Living in Europe: My First Two Months!

IMG_2641

(Fake proposal – a DARE from friends!)

8 Weeks. WOW. It’s amazing how time flies by so fast when you’re  having fun….or adjusting to a LOT of new.

Or adjusting to a LOT of NEW while also having a LOT of FUN.

THAT is exactly where I find myself 2 months in to living in BELGIUM.

I felt a great way I could best reflect on all that’s happened in TWO MONTHS, I could take you along for all my “NEW”….

First up:

NEW WIFE/MARRIAGE – Being a wife has been all I wanted it to be and MORE, and 99% of that I attriubte to my husband. He’s GREATER than the husband I ever wanted. God knew the things I forgot to ask Him for.

It’s also been harder than I could have imagined – but I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything in the world. I’ve discovered first hand how EXPOSING marriage is. There have been things I’ve had to confront within myself that I didn’t even know were there. Unworthiness, insecurities and selfishness has come out in the most unepxpected times – so much so sometimes that I didn’t know WHO this woman was. However, as my husband has kindly carried me and held me through it all, we are both stronger because of it.

Kim and I have also lived most of our adult lives as two strong, independant people, therefore coming together as a team, ahas been a huge blessing but also a continually learning process. We’ve had to learn how to let go, and let each other show LOVE to each other – sometimes in the simple things, such as helping with laundry, going groery shopping, taking the dog for a walk, doing dishes, making lunch for Kim’s daughter.

And yes, that’s my next new.

NEW BONUS DAUGHTER – All my life, besides being a wife, my other great dream has been to be a MOM. Whenever I would nanny children, and I’ve been honored to do so for over 30+ kids, I always treated them like my own – but never got to have a continued role as a steward of their well-being and upbringing. Now, that’s all changed.

In my bonus daughter Billie, I get the BEST bonus out there. I get so much more than a glimpse at motherhood – I get the chance to grow and learn from a very beautiful, smart, kind and angelic 10 year old. I LOVE seeing the way she and Kim interact with one another and it brings me continuous joy to see the young woman she is becoming.

Although Billie doesn’t speak any English, and at this point my Dutch is VERY limited, we’ve created our own little language for a way for us to communicate. It’s very Eng-utch. Or Dut-lish. Whatever it sounds like, we get it and laugh our way through. And we never forget to use the universal human language of…LOVE.

NEW COUNTRY – I remember there being a time when I first met the woman who’s wedding I met Kim at, Aline, where I didn’t even know where Belgium was exactly on the map & definitely didn’t know that they spoke TWO languages and ONE would be called “Flemish.” (I think it should be called – Dutch-ish…but more on that later!). Now, that country is my new home. I feel like I am in the HEART of culture.

Not only is this land full of so many different cultures and customs (as its been a part of many countries over the hundreds of years), but’s also LITERALLY the heart of Europe with Brussels being the European Union capital. I feel like everywhere I GO there’s something new to discover and around every corner I am put into a time machine.

I LOVE connection to the medieval times here….with so much cobblestone, brick and castles. Yes, castles. You hear of me speak of them quite often. I mean, my husband and I MET in one. I don’t think my fascination with them will end anytime soon.

I love how Belgians have really deep connections with one another…they aren’t known for being as outspoken and bubbly as Americans are, but when you are friends with them, you go deep and get real. Friends here become like family…and for THAT I am so thankful and blessed!

There are many new customs I am learning to adjust to as well – like how to eat properly and respectfully, how to conduct conversation and even how to drive and the flow of a day (the kids here every Wednesday get out of school at 12 – country wide! ) I look forward to sharing more on that in a future post.

NEW LANGUAGE – So back to that “Dutch-ish” comment – the official language where I live is called “Flemish,” It IS a version of Dutch, in which they speak in Holland/The Netherlands. In Belgium, there are two other official languages – French & German. That’s right, NONE of them English. Where I am very thankful many people here SPEAK English, almost nothing I read outside our home on a daily basis as any English on it.

I find this NEW challenge SO fun and fascinating! I love trying to figure out what words mean and implementing them each day. One of the hardest parts of not speaking it fluently is wanting to do something that I’ve excelled at since I was a little girl – making others laugh and feel good. I so often want to make a quick joke or say something to help ease a conversation, and I instead get caught up in my head with English words & phrases and often remain silent and let the moment pass.

Yes, I’ve become the silent one! Just wait until I learn to speak Dutch well – these people will think a mute has had a miracle happen! Being able to speak Dutch beyond a two year old level WILL be a miracle to me, so stay tuned to further posts on THAT one.

NEW BABY– …as in our new BUSINESS! No, we aren’t pregnant at THIS time! We will keep y’all updated when that exciting news comes!

Aside from all that other NEW changes above, Kim & I are also embarking on a brand new adventure of owning and building our own business. We both have had such a passion for helping people grow, learn and change in their health, fitness and beyond.

We’ve also both had our separate experiences of doing so in the past with Kim been a high school teacher for 16 years and I coaching people as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. We’re now combining our talent and passions and bringing forth a brand new concept and exciting journey that will impact families ALL over the world!

With all the NEW in my life, I wanted to encourage you that no matter what NEW you’re experiencing in YOUR life – LEAN into it. Don’t run away from it! It’s not always comfortable and can be very challenging at times – but you become a stronger, more confident, resilient and tenacious person in the process. Don’t give up and keep pressing on. Keep plugging into our blog & we aim to continue to encourage y’all more and more every single day.

See you again soon. XOXO,

Cheyanne

 

Published by Kim & Cheyanne Cleyman

Married Belgian-American couple living in Europe helping families connect through fitness across cultures and continents; with a passion for well-being - mind, body, heart and soul.

3 thoughts on “Living in Europe: My First Two Months!

  1. Brittany, we are so blessed to have you follow along in our story and our journey! We feel it is too big and too blessed to keep to ourselves. Our truest hope is we can help inspire others and remind them to love! Thanks for the love and huge hugs from Europe!

  2. So proud of you for leaning in & embracing the hard and the easy parts of your new life and roles. You are a blessing to your new family and an encouragement to so many, including me!

Leave a Reply