The first months back

Well, it’s been five months since we repatriated back to the US. For so long all I thought about was what life would look like when we returned, both professionally and personally. I felt so ready for the change, but I think I forgot to properly prepare everyone else for the up and down emotions!

We are incredibly lucky to repatriate back to where I grew up. Going from having no family around to grandparent care nearly every day is such a lifesaver and allows us to assimilate faster.

In the first few months we purchased two cars, found a great daycare for the boys, and best of all I found a new job that I really like. Everything happened so fast that sometimes it feels like we never left (except that we’re still in temporary housing!). But China has and always will permanently change my outlook on life and the way I interact with people moving forward.

During my search for a job I met with an old colleague and the first thing she said to me was, “I was nervous to meet you today because you only know me as a junior account person and I’ve grown so much since we last work together. I now manage teams and am fairly senior in my job.” And it sort of stopped me dead. Because I thought it was only me that felt like old friends and colleagues didn’t know who I was now that I was a mom and an expat. Her comment forced me to get out of my head a little bit and remember that everyone is carrying some insecurity around with them that they believe other people are judging them for. And the truth is, we’re all so wrapped up in our own selves that we don’t have time to think about anyone else in that detail.

The interaction gave me confidence for the interviews I had this summer. We all bring something to table that is unique, and I feel confident that my skills and personality can be a real value add to a creative team. The long hours of hard work I put into my writing, editing, and branding work in Shanghai really paid off for me, and I now have a great job I never would have gotten without it.

I hope that I continue to use the goal-setting techniques I implemented during our time in China in the future. It is the thing I am most proud of myself for in the past three years.

Do you use vision boards or goal-setting to achieve your dreams?

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