The German Chronicles – What’s it Like?

People want to know how I feel and what I think at the moment. As in “Is it difficult to pack up and leave?” or “What’s going through your mind?” or “Aren’t you sentimental about the stuff you’re leaving behind?” One I get a lot is “I’m too attached to my family to leave them behind.”


Because what you’re basically saying is that I’m not attached to the people we’re leaving in South Africa. You’re wrong.

But let’s start at the beginning. My mind is an explosion at the moment. It’s a stormy and weird place, with things moving around like a whirlpool. On the whole (AKA non-moving, normal Yolandie), I’m borderline mad. Add the stress, the goodbyes, packing up what we own and still having to be a mom to an almost-two-year-old, plus day-to-day life, and it gets… well… chaotic. I feel like a lunatic at the moment.

To answer your question, yes, it’s difficult to pack up and leave. Keep in mind that I don’t speak the language and I’ve never been to Germany. My parents have lived (and still live in) the same house since I was three years old. The neighbourhood we all live in (I live around the block from my folks) is the neighbourhood I grew up in. I know the area. I know what shops I like and which ones I want to avoid. I know which streets are good and which ones have mad traffic. I know what schools would work for Kayla. I’ve been in the same church for the (almost) seven years I’ve been married and I was in the one before that since the day my parents moved into the house they’ve been in for 27 years. It is damn difficult to leave.

Did you notice that I didn’t mention the people I love in the paragraph above? There’s a reason for that.

Because if leaving the area is so difficult, what do you think it feels like moving from my folks and in-laws, my brother, my aunts, uncles and cousins? My grandmothers and grandfather? My friends? My people? I’m an especially social person and the people in my life are incredibly important to me. They share in everything with me. Every scheme, every novel, every experience. These people are my catch-net. They are the ones who keep me going when I have no go left. They are the ones who inspire me when I’m uninspired. They are the ones who cheer me on, help when I need it and carry me when I can’t move. They’re also the people who laugh with or at me. Who listen to my excited ramblings and smile indulgently. They accept my flaws and embrace my strengths.

They are my people.

Leaving them and moving is not only very difficult, it’s friggen scary too. While you’re wondering if I’m heartless at being able to leave my people and move to the other half of the world, I’m wondering if they’ll forget me. Did I make a big enough mark in their hearts to live there? Will I be replaced? What if they do replace me? I don’t want to be forgotten.

I can’t bare my heart more to you on the topic, it’s just too personal. I don’t have the words to explain it to you anyway and I might just have a weeping fit if I don’t leave it there. Just know that it’s not easy at all.

Equally terrible is the fact that we can’t take Cupcake with us. My father in law is adopting her, since his house is as much her’s as my house is. At least she’ll be taken care of and loved, but it still breaks my heart. I never imagined going somewhere without my doggie. The thing is just that Jan’s basically on a probation period of 6 months at his new job. In that time, his new boss has strongly advised us against bringing any of our things, or pets. While I’m certain we’ll be staying in Germany after that, I can’t have Cupcake stay in SA for 6 months, just adapt to the fact that we’re gone and then uproot her again. Or I could, but everyone else has been trying to convince me not to. This is unbearable, folks. It’s breaking my heart.

It’s also the reason why we’re not taking any of our furniture with us to Germany. I’m taking 5 boxes, that’s it. Hence the question about leaving all of our things behind or selling the stuff.

Am I not sentimental? Have you met me?! I’m very sentimental. Leaving the stuff we’ve hoarded over the years isn’t easy either. I actually burst into tears at the prospect of not being able to take all of my books! (I’ll do a post on that if you want it) But the stuff is still stuff. Stuff can be replaced. New memories can be connected to new stuff.

Of course, this is just one side of the coin. For every ounce of sadness, there is an equal amount of excitement. Half of my mind is a whirlpool of depression and the other half is filled with rainbows and butterflies.

I’m going to have my first ever white Christmas. Snow, folks, snow. I’m going to see it! I might build a snowman. (Now that song’s going to be stuck in my head…) We don’t get snow in Johannesburg. We’re going to see the famous German Christmas markets. We’re going to experience Oktoberfest (not that I drink beer. :P) I’m going to make new friends and I know they’re going to be amazing. I might never have to drive again with the public transport there being so cool (choirs of angels sing in my head to validate that. Booya!). I’m learning a new language and we’re going to live in Europe.

Let me say that again. We are going to LIVE IN EUROPE.

Have you been to Europe? It’s MAGICAL. There are CASTLES! CASTLES!!!!

We can go to France or Italy or Spain for the weekend. We can see the tulips in Holland and drive back home in an afternoon. We can see the Northern Lights! Go back to Scotland or finally see Ireland! London! All of Europe and the UK is close enough to explore. The world is going to be our oyster! My kid is going to grow up with all of these places in her backyard. I was 27 when I went to a new country for the first time in my life. 27. My daughter isn’t 2 yet. She probably won’t be impressed with the castles we see if it isn’t a castle in Disney world. 😛 Do I want to give my daughter the opportunity to experience the world? YES! With all my heart.

Yes, I’m scared. Yes, I’m sad. Yes, I feel a little overwhelmed at times. But this is one of those opportunities in life that comes only once. This is one of those kinds of things that you either take a leap of faith and plunge into, or you wonder for the rest of your life what would have happened if you did.

I’m excited. In fact, I’m giddy about this. I have never, not for a single moment, wondered if we were doing the right thing. I’m 100% sure about this and I have always been. I don’t know if you’re religious, but I am. We’ve even had Word as confirmation that this is what God wants for us. You don’t know how many other opportunities was denied to us, but this time, everything has worked out. No matter how big the obstacle seemed, it was removed from our path.

Everything in life is what we make of it. As long as we stay positive, we’ll be fine. We’re going to learn so much and life experience is priceless. I’m convinced that this is going to be one of the best experiences in my life.

Just don’t forget me. I won’t forget you.


PS. I didn’t draw a single line this week. I probably won’t draw next week, because it’s my last week in SA. We’ve got people to see and stuff to pack. 🙂


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