Up, Up, and Away
李俊弘 James Lee 實習諮商心理師
#alien #cultureshock #doubt #isolation #awayfromhome
“Jane packed only basic necessities into her silver Rimowa carry-on, and flew over 11,000KM to take a new job in Taiwan. She had always dreamed of exploring Asia, and now was her chance. She left everything behind – everyone she loved. Her friends, her family, her familiar life.
It has been an incredible experience. She has learned so much about herself and other cultures. She has met some extremely friendly people and also made some great friends along the way. Yet, when Jane left her hometown, she never imagined she would one day miss it so much. She found herself longing for the familiar places, people, and routines of her past.”
Although Taiwan isn’t as luxurious as Dubai or as technologically advanced as Japan, I have seen many well-traveled individuals choose to stay on this beautiful island. You may have chosen to stay for the people or you may have chosen to stay for the food, and I’m sure some of you may have even chosen to stay for the 7-11s. No matter the reason, I believe that the decision in of itself may have been difficult, and may have even resulted in the sacrifice of a part of your life. And when we think of loss in any context, it is rarely ever just fun and excitement.
It may have started out as a great experience of novelty. And with the Taiwanese culture, though short in lifespan, can still be quite plentiful. As time goes on, doubt may arise, as you may begin to see and experience the flaws and challenges that understandably exist. Somewhere down the line, resentment and criticism creep into your everyday life, and a sense of isolation and loneliness may begin to take over. Some people are able to overcome this and adjust accordingly, and others have a harder time doing so. Realize that both overcoming and adjusting or remaining where you are in the present are all considered normal, and there isn’t a set time on how quickly or slowly one should acculturate to a new culture.
There may be moments where you feel alienated, and just crave for warmth and belongingness.
There may be moments where you feel isolated, and just wish there was someone who understood you for you.
There may be moments where you feel lost, and you’re no longer sure what you’re doing on this foreign land.
Wherever you are in life, know that you have the strength within you to persevere through all of these moments. Know that you are brave and resilient for having embarked on an adventure on foreign soil. And know that if your tank ever feels empty, we at Seeing Counseling Center are here to fill up that tank.
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