I am in a new Country called Denmark. A few days ago I left my Native Land, The United States.
I am experiencing signs of Stress, even though I do not know what that is. I am surrounded by people speaking a new and unknown language. They all are smiling, and appear to welcome me, but I can only be confused.
I am at a Christmas Lunch. Everyone is talking and laughing. I am staring at the ceiling, counting the boards. I am thinking of where my Passport and VISA card might be. I am thinking of taking a plane back to the United States. I am not sure just where I’ll be going, but anywhere away from here sounds nice.
Back then there wasn’t really anything called Stress. I can recognize it today, because I have experienced something similar at work. I felt like I was not in control. I felt like things didn’t matter, regardless of what I did. I didn’t like feeling that way, but I was trapped within myself.
I am sitting in bedroom in a farmhouse, in the country. There are only houses here, with the nearest city being far away. There are only cows here, and a new Family who speak another language. My wife translates everything for me. The TV only has 2 channels. They only speak Danish, which I don’t understand. The cows and the dog only speak Danish too.
After 3 weeks, my wife tells me I have to help her brother in-law with the farm. I need to work in the barn, when the cows need to be fed. My brother in-law is only used to working alone. I cannot do anything right. I cannot understand anything, I cannot be, who I once was. My wife recognizes that something is wrong, but doesn’t know what to do, other than to put me to work. All the books and tapes that I brought with me, don’t have any meaning anymore. I am going crazy.
I have started school in the nearby city, Frederikshavn. I am starting to learn Danish. I throw myself into everything that is possible to learn. I am usually at the library, when I am not in school. One of my teachers invites me to his house where we only speak English together. He is from England. His wife is a Dane. She speaks English to me as well.
I have finally found some things to help me adapt in a new Country. I am beginning to understand the language. I have moved from the country to the city. We now can receive British TV stations. I am not very good at understanding British English, but it is after all, English! I have my friends who can relate to me in my Native Language. I am beginning to like being here.
All thoughts of glory and excitement put aside, it is definitely not easy, making such a move, as I did. A lot of things that I used to do, and know were put aside. A lot of people, I used to know in the USA disappeared one by one. I needed to start a new life and I did.
I am still not a Dane, and probably never will be. I am an American, living outside of the United States, not knowing very much about life there anymore. I am a sort of hybrid, a cross between 2 cultures.
I am living in the Kingdom of Denmark….but it wasn’t always easy to do so…