Friday, June 8, 2012

It was worth it in the end...

I was going through my Facebook Newsfeed to see if I could find some or the other inspirational quote to start this blog entry.  There are a number of Facebook groups I belong to with some amazing quotes and sayings and usually there are so many that I find myself reading and nodding my head and they (for some reason) seem to apply to what is going on.  But tonight nothing really stands out except this quote from Winnie the Pooh "you are braver than you believe" and this is so true in life. 

I was thinking back to the time we moved here from South Africa.  It was the biggest, most scary thing I've ever done.  I'm not going to go into our reasons for wanting to move, just that we got to a point and we didn't feel that South Africa was right for us anymore.  So we found ourselves questioning whether we would stick with what was familiar, stick with what we knew or take a risk and start a new adventure.  I remember we started thinking about moving to New Zealand, I spent a long time understanding the process and what would be needed.  It was a huge decision.  If we decided to move it would mean leaving friends and family behind.  It would mean leaving the safety of what we knew and trade that in for an unknown.  It would mean leaving the security of our jobs and our home and start completely over.  There was absolutely no way of knowing whether such a move would be a success or not and all we could do was to try and prepare ourselves as best as possible.  We didn't have jobs secured.  We didn't know in which city we might end up living, but we knew we wanted to make the move and once we decided that we had to kind of just choose a date (September 2004 in fact), take the plunge, make it happen and trust ourselves enough.  Now 7 years later I know that the decision was the right decision for us.  We didn't know at the time Bianca would get cancer and realised after she became sick what a blessing it was to be here.  We didn't have to worry about paying for her treatment or fighting with a medical insurance company to cover bills.  There are other blessings too - I feel our quality of life is better and I feel this is a great place to let the girls grow up. 

I learnt a few things in our immigration process - If you want something bad enough you can make it happen.  If you set your mind to something, just go for it, don't look back.  Don't let anybody hold you back from achieving what you believe is right for you.  Put everything into it.  So many people come here and they kind of keep one foot in South Africa and one foot here just in case it might not work out and that strategy doesn't really work because if you are not determined enough you will quickly forget why you made the move and then you will simply give up.  The one guy who lived next to our one rental home told us that he moved from South Africa to New Zealand and back to South Africa and back to New Zealand 3 times each time forgetting why he moved away from South Africa just to be reminded again when he arrived back in South Africa.

Now 7 years later I can honestly say this was the right move for us.  It doesn't mean it is the right move for everybody else, but it was for us.

After Bianca became sick I read a book.  Can't remember exactly what it was called, I think something like "Hannah's Shoes" or something.  Can't remember.  All I remember is that it was a mum who wrote a book about her little girl who got cancer.  The little girl had this pair of bright red shoes.  The bit that stood out for me was where a doctor said to the mum "you can only base your decisions on what you know now with the information you have right now" and thinking back about our immigration process (and Bianca's illness), I realise just how true this is.  We were only able to base our decision on what we knew at that particular moment in time, there were no guarantees, we didn't have the ability to see what might lie ahead.  Looking back - I'm glad we did it.  There are no regrets.  This is home.

But anyway, a rambling post tonight.  We often get people asking us why we decided to move here and whether it was hard and whether we might go back.  I feel for people right in the middle of it all, it is really stressful, but if you want it enough and if you are determined enough you will hopefully find the way we did - it was all worth it in the end.  Getting there was incredibly hard, seemed impossible at times, but it was all worth it in the end.


Don't unplug your hub. said...

You were certainly brave Lea, and it worked out well. Nice inspiring post.

amanda said...

You and Terence were very brave indeed! Thanks to you, I will soon be joining you and hopefully Eric, Jax and Febe will also soon have confirmation. We will be able to spend Christmas together as a "whole family"!!
Love you all lots. mom xxx

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I dream of living elsewhere for a year or two but I always see SA as home.

However you are 100% right - you have to forge ahead totally if you're going to make a go of it anywhere otherwise you "don't belong" in two places :)

My ex-boss emigrated to Australia and when we went over, said the same thing. He even speaks like an Aussie :)

Sue W @ Living the Good Life said...

Best thing we ever did coming here, never looked back and never had any regrets! Ya gotta grab life by the balls and go with it. We don't know what tomorrow brings, one quote I like is 'Live today as if it's your last because tomorrow isn't promised'

Paul said...

I like the doctor's comment "base your decisions on what you know now'. It is so true as the future is unknown and there is no magic wand that can guarantee it is the right decision. If you don't make a decision you may die wondering. A great post, Lea! It certainly spoke to me!

Lien - all new adventures said...

I was only five when my family decided to escape Vietnam. It was definitely the right choice and the best they did, especially for us kids. I am so grateful for their bravery in making the very tough decision, and the very tough journey here. I bet your kids will say the same when they are old enough to understand!

Ellie said...

What a great post Lea, and I love that 'Winnie The Pooh' quote :)
When I was about 10 our family moved to Rhodesia to live for about 18 months. I loved it but it was a scary place to be.
I have always wanted to emigrate and looked into it about 15 years ago but didn't follow it through. Now I think we are too old for a lot of countries.
I'm so glad you found it was the best decision for you and now your mum is coming to to you too. That is really nice.

Hayley said...

When I was there a few months back, my Sister in Law, was telling me about so many expats (from all over the world) who get there, and just moan about everything and how things are not like it is back home...and they are just never happy. I agree with you, If you are going to do it, you need to embrace it with everything you have...else you will always be you say...with one foot in each country.
Good for you guys, for making it work!