Letter E #AtoZChallenge

Letter E memoir encyclopedia entries…go!

Eggs

I like my eggs scrambled. Basic, I know, but that’s just how I like ’em. My scrambled eggs are tasty, but my mom’s are way better! Hers are always fluffy, while mine can be a little tough. She says I over-mix them. What can I say? I’m impatient.

My granddaddy taught me the way to eat scrambled eggs, and to this day, it’s still my favorite. Two pieces of wheat bread, toasted til they’re toasty brown, but definitely not burnt. Spread on a thin layer of butter, followed by a layer of jam. I prefer strawberry or blueberry. Next put scrambled eggs on top of the toast and enjoy. Mmm, mmm, good!

Ennis St.

I lived my first 22 years at 606 S. Ennis St. in a one-story red brick house. I knew every inch of our stretch of Ennis St. and the surrounding neighborhood streets. I whizzed my bike around, flying up and down sidewalks and driveways, without a care in the world.

I played in the front yard beneath the shade of our ancient pecan tree, whose branches stretched out halfway across the yard and taller than the house. It was a perfect tree for climbing. It had a “v” shape low enough to act as a foothold, and a long branch overhead low and strong enough to grab onto when you were swinging up into the tree. Andrew and I spent hours up there. Every year, we’d collect what fallen pecans we could find, but the squirrels always beat us to them.

Growing up on Ennis St. is something I wouldn’t want to change about my childhood. I was two blocks from both my elementary and middle schools, so we biked or walked to school. For a while, my Meme and Papa lived two doors down, in the house my dad grew up in, and later my Aunt Kathy lived there, too. My best friend, Nicole, lived a couple blocks away and we could be at each others’ houses in a moment’s notice. We had a killer park perfectly built for bike riding. Goldie Ruth, our neighbor whose backyard we shared a fence with, was the nicest, funniest, old lady with some really amazing stories. Every Easter, our family, along with about 10 other families, gathered at Goldie Ruth’s house for the largest Easter feast known to man. Our Easter egg hunts were pretty epic, too!

I still sometimes drive down Ennis St., past my old house, just to see if it’s changed. There have been slight alterations, but for the most part, it’s as I remember it.

Entertaining

Entertaining is my jam. I know how to throw a mean party, and everyone has a good time. The trick is to have the right mix of good food (I’m sorta known for this bit), drinks, music, and party games (Cards Against Humanity is a crowd favorite).

I’m not sure what it is that draws me to entertaining, but it’s this pull that just comes naturally. It’s a helluva lot of work to do, I always get stressed out the day of as I try to get everything ready before guests arrive, and there’s a crapload of clean-up after the fact. But the energy, the smiles, and the fun with my friends makes it all worth it.

Typical soirees I tend to throw each year are back-to-school parties, Friendsgiving, Ugly Sweater Party around Christmas time, birthday party (last year’s was an epic Prom Pub Crawl), and end-of-year parties. I’ll also throw in the occasional cheese tasting or just-for-the-heck-of-it-since-everyone’s-stressed-out party.

You should totally come to my next party…you’re sure to like it!

Expat

Becoming an expat was the single-most life-changing decision I have ever made. Following my heart and taking the leap of faith to move to China and begin a life as an international educator is something that, at the time, seemed like a short-term decision, but now is a lifestyle I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I’m finishing up my seventh year as an expat, and during that time I have lived in Shanghai, China; Tirana, Albania; and Bangkok, Thailand. Soon I’ll begin a new adventure in Indonesia, and I’m really thrilled about this new chapter in my life!

Being an expat has opened my eyes to the world and shown me that there’s so much more out there than I could have ever imagined. This experience has made me a more open-minded, tolerant, patient, and understanding person. I am much more of a risk-taker, and I’ve done more and tried more than I ever thought possible. I’ve also met some truly amazing people during my time abroad that I would not have met otherwise. I couldn’t imagine doing this thing called life without them in it.

I have come to realize that I prefer living in places where it isn’t as easy. What I mean is that I would much rather live in a culturally diverse place that isn’t similar to the US. I like the challenge of it. It’s a real struggle sometimes, and I have been known to cry, but those moments only make me stronger. Experiencing new cultures has opened my eyes to the fact that there is more than one right way to do things.

A big perk to expat life is all of the travel opportunities you’re afforded. As an international educator, our school schedule is pretty sweet, and there are many weeks of holiday sprinkled throughout the year. Being in Asia or Europe, where the countries are all relatively close to one another and flights are inexpensive, means that you can frequently travel to new and exciting places. So far, I’ve been to 35 countries, and I’m not stopping anytime soon!

As with everything, there are drawbacks to expat life. The most obvious is that you are far away from your family and friends back home. You miss the everyday moments, the birthdays, the weddings, etc. You can also get homesick and miss the comforts of home, be it food, modern conveniences, or being able to speak the same language. Life is more difficult living abroad. The biggest difference is usually the language, but beyond that, things like paying bills, running errands, finding items you need, and going to the bank become huge ordeals that require much patience and an open mind.

Despite the drawbacks, I am in love with this life I’ve created, and the thought of moving back to the US, at least at this point in my life, seems so far outside of my realm of understanding that I can’t picture it. I tell anyone who’s considering moving abroad to go for it. It’s definitely not for everyone, and you may miss home and decide to come back, but you will be a better human for doing it. More likely a scenario is that you will fall in love with it, too, and decide to stay a while.

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Letter E #AtoZChallenge

  1. coolkidandy

    You’re right, being an expat gives us a lot of travel opportunities. It is also the biggest decision I’ve made so far, and while it’s enjoyable there are many drawbacks as you mentioned. One of them is missing my family so much. Good thing there’s Facebook where I contact my mother and my siblings through video comments. Loved your post!

    Name: Andy
    Blog: coolkidandy.wordpress.com
    #AtoZChallenge theme: Chinese Adventure
    Topic for E: Explore Beijing Through Photos

    Reply
  2. bevbaird

    Great choices for W. When I saw “eggs” – I immediately thought of gathering eggs from the 20 chickens we had when we lived on an acreage. Took me back!
    What a fascinating life as an expat. Never been to any of those places – there is a book there!

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      I used to gather eggs at my grandparents’ farm, too! I wrote about that today in my entry for F.
      I would like to write a book…someday. Just trying to capture my stories so I have a starting point. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  3. elsie

    You had me with the eggs until you added jam. That was the deal breaker, but as a kid I dipped my toast and scrambled egg sandwich into catsup. Different tastes for all. 🙂 I am in awe of your adventurous spirit and experiencing various cultures. After traveling abroad, I am always glad to go home where life is just a little easier. You did have a great childhood of stability and family. I always wished we lived closer to grandparents and cousins.

    Reply
  4. sodamountainsandy

    Yes, there is an E connect: My youngest daughter could have been an event planner,(A.k.a. ENTERTAINer extraordinaire )actually she was on several occasions… One of many, the black-and-white fundraiser ball for NICU…. splinter scale: master multitasker. Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Letter P #AtoZChallenge | my heart is happiest when i travel. read. write. connect.

I {heart} comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s