Breaking the Cycle of Division – Unity Begins with You!

When my husband said we were asked to move to a giant sandbox on the other side of the world my stomach churned so hard I had to sit down.

How was this possible?  We said we would go ANYWHERE in the world except – THERE!  Scenes from movies and the news melded with my own fears and questions were fired off so rapidly my husband could not reply.

A “yes” wasn’t possible if I could not change my thinking:

  • From the losses to the possible gains.
  • From the challenges to the possible opportunities.
  • From fear to faith.

Ask 1 Question and Increase Your Connections

One of my expat friends recently moved back to the U.S. to an area she has never lived in before.

 When we spoke recently she shared how hard it is to develop friendships with people in the area.

When she is out walking and greets her neighbors, they look at her like she is from another planet.

When she meets people at her children’s schools and they learn that she was recently living overseas the conversation ends quickly.

Is it Good to Be a FIRST? Or Is it a Judgment?

The Power of FirstsAs a society we tend to label and categorize everything into the smallest, tiniest little box so it seems more clearly defined but is it always necessary?  We always want to clarify with adjectives, adverbs and descriptors so there is no margin for error in what we are talking about.

The Power of Firsts
  1. Does it help us to visualize better?
  2. Or does it hold more negative connotations instead of creating equality? Is it a form of discrimination?
  3. Will it call attention to and single out individuals as more of a minority status? How can this be kind?

About a month ago I got a note from Jane Perdue with an invitation to write a guest post for her blog with these questions as thought starters

Do you ever wonder what women, men and society need to do so that…

  1. Women and persons of color are designated as a doctor, not “a woman doctor;” as a scientist, not “a Latino scientist,” etc.?
  2. Special designations aren’t needed in announcements, e.g.:  the first woman to lead the federal reserve, the first female best director Academy Award winner, the first African American female flight crew, etc.?

I struggled with this topic for a month. I was so torn but my heart and most recent experiences led me to a very eye opening conclusion. One you may be surprised by.

Read more at: Braithwaite Innovation Group Why our world needs FIRSTS – LeadBIG

We’ve walked into paralyzing fears and become stronger.

We’re doctors, nurses, schoolteachers, writers, actresses, artists, musicians, hair-stylists, yoga teachers, economists, consultants…

We’re red, and yellow, black and white and every color you can imagine.

We’re in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and yes even in our 70’s!

Some of us are newlyweds, some are new mothers, some are raising teenagers, some have four-legged furry-children, and others have grandchildren.

We’re Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu…

Some of us have husbands home each night, while others navigate the new lands we live in while our spouses travel or are offshore for weeks at a time.

We’re not just “Trailing Spouses” – We’re real people that have been “Thrown In” and instead of being destroyed by the pressure of constant change and the unknown we’re transforming.

Agents of Change iStockLast week I announced a new blog series about Expat Wives in this post:   

Uncommon and EXTRAordinary Agents of Change  

This is the first story in the series.  

  • It’s written to encourage anyone in the midst of change.
  • It’s written for everyone that loves an adventure.
  • It’s written to remind Recruiters and Hiring Managers that in order to find Diamonds you have to mine for them.
  • It’s written challenge companies that hire expats to evaluate their processes.
  • And most of all it’s written with a grateful heart and in honor of the women I’ve met on my journey.

9-11-2001 From An Uncommon Perspective

Last year I kicked off this blog just before the Anniversary of 9-11-2001 and included some of our story from that day that none of us will ever forget.

Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward and freedom will be defended.  President Bush

At that time, I had no idea that I would be spending this year’s anniversary of that occasion in a big sandbox on the other side of the world.

All of a sudden there were people screaming. I saw people jumping out of the building. Their arms were flailing. I stopped taking pictures and started crying.  Michael Walters

Yesterday, I sat in a room filled with American Expats, some of which have lived in this sandbox for more than 20 years, some more than 10 years, and many in the less than five year category.  (And yes – those of us in the less than 5 year category are holding tightly to our 3- year commitment!)

During the gathering my friend, Jan Hibler shared why this group means so much to her and emphasized how much harder life was here 12 years ago.  (If you’ve been following my expat stories – you know that life here is a challenge today, so imagining even more constraints just adds exclamation marks to those stories.)

And then that day came when the planes hit and while we were focused on what was going on in America, this is small taste of what life was like for the people here…