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“I should be able to do this on my own.”
When Janine Christie came to me, she didn’t know what help would look like, but she knew she wanted it. A Canadian expat living in Spain, Janine had spent years spiraling toward depression, trying everything from self-shame to therapy so she’d recover her joie de vivre.
Through our work together, Janine reconnected with her inner creative to overcome the lackluster career prospects expat life was offering up. She turned her talent for writing into a location-independent, passion project for profit.
Janine did the hard work, and now she can enjoy the spoils. She’s the proud owner of My Expatations — a blog quickly gaining global recognition as a funny, unglamorized glimpse into what life abroad really looks like for many of us.
This week, I’m honored to have Janine as my guest, courageously sharing her despair-to-triumph transformation story.
What You’ll Discover in this Episode:
- The distorted self-perception depression feeds
- The sooty expat reality vs. sparkly Instagram-filtered lives
- The pain-killing power of laughter
- The desire for approval from those back home
- And much more!
Once things are better, you’ll barely remember what it was like when they weren’t.
Listen to the Full Episode:
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Featured on the Show:
- Don’t miss out because spaces are filling up fast! Year of Transformation is your chance to work 1:1 with Sundae and create your own success story. Check out the details right here, including this year’s brand new, FREE bonus mastermind.
- Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
We’re delighted by our recent nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, it is 10am in New York, 4pm in Johannesburg and 10pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I’m a solution oriented coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations and I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. This truth from Brené Brown cannot be more true than when it appears in our expectations around expat life. And one of the people that I admire about bringing up truth bombs around failed expectations for expat life is our guest today on Expat Happy Hour.
I’d like to welcome Janine Christie who is a talented Canadian copywriter based in Spain and also the face behind the brand new blog “My Expatations.”
Sundae: So welcome Janine.
Janine: Thank you, glad to be here.
Sundae: We’re so excited to have you, it’s so funny we were both, actually you’re usually in Spain, I’m normally in South Africa and we were actually in Canada at the same time for like 24 hours, weren’t we?
Janine: It’s a very strange thing yes.
Sundae: On board and fortunately our environmental imprint is really bad right now, isn’t it?
Janine: Oh, dear, what can we do?
Sundae: So here’s the thing, I invited Janine on Expat Happy Hour today because there are two things I would love for her to share with you. One is her own journey as an expat as she has come to terms with her own expectations, the crash and burn and how she has done the work to recover from that. And this amazing new blog that she has called “My Expatations.”
So Janine, I’d love to start by focusing on the first part around your own journey of you know, you’re doing this blog, it’s about the expectations that we bring. You and I have come together to work together, so tell me what was going on with you before you and I started collaborating.
Janine: Well, huh, I have to reach back and because it’s so much better now, so I have to go backwards and see, but basically I probably found myself in a situation that a lot of expat partners are in, the ones that are not working while their partner is working, for whatever reason, and that I just did not have a purpose to basically get up in the morning and I did not know what to do with myself and I actually was slipping into a depression because I just did not see anything interesting for my future. And that’s not how I wanted my expat life to be, it was all about having possibilities and new adventures and it was turning into exactly the opposite.
Sundae: I have chills when you say that because you know, this idea. One, thank you for sharing that because there are people who are listening right now who feel exactly the same way and there’s so much shame around living abroad. Right you live in Spain, you know who’s gonna complain about the beautiful weather in Spain? No one’s gonna give you any empathy there and you have a wonderful relationship, you’re happy with your marriage. So it’s like there’s zero permission for you to say, “I’m not happy.”
Sundae: So thank you for sharing that, and know that there’s someone who’s listening right now who’s feeling the exact same way. Who is saying, “You know, I shouldn’t be unhappy.” I think my episode I just recorded was talking about that, like “I shouldn’t be unhappy because I have a great relationship, my kids are healthy, I have financial security.” And then you shame yourself for not being happy.
Janine: So there’s one little thing that’s probably doesn’t sound good, but you know what, I really wanted my life to look good to my friends and family back home because I’m in Spain and I didn’t want them to know that it wasn’t completely amazing every day because I want to look good, you know, so I had to kind of say “I’m in Spain and the wine is cheap, I’m in the sun and they’re all freezing in the cold.” But now I think that they were having a better life than me.
Sundae: Right and it’s like you don’t want them to worry about you and you don’t want to look like you kind of made a bad decision, you know, like you don’t want to lose face.
Janine: To wake up every morning, you’re like “I made the wrong decision.”
Sundae: Oh, seriously, so what I love that you say that the other thing, I’ve talked about this another podcast, one of them is called Lack Of Purpose Is Life Threatening. What people don’t realize is that biologically we are programmed for purpose, and if people who have a low sense of purpose or actually as at risk for health wise as people who are sedentary or are smokers, so people don’t realize how important purpose is.
Janine: Well it made me think sedentary, because I became depressed and I didn’t go out and I locked myself away and you know bad things happened.
Sundae: But did it happen fast or to happen slow?
Janine: I don’t know if I can answer that question, I think it was a slow burning process and then one day just everything fell apart. But I don’t know, I would have probably have to ask my friends or my husband to tell me what they saw when they were looking at me. Because you get a totally distorted perception of yourself when you’re kind of in that black space so you don’t really know what reality is like.
Sundae: So you’re interesting because you know, when I announced Year of Transformation, the program that I offer every year to 10 individuals to help find purpose and meaning. Usually I’ve been on calls with people or they’ve been active in my workshops, so I kind of know the people already who apply for the program. And you came kind of out of the blue for me, so tell me how did you find me? Like what happened there? What made you pick up the phone?
Janine: I was actually going through all of the things I’ve saved on my iPad trying to find the email or how I found you, and it was through Facebook. I was on Facebook and a couple of different expat groups and somehow I saw you advertising or someone mentioning that you were having this Year of Transformation and a little description and I think I was invited to send an email just to talk to you just to see if it would be a good fit and to find out more about the program and I never thought that I would do something like this, but I just thought “You know what? I have absolutely nothing to lose and I’m at my wits end.” I literally did not know what I was going to do next and I just typed the email and put all my problems into it. And your response, I knew that you could help just the way that you asked questions and answered questions. I’m like, “This lady can help me.”
Sundae: What were you hoping, it sounds like you were pretty low, right? So what were you hoping to get out of it?
Janine: It’s a good question and I’m going to give you a very plain answer. All I wanted was help, I did not know what shape that was going to come in the form, and I didn’t really have and end result, I just knew that I needed to move forward and I thought I could and that’s all I was looking to do was to move forward, that’s it.
Sundae: Okay, I’m going to ask you, kind of put you on the spot here, so feel free to answer it the way you want to. A lot of my people, they feel should, how should I say this? They judge themselves for, it’s so hard to say, but they feel bad for asking for help. It’s like “I should be able to do this on my own.” They beat themselves with a shame stick around that how was that real?
Janine: I’m sure there was some shame involved, I mean the thing is I just couldn’t believe that I was in that situation because I was an extremely independent person before I moved to Spain. I never, and didn’t plan on staying in Spain, I went there to just kind of like change my life a little bit, decided it wasn’t for me and I was coming back and then by accident I met my husband and I stayed in Spain. So I mean I wasn’t going there looking for love or anything like that, I wanted to be independent and on my own so I’ve always taken care of myself and solve my own problems. So yes, it was a bit hard kind of asking for help and it wasn’t in my hands anymore to help myself.
Sundae: The reason I bring that up is; one, it’s probably the most important thing I learned when I was 31 and had iron deficiency and a baby and my dream job and I couldn’t do it all, and I realized I had to learn, one how to ask for help, two to know it was okay and to negotiate with other people what that help might look like. So for me on my own journey, I realize how hard that was and I watch my clients do this like shame storm as Brené Brown says like “Oh I why didn’t I do it on my own?” The reason why I’m bringing that up is if anybody has felt that way I want you to know that that comes up, but on the other side of that is you who’s saying, “Actually, things are so much better now you barely even remember.” So that’s what I love about that.
So tell me what this is, I’m so curious, what has it been like so far? We’re a little over halfway through in the journey, what has it been like so far?
Janine: It’s been nerve-racking, because you know you are a taskmaster but I needed it, because I remember when we started I said, “I need someone to basically just kind of like ride me, give me kind of like a swift kick up the you know what and not let me make excuses, hold me to my promises, deadlines.” I needed that and that’s what it was, because if I came up with an excuse, you’re like “baloney blah blah blah.” And I was like, “Man, I can’t get away with anything here.” And that’s what I needed you for. But we had fun at the same time because we are laughing half the time, so it was good.
Sundae: Careful what you ask for.
Janine: My husband loved it, he’s just like “Sundae’s gonna tell you what to do, ha ha.” Because he can’t.
Sundae: That’s another thing I hear from my clients they are like, “How come when I tell you this perspective you don’t believe it, but when Sundae tells you then you believe it?”
Janine: My husband and I we talk about it all the time and it’s called, we had a phrase on off of Modern Family called wedge salad. It was an episode where she kept telling her husband about this wedge salad he had to try, and he wouldn’t do it until one of his friends said, “Try it” and then she just exploded on him and destroyed the kitchen. So every time my husband does that, “Oh blah blah blah my friend told me to do that.” And I’ve been telling him for five years, I just go “Wedge salad.” And he shuts up.
Sundae: That is so funny, and I think what it is we have a hard time accepting things from the people who love us unconditionally. It’s hard to take that in because of course it’s their job to love you and they love you no matter what, so when someone else gives you that perspective you might hear it from a different place.
So what I love about your journey so far is you were in this place. You said you were like borderline depressed, stuck, you’re looking for help and now you’re rocking it. I see what you’re doing online, I love how I’m hearing people respond to the blog that you’ve created, the writing that you’ve done, it’s incredible.
So, I guess I’m going to just share with the audience quick. What happened is we got started and you were in that place. And you said you wanted this swift kick in the butt. What happened next that led you to where you are right now?
Janine: Well before I started with you, thankfully I had lifted my head up for a second and thought, “Oooh I want to do a blog.” I didn’t know what it was going to be about, but I went and bought the domain name for two years and then I just let it sit for a year. So I had that in the back of my head, so when we started the process you basically just asked me, “What do you want to get out of this? What do you want to do?” And I had no idea, because I didn’t even think my skills were valid anymore because I felt they had just stagnated and you know, I was older, midlife I guess you could call it and then there’s all these younger people that are doing it better than me, you know with all the technology that I didn’t even know how to use. So you were just like, “What do you want to do? And I’m like, “Well, I’ve got this domain that I bought, and I don’t know what to do.” And we just kind of like poured everything into that being my purpose, getting back my skills of communications and writing and I don’t know.
Sundae: Here’s what I love about this, right? So this is why I do what I do. Before you and I work together you are feeling like literally stuck on the sofa, and what I see, a coach perspective, I see your thoughts and, I’m just going to be really frank, a lot of them are bullshit. Like that’s what we tell ourselves, me included, I’ve got it, if you’re human and you have an amygdala we’ve got it. And because I’m not living in your fears or your story, I can see that, that’s my job. And I believe in you because every single time I work with someone I see the magic that comes out and what they can do. And what I loved about you is, one you told yourself the story that you’re not good at tech, and two you told yourself “I’m not a very good writer.”
Janine: I just thought I couldn’t write again because I hadn’t done it for so long, I was teaching English, I’m like “I can still write.” I just thought it was so dusty and old that skill was done.
Sundae: And what I experienced is something completely different, when you sent me your first draft.
Janine: I remember you laughed your head off.
Sundae: I was like, “I got nothing.” It was flipping amazing and I have really high expectations. I work with a lot of people and I give really honest direct feedback and you were sending me stuff, I’m just like “God, I’m grasping. to add value here.” Because everything you wrote was so good and it was like you finally had evidence in front of your face, “Oh it’s not dusty, I don’t have to refresh it, I’ve still got it.” The other thing which you and I have never talked about is your story of “I’m not good at technology.” I cannot believe the quality of social media images you’re putting out there, from the first step.
Janine: I didn’t think I could do it, I’m just like “Twitter and Facebook oh Lordy.”
Sundae: And you’re killing it, and so what I wanted the listeners to know is that just with you, it was like you’re in a funk, you’re stuck in your story, you finally reach out to get help and when you get called on your stuff, if you get the accountability and you are forced to do, what we discovered is you’ve got more in you than you are giving yourself credit for. And it just exploded. So that’s exciting, so exciting, I’m so proud of you.
So what was your contribution to that? I know what I bring in terms of methodology, but what was your contribution?
Janine: I think I just listened to you and if you gave me a deadline, I did the work. If you think you have to do this and this by this time, I did it and I delivered. So that’s all you have to do, I mean overall, so why bother doing it at all, and I didn’t know if I could do that. I thought you know, “I’ll find a way not to do it and I’ll get distracted and blah blah blah.” But no, I felt like I owed you my dedication and I didn’t want to disappoint you, so I just I did it. I was just like, you know when I sent you my writing, I would proofread it like fifty times. I’m like “If I see a mistake and I let it go through and then Sundae finds a mistake, I’m going to be so disappointed, I let her down.”
Sundae: I have had that with some of my other clients. It’s like they don’t, I hope this is what it is, I hope that you know, I’m giving my best and I commit to you, and what you do is your business, I just want you to get the most out of it. But I do have clients who become like the good student, who are like, “I better get my homework in.” And that is like the way they bribe themselves to get the assignment done in time. And that pure like almost guilt of the student who doesn’t have her homework done yet that gets you to do it. And then that’s where the value comes from because it’s one thing I say is that the value of coaching happens in between the sessions, it’s when you do the work.
So I would love to brag on Expatations for a second, the actual blog. So My Expatations, right, not my expectations. My Expatations is such a professionally produced blog, your writing is amazing, and I just want to brag for a second. The way that you talk about it, she says, “If you’re looking for a blog that makes you snort laugh when expat life is getting you down then you’ve come to the right place.” Right and I shared it with my clients, I shared it with my community and they confirmed it instantly. So why did you decide you wanted a blog that made people laugh?
Janine: Because if you’re depressed you need laughter. I’ll tell you just one little thing, when I was depressed I had two good years where I was not in a good place, I don’t think I slept properly for two years and that’s not a good thing. And I remember the only thing that would make me kind of have a glimmer of hope, is watching The Simpsons and laughing and then I could just see a little bit of sunlight. I needed laughter, and when I wasn’t laughing I was depressed again. So then I just thought “This is what I can give to other people.” So I mean other people said “Janine, you’re funny.” I’m like, “Oh, okay. I’ll go with that.”
Sundae: For those of you who are listening, I’m going to put that in the show notes your blog, so you have to go look at it. One of your lines that just made me laugh out loud is, I think it was “love is estúpido” you were talking about how moving abroad for love is like no bueno. Just a little FYI for people if you are listening to my podcast, you’re probably okay with a few swears from “My Expatations” because that’s where the fun salty flavor comes from.
Janine: Yes, it’s a bit salty. I thought I might experiment where I might do a blog post that’s not salty and see what happens, but I don’t think I’m going to get as many laughs. It’s just, I add the you know, the saltiness just for humor, you know, I think it works. I asked my best friend, I sent her some writing and like I said, “Is this too sarcastic?” She’s like “Janine if it wasn’t sarcastic you wouldn’t want to write it.” I’m like, “Okay fine.” And I just went with it.
Sundae: That’s so cute. And so I think one of the things that where you and I align so much is because I am also really committed to talking about the truth, like the hard realities of expat life. And I think that’s where you and I really aligned. You say that “My Expatations is chock-full of my failures, misgivings and small triumphs as a woman trying to navigate life abroad.”
Janine: Yeah, I mean, so many expats blogs and expat forms and expat groups, it’s like positive positive positive and I get that it’s good to be positive, but it crosses into fake and then people that don’t feel that way feel weird. They’re like, “What’s wrong with me? Everybody else is so positive?” I’m like, “Hello they’re lying.” You know, of course there’s positive parts, but life isn’t all about rainbows and unicorns, there’s crappy sides to it and you have to talk about it so people that are looking for information on becoming an expat or looking for information on why they’re expat life isn’t going right, they can see the truth, you need the truth. So I just like making the truth be told, that’s all.
Sundae: Well, and the other thing is this like you said, you don’t want to Instagram filter version.
Janine: I don’t even go on Instagram, I can’t take it.
Sundae: And that’s where I mean, I want people to go and check out your website and read more about how “My Expatations” came to be born. You can find the definition of Expatation there, I want you to go check it out. And one of the other things I love about your blog is how you talk about what your Expatation was and then the reality, check that out on her blog.
Janine: It’s all about expectations you have and then the reality you get, and you’re like “Man, I was stupid.” Because you blame the country you’re in a lot. “Oh, it’s Spain’s fault for this, it’s Spain’s fault that they don’t do this, they don’t do that.” Right? I mean maybe in some situations that’s true, but a lot of the times it’s the way you approach a situation and it’s always your expectations about how things are in your home country and how they should be in the country you’re living in and those are always wrong. You have to be pissed off and let it go and you know come back to expat life again, try it a different way, but there’s no harm in you know bitching a little bit, especially to a friend that gets you.
Sundae: Yep, totally and you’re the friend that gets you on-line, right and share your story and help people feel.
Janine: I hope so, I hope people see themselves in the stories and they’re like, “Oh, yeah, she feels like me, so now I don’t feel like a weirdo.” Because sometimes you think “Well, maybe I’m a person that just can’t be happy?” Because everybody else around you is sparkly and you’re unhappy and you’re like, “I’m a weirdo” But you’re not you’re just telling the truth maybe a little too much sometimes but, you know, it’s just better to be truthful, I think.
Sundae: I love that, so if anybody out there right now is listening who thinks, “You know, maybe I just can’t be happy like these other people.” Know that what we’ve heard from your story is that if you accept, if you have a hard look at what things aren’t good right now and then you’re willing to ask for help and do the work you can get clear on doing something more purposeful, finding the humor in the difficulties that you’re having. I think another thing that you and I really aligned on, is this idea of you know, “I’m always surprised when people think I’m alone, I’m the only one.” And that’s why I think you are like, “Hey, you’re not alone.” And to help people through that.
Janine: There are so many other people going through this they just don’t want to admit it because of the shame, because they think they’re supposed to be living there most awesome life because they’re in a new exotic country, but life is life the same problems follow you, the same personality follows you, so you just have to deal.
Sundae: And that’s why I always say that expat life, or International life, you can use whatever name that you want with it. We’re living Olympic-level lives, we’re leaving normal hard life plus there’s other languages, other foods, other cultural.
Janine: Yeah weird in-laws.
Sundae: So listen, we’re not done yet, you and I are not I mean what I love is that you’re just getting started right and we’re not close to the end of Year of Transformation. You still got a lot ahead of you. What do you hope happens by the time your Year of Transformation ends?
Janine: I hope that, because you always know when I’m a little bit scared to take the next step. So now I’ve that launched the blog, and that was a big deal in itself. I thought when I press the enter button that my computer would blow up. I’m not good at tech, so I’m over the techie hurdle, I’m getting used to social media. So the next thing is going back into my skills, not just of writing the blog but of writing as my job. Because this is what I did before back in Canada, I was in PR and communications and I want to use the skills that I have, that I know I’m good at. So my next step is to get back into content writing and copywriting and getting paid again you know. It’s not great not working, you think it’s the dream thing and I tried it for a little while, for you know, other circumstances, but it’s not good, working is good if you can love it and enjoy what you’re doing, use the skills that you’re good at working is good.
Sundae: When you say working, I hear you want to give value and receive value. That’s what I mean. And it’s about “Hey, I’m doing something valuable and people are giving me something valuable.” That feels great. And so people who have this idea that it would be amazing not to work or not to have to whatever, I think they find out they are shocked that they feel empty when it’s not there. But when we talk about value, I think everybody understands “Hey, I want to give value and receive value.” Because some people only give value and they never receive value back.
Janine: That’s one of the reasons why I stopped doing the job that I was doing. I met my husband when I walked into his English Academy for a job and I was teaching English and then I couldn’t do that anymore because of government issues with working in a family business in Spain, it was very complicated and very very expensive. So I thought, “I’ll take the opportunity and I’ll take a break from working.” And that just fell apart, but I didn’t want to go back to something that I wasn’t trained in, that I wasn’t enjoying, I wanted to put the value in where I knew I had the skills but actually get paid for the value I was giving back to me. And I just didn’t have that in teaching English, because you know, the pay in Spain is bad.”
Sundae: Oh my God now that I’ve seen your writing, I mean your writing is so amazing and I know you’re already, you know supporting people with their work and it’s amazing. So it’s going to be exciting
So what advice do you have for people who are thinking about doing Year of Transformation.
Janine: Do it, that’s all I could say do it. When I spoke to you I went to my husband and I mean he just wants me to be happy. He’s like, “Do whatever you want to do.” I said, “No, I need to speak to someone who is a little bit more rational.” So I phoned a friend that lives in Iceland and I told her what the program is about and she’s younger than me, but she’s like an old soul and she’s like, “Janine invest in yourself you’re worth it, do it.” And that’s all she said and then I just said, “Okay, I’m going to do it.” I mean no one else is really going to do that for you, I had the support of my husband so I just decided I’m going to do something for myself and that’s all I can say.
Sundae: That’s so awesome, and I know for me, my own journey of investing in myself. If you’re not used to doing that, it’s it can feel scary. I know some of my clients are people who have contacted me two years ago, and they wanted to work together and end up saying no and then two years later they’re like “I’m still in the same spot, should have worked with you before, why didn’t I do that?”
Janine: I couldn’t, I just couldn’t do it on my own, I just I can’t see how and I went to therapy before, but it’s not what I needed.
Sundae: No, no, you needed a different approach, you needed accountability and that sort of thing. And this is the thing, this is another thing where I, because I do believe in the coaching process so much. I mean I have my own coach. I’m actually leaving for a retreat with my own coach tomorrow morning. I believe this is what I totally believe in, because it helps kick me in the butt, helps me stay accountable, helps me say out loud what I want to create and then someone there by my side to say, “Okay, what’s the next step?” So I believe in that so much, I invest lots and lots and lots of money in coaching because I know it works. But what do you think for those who are thinking of it to do it, what do they need to know to make the most of it?
Janine: Well they have to know that they, if they invest in themselves and they make this commitment and they pay the fee, that they have to show up. If you don’t show up you’re not going to get out of it what you need. So if you’re so scared and you just know that you’re not going to show up and do the work then maybe don’t do it right now and take a little bit of time when you’re a little bit more confident, because it’s time wasted. I mean, I don’t waste a single second in our sessions. I come to you with like, sometimes it’s a list of excuses or sometimes it’s problems or difficulties and within one second you’re like, “I would do this.” I’m like, “How does this woman have an answer in 5 seconds?” I’ll always call my husband after the session and I’m like, “Sundae said this, this and this and this.” And I’m like hyper and ready to go, but I don’t know the problems are always solved, I don’t know it’s like magic, I don’t know what to say.
Sundae: So funny, I’d agree with you, if you have to this is like a co-creation and one of my clients I adore, she and I worked together for a while. She’s like, “Sundae, can I just throw money at it?” You know like she knows that she has to do her part, like I show up and I do my part, but she’s got to do her part.
Janine: I’ve been there, I remember when we started I said, “I am the laziest person you are ever going to work with.” I warned you, I’m like, “I am so lazy.” But in the end I wasn’t.
Sundae: You are so not lazy, oh my God look at you, you’re bringing it. So what do you want to say? This is the one thing that I’m going to, I’ll share an episode with someone who did Year of Transformation like three or four years ago. She’s coming back on Expat Happy Hour to talk about how even years later she’s still using the tools and methodology that we did years ago, it’s still my having a massive impact on their life even through crazy crisis. So I want to hear from you, this time next year after Year of Transformation, what would you love to be reporting on?
Janine: Making dolla dolla bill y’all, I want to move this thing and I want to have a job again, I want to have a purpose to wake in the morning. It’s not about money, it’s like when you get paid for something that you did you have self-worth. I’m sorry that it has to be tied to money, it’s about value. Hello, it is a lot of the time, I don’t have children so it might be different for other people. I mean everyone’s life is different and they put value into things their own way, but when I put something out there and I’ve put my heart and soul into working on a project and someone pays me. That they’re saying, “Yes, what you did was good, and I’m paying you for it and you have value.” And that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, you know, and then I go have a glass of wine with a friend on a terrace and then I lived that expat dream because then I’m able to you know, but you have to have self-worth or else nothing works.
Sundae: Yeah, right, and so I mean that’s something in coaching we work on around the ideas of self-worth that are disconnected from the outside results. And what I’m hearing you say is it’s like this final icing of “I gave value and I got value.”
Janine: I’m loving this blog, but I want to take the next step and you know.
Sundae: People are loving it, so where can where can people find you because now I’ve dragged you up and I know the people that I’ve shared it with love it.
Janine: I’ve got a website which is www.myexpatations.com, and I think you’re going to put that in the notes of the podcast and I’m also on Twitter at myexpatations and on Facebook at myexpatations, so I have those three areas.
Sundae: Perfect, so I’ll put that in the show notes. The other thing is if you sign up for My Expatations, then you get a free gift on how not to be friends.
Janine: I think it’s one of the most important things when you’re an expat is to have friends, have friends that get you, friends that you can cry to, bitch to, but they have to get you. It’s really hard as an adult to make friends, so I went through the whole process of interviewing friends and being interviewed by people. So I think I’ve learned my lesson, so I just wanted to pass it on to people so they don’t have to waste time doing all the garbage that I did and just can get right to it.
Sundae: Exactly, learning by failure is a great learning method. So this has been so much fun talking to you and I just want the audience to know that we didn’t talk about what you were gonna say before. All of these things were spontaneous, so it’s been really fun for me to hear what you have to say. Tell us any, and I’m going to totally put you on the spot, any words of wisdom that you’d like to share with our listeners.
Janine: I don’t know, don’t give up on your expat life. I mean you think “I’ll just go home.” No just don’t, I mean I’ve been an expat now in Spain for 12 years, it’s taken this amount of time for me to finally say, “Okay, my life can be good and it can be good here in Spain. I don’t have to go home, I don’t have to change countries, I can make the life that I want.
Sundae: No matter where you are exactly. Thank you so much for being here. It’s been lovely.
You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Bean, thank you for listening. I’ll leave you with the words of wisdom from Mandy Hale, “When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think.”
So there you have it folks, one woman’s real life transformation. How she went from feeling borderline depressed and on the sofa, stagnant, sedentary, questioning whether she made the wrong decision to be in a beautiful place, in Spain. To epic writer, blogger, using her humor to inspire others and move forward in their expat lives while sharing her talent of writing with the world and with businesses that need to communicate as effectively as she can.
I know that if I whispered in her ear two years ago, she wouldn’t have believed where she was and that’s exactly how I feel every time I speak to someone, when they come to me asking questions about Year of Transformation. We are smack dab in the middle of the application process for Year of Transformation, which is open to only a limited number of people. If you’re listening to this and you’re saying to yourself just like she was “I should be happy, but I’m not.” Or you’re shaming yourself for not making the most of where you are. Or maybe you’re feeling like you cannot believe how you got yourself into the situation. This is for you, there is a side of you that is independent and is roaring to get out but just doesn’t know how to get unstuck.
So if that sounds like you, I’d love to speak to you about Year of Transformation, because look at what has changed in Janine’s life and look at how she is serving others.
That is a thing that fires me up.
Staying stuck doesn’t just impact you, it impacts your closest relationships and the people whose lives you could touch, whether it’s for your work or your volunteerism or just through being a bright and happy person who’s confident.
So if this resonates with you, check out Year of Transformation, doors are closing at the end of September and we’ve got to get in some time to talk to see if it’s the right fit.
So I’d love to see you there.
The link for Year of Transformation is in my show notes. It’s also at www.sundaebean.com under work with me, Year of Transformation.
Invest in yourself, because you’re smart and you’ve done your best up until now and you’ve come this far. Now it’s time to grab my hand and join me because I’m going to pull you to the finish line.
[…] Episode 140: Expat Expectations with Janine Christie […]