How To Move Overseas & Away From Your Close-Knit Family For A New Job
Dear Mi Comadre,
I come from a very large and close-knit Mexican family and we all live within 10 miles of each other. I recently got a job opportunity in London which I accepted, but I'm afraid to move so far away from my family. I'm 23 years old and very close to my parents. When I told them they were not too happy with how far away I would be. I know I'm too old to care about their opinion and to be scared to move away from them, but I am. How can I make this transition easier for us? - Maria C., Berwyn, IL.
Hi Miss Maria!
Congratulations on getting such an amazing opportunity!!!!
This is a significant life-changing experience that is going to bring so many different emotions for both you and your parents. Sometimes our emotions get the best of us and we don't express what we are really feeling in the right way. So the unhappiness you saw when you told them, was probably because the only thing that stuck in their mind was the word "London." You probably went through something similar when you got the offer. I always say that that is the one thing I hated about growing up in a close-knit family. My sister and I are the only ones left in Chicago. My brothers, sister, and parents have all moved out of state. It still hurts my heart knowing we aren't all together within a 30-mile radius anymore.
Parents are always going to worry, but I'm sure they are so proud of you. There is nothing wrong with caring about what your parents think, it's OK regardless of how old you are. You care because you respect and love them. Be sure to tell them all about your new job. It will take time for your parents to fully embrace this change, but trust me, they will eventually be talking to their comadres and compadres of how orgullosos they are of their little girl! You also want to make sure that you have an App to video chat or an iPhone to Facetime with your parents. Keep in touch with them as much as possible, especially when you initially move. They will be worrying about you the most in the beginning, so make sure you are super extra on the keeping in touch. Trust me, if you are super tight with your familia everything will be fine.
Now, about your feelings. It's OK to be scared, it's OK to miss your family, and it's OK to get emotional. This is a big move. Don't beat yourself up for being emotional during this process. What I do want to tell you is to be sure to remind yourself of how amazing you are for being so kick ass on landing this job! I want to remind you of how proud you should be of all of the hard work you've accomplished for getting to this chapter in your life. Finally, I want to remind you that you are a strong Latina that rocks!
I wish you so much success in your new career! Enjoy London!
Dear Mi Comadre,
I'm reaching out for some friendship advice. I am so fortunate because I have a lot of friends that I have stayed close with from various walks of my life - high school, church, college, work, etc. My schedule starts to fill up so fast from events involved within each group - I literally have every single Friday and Saturday booked with some sort of event up until the last weekend in April. I get so stressed and have a hard time saying no to my friends. I honestly can't say no to them. What advice do you have when declining an invitation? What's the best way for me to politely tell them I can't, simply because I just need time for myself? Any advice is appreciated. - A-stressed-out-friend.
You must be an amazing friend to have. I'm sure your friends really appreciate you and cherish your friendship. With that being said, they will understand if you can't say yes to every invite that comes your way. It's ok to say no, and it's ok to do it without feeling like you are obligated to give an explanation of why you can't. However, because you are asking me what the best way is to say no politely, here are a few options:
Say, "Thank you for the invite, but I have a prior commitment already. I'll get in touch with you soon to see when we can get together."
Say, "I appreciate you for thinking of me, but I'm not available. Maybe next time."
Or say, "I really wish I could go, but I have some personal things I really need to take care of."
I also think you need to block some "Me Time" on your calendar every month and commit to it. Everyone needs time to breathe and de-stress. Also, if your friends get really upset or mad because you can't make it to their event, then that "friend" needs to be reprioritized. Your true friends won't make you feel bad for saying "no" or "I can't."
Now go block some time on your calendar for YOU, and I hope you can learn to say no without feeling guilty.