not healthy. I do need friends.
I just feel strange "begging" people for their friendship. I don't want to push people because I feel that friendships should develop naturally, but if I don't push a bit more than I have been I'll just continue floating along like I was doing in Bordeaux. I can't get over my introverted self, though, and get myself out there. I just can't "beg".
This is why my Bordeaux friendship is such a blow for me. It was a friendship that seemed to come naturally and I kind of put all of my hopes onto that friendship. And that's not healthy either.
I do have some true friends, but they are scattered around the world. Such is the life of an expat.
The failed friendship is not, however, the only reason why I am apprehensive about going back to France. I have gotten used to Copenhagen: there is an anything goes attitude here, there are so many rules in France that the easygoing way of life here has really grown on me. I like Copenhagen; it is a capital city without feeling like one, big enough to have everything you need without being overwhelming.
Who knows, maybe when I get back to Bordeaux I will get back into my old life and forget about Copenhagen. But something tells me that I won't forget...
|Ebeltoft marina on a party cloudy day. Author of photo: Den Nation.|
I do thank you all, my dear readers, for reading my Sunday afternoon ramblings. For anyone who is thinking about becoming an expat, this is the real expat life, not what you read on some Paris blog about picnicking beside the Seine river with all of your new-found friends.
Which leads me to telling you that...
I think that this is the perfect moment to tell you why I picked the name Den Nation.
Den is short for Denmark. As I started this blog shortly before moving to Denmark, this is no surprise. But I also choose the word because it also means a refuge or a hiding place. This blog is my den. I also have a physical den which includes my desk, my computer and my living room. I am an introvert and I hide in my dens. I work from home and sometimes spend days without seeing another person besides my husband. And I choose Nation not only because Denmark is a country but also because this is my nation, my den country. There may be only one person that is physically present at all times in my den, but you, my readers, are regular visitors to my den. And I think we, being immigrants and expats, do share a lot of things in common, one being the difficulty of making and maintaining friendships with people of cultures different for our own. So you are part of my den nation as well. One last tidbit: if you say Den Nation quickly enough you will hear... well, I think you know what word comes out. No, this blog is not an eternal punishment! It's more like my mind I can't get away from, my cynical ways, my lack of self-confidence and self-worth. This is part of my nation, my Den Nation.
Have a good Sunday!