Reverse Culture Shock

DEFINITION of ‘Reverse Culture Shock‘ The shock suffered by some people when they return home after being overseas. This can result in unexpected difficulty in readjusting to the culture and values of the home country, now that the previously familiar has become unfamiliar.”

I know. Who knew right? You’d think that only being gone for a few months would result in nothing but joy and contentment to have returned home. That has not been the case. It has, in fact, resulted in the complete opposite. A feeling of displacement and homelessness that has resulted in feelings of immense anxiety, depression, and worthlessness.

That’s not to say that I regret leaving Scotland because I don’t think I do. I wasn’t happy there and it wasn’t what I wanted. But I suppose I was naive and foolish because I expected to return home and find purpose and fulfillment. At the very least I thought I’d find emotional fulfillment by seeing all the loved ones I’d left behind. But that hasn’t happened. What has happened instead is feeling a bit left behind in a world that no longer feels like mine. I miss my sister a great deal. She became my main confidant, my rock, and my support while we were both away. It’s weird not having her by my side, and weirder still not having her to talk to every day. Weirdest by far is Skyping with her and seeing my apartment in the background and wondering why I’m not there. Wondering why that feels like home even though the world outside it didn’t. And why I don’t feel at home in the house I lived in growing up, but feel at home seeing the Bay Area hills. Home and yet not at home no matter where I am.

I suppose returning home after being overseas is expected to having feelings of readjustments. Especially considering I wasn’t on a vacation, or a trip, or even an extended stay. It was a (semi)permanent move with a lot of new emotional challenges, and physical demands, and unexpected twists and turns every single day. You learn to rely on yourself and only yourself because there’s no one else you can rely on. You learn what you can handle, and when you need to ask for help. That’s hard to do, and it isn’t fun. I thought returning home would take away those feelings. I thought returning home would mean I could rely more on people, and I wouldn’t feel so lost and drowning in a sea of insecurity and confusion. Don’t get me wrong, I do have the support from people now. My friends these past 2 weeks have shown themselves to be the best people in the entire world and I can’t even begin to express the magnitude of gratitude I have for them. For their patience, and kindness. For their willingness to listen, and their understanding in my confusion. Most of all, for their willingness to stay. For not telling me it’s only in my head and allowing me the freedom and comfort to talk things out with them for hours on end. Their love has shown itself in numerous ways and I’m beyond grateful.

However. It is not up to my friends to make me happy. It is not their job to help me find fulfillment and purpose in my life. It is not possible for them to help me through this rough patch. Only I can do that. Only I can find the things that make me fulfilled. Kelsey wanted to stay in Scotland so she could find those things. I felt I would be better suited finding those things here.

So I suppose that’s what I’m going to do now. One step at a time. One day at a time. I thank you all in advance for your patience as I adjust. For your continued willingness to listen and be here when I need you. Because I still will. Even as I learn to be my own source of happiness.


P.S. Also, just found out yesterday I was waitlisted at RCS. So who knows, I may be returning to Scotland in the fall anyway. WTF with life right?? Seriously…

The Other Side

Leaving Scotland was hard. I had planned on staying longer but due to the way certain things worked out time wise I had to come to New York a few weeks earlier than anticipated. Perhaps it seems wrong to say it’s hard, seeing as it was my decision to leave, but it was. It was hard leaving a place that had become my home. It was hard leaving my flat, and the 2 (Yes. 2!) friends I’d made whilst living there. There are certain things you look at with fondness a week or two before you leave it. The bus routine, paying in British currency, certain foods I wouldn’t eat again for a long time (looking at you Cadbury chocolate), even the weather. And of course, leaving my sister.

I knew choosing not to live in Scotland was the right decision for me. I wasn’t making the decision because life there was “too hard” or because I felt like I couldn’t do it. Through lots of reflection, and talks with my sister, it became apparent that what we needed through this expereince ultimately ended up being two different things. For me it was leaving, and for her it was staying. And both of us feel good about those respective decisions.

I’ve had people ask me if I gave up. If it got too hard, if I got too homesick, if I missed people too much…these questions hurt a wee bit as I’d like to consider myself a forthcoming enough person that if something was too hard for me I would be sure to announce that. It’s frustrating not being heard, and frustrating being perceived as a weak person who “couldn’t cut it.” But I understand those impressions and try not to take those opinions seriously. 

So yes. I’ll be back in California by the beginning of April. I will be pursuing other avenues and other possibilities whilst there. The biggest thing that will be taking over my time is my health as I now have a forward momentum to get fully 100% healthy. I can achieve that while living in the Bay Area and have already begun the long road to recovery. 

Do I miss Scotland? Of course. But I’ll be back. And I’m excited for what’s in store next.

I’m now here alone!


Annika left.

We packed her things and took her to the airport- the same one we arrived at only 5 months ago. We hugged our goodbyes and pretended like it was just a few days apart. I am terrified. I am torn. I am so sad. She is my closest friend from birth and the person who helped me through every decision I made in this country. I don’t really know what to do now. Except just be sad. And deal with it…..

What to look forward to now?

Well- I am a bartender and looking to be a cocktail mixologist by the end of the week (oh yes- very exciting stuff.) I am still trying to meet new people and make new friends but it is always a slow process. I have a new flat mate. I have a couple activities I’m involved in. I am genuinely open minded to the next couple months. I guess first off I should tell you all about my new house mate.

His name is Corentin- and he is a French chef.

He is lovely.

He makes great French food. He is all smiles. He is yoga and guitar and warmth and spirit. I truly am excited to get to know him and enjoy his company. (ooh la la)

Secondly I am already looking into booking my first trop (I think June)- I just can’t decide between Italy, Greece, Morocco, Spain and Iceland. Decisions decisions 😉

I never actually posted this…

Hello All-

Let’s talk about some things that no one likes to hear:

Moving is difficult. I have plenty of friends and family members who have moved before. My grandmother moved over to the United States not knowing a word of English with her two children in tow. My best friend moved to Oregon from California- just to do it. I have a friend who did the same to New York City. These stories sound so glamorous, courageous; we highlight them as something incredible. A journey only the bravest among us embark on.

I love the support I’ve received in my journey. The amount of people who tell me how proud they are that I was able to get here and get a stable place to live, a job, a buss pass etc. This is wonderful success that I have the illusion of achieving. I did it! I moved! Oh what a story I have to tell. The problem with this is that it is only a small portion of the story. The iceberg- with 10% of it’s mass above water- only shows the world a fraction of it’s true self.

I can’t really decide yet whether or not this move is a good story or a bad one. I might have the 10% showing success- but the 90% beneath the surface is as dark and massive and not as pleasing to my audience. No one wants to hear about the time I got home from work at noon, cried a little and drank a bottle of wine to myself. No one wants to know about the days I sleep in to 5pm only to wake up, go on facebook, and go back to sleep. When I ask people for help I am met with destructively positive replies- It will get better, you will find your place, give it time. Good advice- all around. But what if I don’t need advice? What if all I need if a little bit of connection.

I have lived in Scotland for 4 months. I can count on one hand the number of people who have given me a hug. My sister is one of them.

Is connection all I really need? I have joined a community choir. It’s really wonderful. Singing again in a group of musicians. One goal. One focus. It’s reminiscent of some of the greatest experiences in my life.

I joined a gym and I am currently enjoying just working out for the sake of doing something- no other goal really. Although I’ve made some gains in my squats #gympro #liftordie


Anyway- everything written before this sentence was from about 3 weeks ago and I never posted it. Here’s a half written semi old post.



Unedited and Unfiltered



Since I last updated everyone on my adventures and outings it’s safe to say that LOTS have changed. So let me jump back to a week ago when I was working at the company Blue Branch:

My days at Blue Branch consisted of waking up at 5:45 AM and getting to the office at 7AM. Field hours between 9AM and 6PM and then return to the office for a settle up of the days sale production and any workshops/meetings/networking events. Most days I was home by 9PM and in bed by 10. I did this 6 days a week.

Sounds like shit right?

Well- here are the benefits:

  • I am actually really good at sales and thus make pretty good money doing it.
  • I had a large community of people I worked with and felt more connected to Scotland and the world
  • I had goals of progress and growth within this company


Here are the negatives:

  • Despite making money I ended up spending half of it in travel beause it was self employed expenses.
  • These colleagues (as made evident by a few stories I will tell later in this blog entry) were not my friends, but merely peers with ulterior motives as well.
  • The goals I set for myself might not have been ones I really wanted.


So, after a bottle of wine and a long conversation with my sister that went something like “I don’t think I like my job” – “Well if you don’t like it, change it.” I quit.


Now here’s the shit that really grinds my gears: After sending a long resignation email and a nice text message to my training manager both my manager and leader just pretended I no longer existed. Like FO REAL. I was immediately removed from the facebook groups, and removed from the whatsapp group and was never responded to.  I was simply swept under the rug as though I never existed in this company in the first place. Don’t get me wrong I only worked there for 2 months- but still 75 hours a week for two months is a lot of fucking time and energy.


So I quit. And since then (now it’s only been 3 days) I’ve been SO happy.

On Sunday I applied to 25 jobs and already have 5 interviews scheduled (they keep rolling in actually.) I got offered a positon at a hotel café which is cool I guess. Have another interview at a hotel tomorrow and honestly I’m just excited to spend a few months doing a fuck all kind of job and really just re asses my goals.

This now brings me to another point. I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming and Au pair for a family in Germany. I have a skype interview set up for tomorrow and would be really excited about the prospect of improving my German and reconnecting with my heritage. Not to mention the fact that I would be able to ignore real responsibilities for another year or so (lol). So as I began to toy with this idea my imagination expanded to include other countries. Italy, Spain, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand…and the list grows. So what to do now? Work in Edinburgh for a few months? Use my ridiculously impulsive move to Scotland as a catalyst to do the same elsewhere? But why not? (other than my student debt mountain back in the U.S. that I try to remain blissfully ignorant of) Why not just get hired as an au pair and fly to Australia for a year. I could do it. I suppose I would need to get a visa for Australia but like….then I just go home and kiss my parents good bye again and THEN go to Australia.

I guess all I’m saying in this entry is that I am so sick and tired of trying to make it seem like I have a clue what I’m doing; As though my moves are intentional and I’m about to checkmate the king in this chess game of life. In reality I’m another naive millennial stuck with the tragedy of thinking I can be and do whatever I want while simultaneously feeling the constant social pressure to find a stable career that will garner respect and profit.  This is what’s so frustrating! If only I could be irresponsible and silly and flit about all around the world. Will I be able to make up for lost time when I am ready to decide my future? Or maybe this really is what I want. To travel. To be a vagabond. To never really settle until I’ve seen it all. Maybe. We’ll see….



This will be a TMI post. Ye Be Warned…

One of the most wonderful (and sometimes infuriating) things about living with your sister is how in sync you are with each other. You often find yourself laughing the same way, or saying the same thing, and I won’t even get into how many times people pipe up on how much we look a like. Today though. Today the sister bond reached new heights. Because you see….

The redcoats have arrived.

Oh? Don’t know to what I am referring? Let me try again…

  • It’s shark week.
  • We’re surfing the crimson wave.
  • The uterus ninjas are here
  • Code Red, Code Red!!

Ok…hopefully you get the idea. If not, Google it.

But seriously! It happened an hour apart. I texted her while at work which is how we found out. What’s a girl to do when it’s not one of us but two!? The emotional fragility of our flat was at stake!


Being the amazing sister I am, I brought home chocolate and wine. Cuz like…duh. Chocolate.

Thing is, we ran out…(again. duh) So at 11:35pm Kelsey (being the amazing sister SHE is) decides to make chocolate muffins out of what we have in the cupboards. Cuz chocolate. Tescos is a 10 minute walk from here but ain’t nobody got time for that. We’re way too lazy. Also cuz cramps. Also there was that wine involved…remember the wine? 
So yeah. Chocolate.

Cuz. Chocolate.

If we eat all the muffins we may still go to Tescos. They have Nutella there. And chocolate frosting…
Cuz (all together now) chocolate.

Short and Sweet

Kelsey got promoted! YAY! Of course she did. I see her even less now but she’s kicking ass and taking names.

We’re both poor as fuck. This sucks for a variety of reasons but the main one has to be when friends (with all their good intentions) ask if we’ve seen/done xyz yet. No. No we haven’t. Why? Because we’re poor and working all the time. We’re not on vacation. We live here. Do you lot have the money and time to see all the amazing things your city has to offer? No, of course not. Cuz you’re poor and working all the time too. I get you. So while we’re trying to soak up the culture as much as possible, we can only do it on our days off and with limited pocket money. That in mind, we’re planning a trip to the highlands in the next month.

I have my auditions and am preparing for them. The classical acting audition is March 3 and the musical theater one is March 7th.

I’ve made two friends! Woohoo!! #popular

I’m flying to NYC the 2nd week of March for more auditions. And after that I’ll be returning to California. I’ll hopefully be back in Scotland in the fall attending RCS. I so hope that works out! If not, I’ll be staying in the Bay Area for the foreseeable future and figuring out new things from there. We’ll see. Things change every day. I’ve enjoyed (and will continue to enjoy) my time here, but it is not my home nor do I want it to be. Time to go back to where I truly want to be.


I’ve got 2 months left in this country. Let’s do it.

A Whole Lot of Updates

Buckle in kids. It’s gonna be a long one.

Hello dear reader. It’s been a while. How’ve you all been? How was your Christmas? Hanukkah? Kwanza? Boxing Day? New Years? Other holidays? Random Tuesday mornings? I hope they’ve been good. Ours have been good. Especially those random Tuesdays…

The Bergman sisters have been living in Scotland for over 2 months now. What the what? When did that happen? We’ve been here long enough that Edinburgh isn’t really a new city anymore. By no means have we viewed every inch of it, but it’s fair to say we know our way around pretty well. I haven’t given you guys any information on what I’ve been up to in the past month so let’s get on that shall we?


We’re both working. Kelsey mentioned her job in her blog post, so you all know about her crazy, insane, how is she still alive, work schedule. Mine isn’t nearly so hectic. I work for a coffee house called Fredericks. It’s right off Frederick street (Inspirational name. I know) and when I go out the door and turn right I have a direct view of the castle. It’s pretty sweet I must say. While I never thought I’d be a barista again, and I certainly never thought I’d be a waitress, I actually enjoy my job most of the time. My coworkers are all fantastic people (save one…curse you, foul human) and it’s a joy to come into work every day. Waitressing isn’t something I’d ever done before so I wasn’t sure how I’d adjust, but it’s just like any job. You do ok, better with practice, make mistakes sometimes regardless of how good you are, learn, repeat, etc. It’s by no means a permanent job, but it suits me for the time being.


I’m now officially registered with a GP. ‘GP’ if I haven’t mentioned previously, stands for General Practitioner. Essentially this means I have a doctor now. WOOHOO!! This is on the top list of prioroities really seeing as I have a crap ton of health issues. While I’m here, I’m going to take advantage of the (essentially) free healthcare and cram as many doctor appointments in as I can. Everything is slower to get done here, but free. Did I mention free? Free. Also. Fun fact. Birth control is free here too. Yup. Like…seriously USA. Get on Scotland’s level.

I’ve also joined a gym. And I go. A lot. Pretty much every day after work. I didn’t go today (I chose instead to buy a laundry basket and write to you guys..) but I did walk 2 miles because I felt bad not running 4. I don’t know who this person is who’s all into this regime, but it’s pretty cool. My fitness and health are the most important things to me at the moment as

  1.  I have the time to focus on them
  2. Kelsey and I have zero social life so temptations are few
  3. Fitness is something that is 100% self inducing. You are your own champion. And I need something like that at the moment I think.

It’s not just exercise but food too. I’m eating like an insane health fanatic. If I drink, it’s only once a week. I prep all my meals so I know what I’ll be consuming for the week. I weigh my food. No, seriously. That’s a thing I do now. I even try to make sure I’m eating a certain amount of grams of protein, carbs, and fats every day. I’m proud of myself for sticking with it and trying to become a better, healthier, me. It’s working too. I have all kinds of energy throughout the day, and I’m fairly certain the reason I have the energy to workout after shifts of being on my feet all day, is because I’m eating all the right things. Not gonna lie though it’s not always easy. The struggle is real being surrounded by cakes, muffins, and scones at work all the time. It’s just…so not fair. Nor is it awesome watching Kelsey eat bourbon vanilla ice cream (right!?) at home while I’m “splurging” on an extra orange. Haha. But it’s my choice, and I can always change my mind if I want to.


Kelsey promised pictures so I am delivering on them. Here is an unofficial tour of our flat. There’s no picture of Kelseys room as I took these while she was at work (when is she not) and I didn’t want to invade her privacy. Everything else is here though.

Our kitchen is pretty amazing. We lucked out completely on this flat. The previous tenant had lived here for 17 IMG_0839.JPGyears and only left because he met someone and moved in with her. As a result, everything was refurbished for the new tenants once he left. We have a fully stocked kitchen and even had basics when we first moved in. A cutlery set, basic plates, cups, bowls, and even 3 pots! We also were given a hot water heater (for tea. Of course.), a microwave, a toaster… seriously. The best.

Bathroom is ratherIMG_0841.JPG basic I spose…We have zero shelving space, and that’s the only mirror in the place, but we make do; there’s only 2 of us after all. Plus we have completely different schedules so there’s no fighting over bathroom time.

Living room. We spend absolutely no time in here. It’s basically become our clothes drying room. Everything you see, save for the fewIMG_0842.JPG kitchy things came with the flat. We’ve never turned the TV on. (Screw that TV tax. So not worth it) Never used the fireplace, and it’s rather dark due to the shade over the lamp. We do however, have a couch bed and it has been tested by our friend Ellika, and is considered to be very comfortable. So you are in good hands should you come visit.

Last but not least, my bedroom. Or part of it anyway. Feel lucky. This is likely the only time you (or I) will ever see it clean. It’s pretty bare at the momenIMG_0847.jpgt (save for my picture wall which is directly behind where this picture is taken) but I love my room. It’s warm, and inviting, and comfortable. To the left of my bed is a huge window and the opposite wall has my closet.

So, that’s our flat. Nice huh? We really love it a lot. We also were told about how small flats in the UK are so the fact that we have one with so much space is even more of a luxury. We felt at home our first night there, and it’s only gotten better since.

There are some crazy differences in the UK vs the US though. This is an obvious statement, but there’s things that you don’t think would even register in your mind, that you suddenly take notice of.

  • IMG_0843.jpgElectric: We pay our electric bill through a key that is inserted into our closet. You can “top up” (add money to) your key and that’s how you’re charged. It’s kinda nifty actually because you know exactly how much electricty you’re using every day as opposed to getting a bill at the end of the month. No fear of overcharging either. We use very little electricty (due to never being there) so while we can be charged monthly should we choose, this seems better.
  • Laundry: So most flats come with a washing machine. And they’re always in the kitchen. It’s just the way thinIMG_0845.jpggs are done here. Laundry rooms are just not a thing. Few places have dryers though. That is considered a vast luxury. Instead we have drying racks, and when it’s warm outside, drying lines. As a result
    of this, laundry time can become ridiculous as we’ll hang our clothes, sheets, and towels all over the flat in an exasperated attempt to dry them quickly. Best by far is draping them over the heater, but there’s only so many heaters in one flat…

Few other differences:

  • Outlets have three prongs instead of two. They also have switches that allow you to shut off the electricty to that particular outlet
  • The mail trucks are red. Not blue.
  • Filter coffee is almost impossible to find at coffee houses. Good luck.
  • Tipping isn’t really a thing here. Many do, but it’s not mandatory. If you do decide to tip, it can be as little as 20p. It’s gotten to the point where if I receive any tip at all I’m grateful.
  • Pants are called trousers here. Pants are underpants
  • The internet is kinda shit
  • You’re constantly going to have spare change due to 1 and 2 pound coins
  • Food has quick expiration dates. You’re lucky if things last a week
  • Contact-less credit cards: Seriously. Best thing ever. No need for a pin or anything. You tap your card on the pin pad and you’re on your way. The future is now.
  • Scones. Americans don’t know what scones are. Those triangle things at Starbucks are not scones. We need to incorporate scones into our diets.

We’ve also learned a lot of new slang terms that we’ve adapted into our vernacular. While in no way natives or experienced yet, I think it’s safe to say Kelsey and I aren’t tourists anymore.

I was gonna write about our holidays as well, but I think this post is long enough. I did warn you it would be a long one. Thanks for sticking with me to the end. Happy New Year!



Things lost and found while living abroad:


“If your dreams don’t scare you, then you aren’t dreaming big enough.”

It’s been a long time since I last posted on this blog. As much as I would love to fill in every last detail from the past month I don’t think it even possible. What I can tell you are many of the ups and downs and in-betweens that will guide you through what it really means to move to foreign country. First I wish to mention the things that I have achieved in the last month.

I got a job.

Now, applying and interviewing for jobs is the same everywhere. The stress, the long hours, the unknown, the feeling like you might not be good enough. However, I found a job, and it is one that I think fits. I am now working in direct marketing as a sales distributor for internet. It’s both exciting and exhausting and mostly I get worried that I will never really be capable of doing it. However, I find myself enjoying my days out in the field talking to everyone from the young to the old. The rude and the kind. The people who laugh with their eyes and the people who forget to laugh most days. I enjoy working with a team of people from all over the world, with different stories, and different goals small and large. In some ways this job is perfect for me, because I spend all my time there (meaning I never get bored). In others it’s terrifying, because this could be the start of my career. I never imagined myself being able to find a definition for myself, or a career, or a place in the world so instantaneously, but if this job works out, who knows how far it will take me? How far I will pursue it? Rather then tell you exactly what I am doing I would rather let this story unravel, and in time reflect on this beginning phase, because there is so much to come.

I got an apartment.

That is to say, Annika and I found a home. It is perfect. Warm, inviting, beautiful, new and polished. Affordable and clean. I think Annika intends to post photos so I will give her a chance to do that. In the meantime I will say this: NEVER EVER TAKE A BED FOR GRANTED. After sleeping on a couch for a month the most incredible experience in the world was spending my first night in my own bed. I cried, I laughed, and slept (duh).

I got a goal.

This is probably the most important thing I’ve gained from moving away. The last year of my life was spent in a whirlwind of confusion and dissatisfaction. I got pushed down quite hard after the disappointing realization that a college degree wasn’t enough to secure a comfortable living. I learnt that bad choices can catch up with you in the worst way possible. I struggled with the ugly truth that everyone has to grow up, and many people move on from ‘The college days’ into a phase called ‘adulthood’. In the past year I struggled with these things and mostly the fact that I no longer new who I was anymore. I was no longer comforted by the college student label and was constantly being asked ‘what I wanted to do with my life’. I didn’t know, and to be fair I still don’t, but what I do have is a goal. I want to spend the next 6 months here working at the company I am currently employed in hopes of making a successful career out of it. Why? Because I am good at it. Why? Because in the deepest pocket of my heart I think this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life out here. Although it means I’ll be sacrificing all the free time I wanted to have for travel. I will be building the foundation of a successful and happy career. Trade-offs I guess.

Although there are many things I’ve gained out here in Scotland. There are many more things I’ve lost. From small to large. (For example that one time I lost my purse at a train station in Glasgow). But there’s more to it than just the material items.


I’ve lost all feeling that there is someone out there to catch me if I fall. Annika and I might have come here together, but we are still out here alone. Being alone is not an easy thing to be. It determines your strengths and weaknesses faster than anything else. I don’t want to give the impression that I regret moving. I just deeply miss the things I left behind. I ache to see the people I love most in the world. I want to squeeze the patience out of my beautiful kitty (Monroe). I’m not homesick. I’m not missing California, but I have a good feeling that if you are reading this, I miss you.

The feeling in my toes

Yes, this is true. It’s fucking cold out here. I stand all day in freezing temperatures in heels. You do the math.


I suppose this goes without saying. But moving away gives you the opportunity to recreate yourself. No one knows who you are or where you’ve been. No one knows what you’ve seen or the things you’ve done. You are a blank piece of paper waiting to fill in the story. I love it. I hate it. It makes you question how much of your person is shaped by the people you know. I am certain that the next time I see my family I will not be the same person I was the day I left. But who’s to say they will be either? That’s the beauty of adventure. You don’t know who you will be on the other side.

It’s been a long month and 3 weeks so far. It’s a much longer 6 months ahead. I love you and I miss you friends.  Thanks for checking in.





Expectation, Fear, and Change

I find the idea and illusion of something often seems a lot more illustrious and interesting than the reality. Looking for a job and an apartment sounds infinitely more interesting when I say I’m doing it “in Scotland.” Like somehow those two words make my life seem a fascinating arrangement of new sights, sounds, people, and experiences. Don’t get me wrong…this is true, but it’s not quite as shiny as one would expect. I think it’ll disappoint a lot of you to learn that the illustrious joy of “job searching” doesn’t appeal any more over here than it does at home. Applying for jobs was never fun, but I also feel like I’m taking a step backwards in a way as I’m just looking to get any sort of employment so money can start coming in. Barista, reception, front desk…anything. I’ve accepted a job as a barista but I’m already not looking forward to it much. I want to state that this is NOT because I think these jobs are “beneath me” or whatever, I just miss being a massage therapist, and it’s frustrating that the bureaucracy over here is so slow thus preventing me from going after massage jobs. I’m super proud of my sister who found a job that she seems to be throughly enjoying. It’s long weeks, and even longer hours, but she enjoys going to work every day, and enjoys her coworkers, and I couldn’t be prouder of her for already building a life here.

I’ve learned that while there are quite a few theaters here in Edinburgh, entering the theater community here is pointless. The professional theaters here are touring shows, and the other companies are small 3 day performance, university run, theaters. Turns out the work I am interested in is in London. I had a feeling this was the case, but it’s so expensive to live there, I wrote London off until I was more established in the UK. I immediately applied for a subscription to ‘Spotlight’ which is where all auditions in the UK are sent. I send my headshot/resume out to any I’m applicable for but thus far nothing has bitten. Even if it has, I’m screwed because not only are the auditions in London, but the gigs are as well. All of them. Or somewhere in England. I’ve yet to see one in Scotland. It’s only a 90 minute flight to get there but still. Problems upon problems you know?

I’ve been questioning a lot of things since I’ve been here which I know has been a real strain on my sister. I don’t mean for this, and I’m certainly not intending that to be the case, but I can’t seem to find my footing. Many will say this is an obvious feeling. We only arrived a little over a month ago. The illusion that we’ll have found footing this fast is a folly and an impractical idea (though my sister already has found her footing so….boo to you people). I hear all those imaginary opinions, but I wonder if my unease is a greater feeling. I find myself questioning if I actually want to be here or not. If I even want to try to make a life here, and I’m sorry but I’m strongly finding the answer to be no. It’s totally not fair, because I have another person relying on me for half of everything so I can’t exactly pick up and do whatever I want but the more I think about it, the more I’m realizing that the original reason for me coming over here was thrust aside with the shiny idea of “just doing it.” And now that I’m here, I find that I don’t want to do it. That I liked my life the way it was, and my wanting to be here was to further my career. To become better at what I love to do, and to expand my horizons in an active way. In a way that had momentum and heading toward something I wanted. Not to randomly go out and find a new place to live, just because I could.

There are those whom I’ve spoken to about this who believe I’m only saying this because of the newness of everything. That I will eventually find happiness here and I just need to stick it out. But what, I ask you, is the point of sticking it out if I have nothing to stick it out for? Why live in a place that doesn’t provide me with anything that furthers me or makes me fulfilled? Because of a romantic notion of a foreign country being better than the life I already was living? Because the idea of the whispered judgments of loved ones behind my back saying I gave up scares me? Maybe….

This is by far the most honest blog entry I’ve written to date. I write this with a lot of fear about how people will take what I’m saying. It’s one thing to know the people who love you will love you no matter what, but it’s quite another for them to say they love you and still think you’re making a mistake. Who think they know you better than you know yourself, or think you’re doing the wrong thing. Who question your motives, or wonder if it’s just fear and loneliness; fleeing emotions and the like. I write it anyway in an attempt to explain my thoughts, and express how I’m feeling, and express how I’ve felt since…if I’m being completely honest, months before even coming here. I don’t want to be here anymore and I don’t want to make a life here. And I fear the judgement of my friends and family for having those thoughts and feelings.

Now that’s not to say great things haven’t happened because they totally have. I’m very lucky that so many people have taken us under their wing and taken care of us. Our air b&b host was a saint. Her name is Jenny and made our first week here quite lovely. Through doing “The Women” last April, my friend Anne told me to get in contact with her friend Jan who lives here. We did, and she has offered us her flat, and her address to use as a place of residence when applying for jobs, as well as talking to us for hours about what to expect, and things to do here. Her and her roommate Jane have let us into their home while we strive to find a flat and a place to call our own. It’s a bit like having two adorable, fun loving, aunts who take care of us, feed us, house us, and even get us drunk (seriously. There are stories)

Then of course there’s my friend J9 who we spent Thanksgiving with. I had an audition in London on November 19th (it went very well. They wanted people under 5’5″ though so…not me) and I asked her if there was any place we could stay for cheap. She got me in touch with a friend of hers named Gigi who housed us at her place for over a week. For free. Peoples kindness is truly humbling. All of J9s friends were so lovely, and warm, and funny and we met some truly amazing people during our week in London.

As you can see, it’s incredibly hard to find your footing in a place when you have nothing to ground you. We have each other, and a place to sleep, wifi (mostly), and a decent cup of coffee. While things could certainly be better, they’re in no way bad. But bad is far from good. And something needs to drastically change…