In the past year and a half I faced several difficult situation due to our decision of starting a new life in The Netherlands.
We came here with no job, very little money, and an apartment rented on internet for six weeks in Leiden. And no idea of how the future would have been.
It can seem something easy, but on top of this I have to mention that my husband has come from Africa one year earlier -only and it’s not easy to adapt into modern life – and that we were with our 18 months daughter.
We made the decision of coming to The Netherlands with the hope of giving to her a better future than what she should have if we were in Kenya or in Italy it’s definitely not an easy job being parents!-
It’s not easy to put down in words how many difficulties we went trough without seems like I’m complaining, as is not like this.
From the feeling of being completely alone, or being lost in a place you’ve almost never been before. I was extremely scared that everything could have been a big flop.
Burocracy in The Netherlands is a sort of never-ending story, and I wonder why people here hardly try to facilitate your life by giving you information. No, you have to find all by yourself. When this first step was finalized, we were ready to move on. Looking for a job.
I was extremely lucky and found a job within 3 weeks as business travel counselor for a big travel agency in The Hague. But that was only the first point, as difficulties were many more.
Finding a new house suitable for the 3 of us in a quite budget price, finding a daycare for our daughter, and find a job for my husband. Everything was moving inside and outside, and while I started the new, challenging job we were facing our moving in the new apartment. Nothing was easy at that time, trying to organize work & private life counting only on ourself.
Day by day life was going on, and my husband as well started to work a bit.
But when you are alone in a country unknown you can never stop and relax, as problems are always behind the corner.
So, it started to come out how to combine our jobs with daycare times, as we were kind of uncovered for some days..We had to find a babysitter, and fighting with the problem that we really had no money enough. But we managed.
I’ve tried everyday to hide problems and worries at work, and give my best smile to everyone. But that’s not easy, when inside you feel like screaming.
Anyway we were still with a lot of energy during our first year in NL. We couldn’t afford dinner out, a nice and warm apartment or shopping nights, but it was fine, we just needed the 3 of us. And step by step things were going quite well for a while.
Recently I had the opportunity of challenging myself with a new office and client -even still working for the same agency-and of course i couldn’t let go this opportunity. That should be easily to manage with daycare time and personal life. But is challenging again, and even if happy with the new job, again I have to fight against personal life situation not so easy,that I have to hide and show as everything is going more than well.
When I think that I am not able to do something, or that I am not good enough, that I will never make it… I have to concentrate on what I have done until now, and remember myself that is not easy what we face everyday and all that we went trough.
Sometimes I fell like I am the poor one and I don’t really deserve the place where I live where everyone else, in particular in this rich and full of expat people, is better than me. Ok, probably it is true, but I have to remember myself what I went trough how everyday I have to struggle, from the wind and rain on the bike till loneliness, from the courage to smile in every situation, to the deep tears I feel inside.
That’s why I should be proud of myself.