22 May 2012
Yun-A Johnson, a recent grad at American University in Maryland, shares some of her thoughts about transition, moving to another country, and the challenges to creating a new family culture.
I recently graduated from college and I’m so happy and relieved! It’s exciting to be entering a new stage of my life; not only am I finished with school but I’m also moving. In less than a month, I will be moving to Norway to be with my husband. While I’m really looking forward to the move, part of me is nervous about the inevitable challenges to come. It seems like all major transition points in life are a combination of excitement and anxiety.
Something that’s helped me get over this uneasiness was talking with my husband about how to blend our two cultures within our own home. This is really important for me because even though I am living in another country I won’t have to completely give up my own cultural habits or traditions. One big discussion for us was deciding when to put up the Christmas tree. My family would put up the tree in early December while his family put it up three days before Christmas. It might sound trivial but it had big implications because we realized we had very different opinions about when to celebrate Christmas. In the U.S., most of the celebrations lead up to 25th whereas in Norway the celebrating happens after the 24th. So my husband and I eventually decided on midway date for our own family tradition.
This process of creating our own culture together has been fun and very helpful in preparing me to move. Yet, I think this is something that pertains to anyone going through a transition time. It’s important to be actively making decisions about your future and the culture/values you want to live by.