Guest Posts · Life is a Highway

Rest Stop Ahead

I can’t help but laugh in overwhelming wonder when I reflect upon my life. Never in a million years would it  have ever crossed my mind that I would become an expatriate and commit myself to a life in another country.

“Love has a funny way of changing you, empowering you to do things you never thought possible.”

When I talk about love, I’m not only speaking about the amazing love I have for my husband, but the love I have for Germany. I was so scared when I moved here for the first time in 2008, but it grew on me, it changed me. Then, I met my husband and I knew my whole life finally fell into place. After all of the heartache, violence, and bad choices, I realized I had been on the right path all along – the road that led me to him. He gave up everything he knew to follow me back to the states, where I thought I wanted to  be.

“Love has a funny way of changing you, empowering you to do things you never thought possible.”

Then, life threw in a completely unexpected, life-altering, detour when I became pregnant. This was not supposed to happen because supposedly it couldn’t happen, but it did. And our lives changed dramatically once again in the name of love. Just having this little boy changed the way we lived our lives because now, every decision was made with him as our priority. So, while we had thought we would live in the states, we felt it best for our family to return to Germany. One day our son will be able to make that same decision as far as which country to live in and possibly, so will we, but for now Germany is our home.

love by Deanna Herrmann

I don’t regret these choices I’ve made in love, in fact, it’s the love that strengthens my resolve when it gets hard. And it does get hard. It was me now who left everything behind; my family, my friends, my career. There are days when the longing and homesickness are almost too much, but it isn’t because I’m unhappy in here. In fact, despite the enormous amount of stress and adjustment I’ve endured over the last year, I’m quite happy. I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. I’m confident I made the right decision. But when I think of the concept of home I know one thing – I will always have two. There will always be a piece of me missing some one, some thing, or some place. Whether I live here in Germany or back in the states, my heart will always long for the other. Because I am changed.

you will never be home again

In this life all we can do is our best to keep moving forward making the decisions that are the best ones for us at the time. We can’t live in regret or in fear. We must take steps to grow, to experience, to love and be loved. Life is all about the journey and the moments you create along the way.

With any luck, next week my husband and I will move into a gorgeous new apartment as planned and I will be gainfully employed (possible offer on the horizon). This will be the first time since my husband and I met almost 5 years ago that life will begin to stabilize. This could be our chance to finally get off this bumpy, unpaved, road and pull off at a rest stop to stretch our legs and get a snack before moving forward once more.

Deanna HerrmannDeanna Herrmann is a freelance writer blogging her way through motherhood and unemployment. She is also Managing Editor of the online literary community, Tipsy Lit and spends her free time with her fellow Sisterwives. Join her on Facebook or Twitter for some free therapy sessions and help her justify those degrees she’s still paying for and not using.



30 thoughts on “Rest Stop Ahead

  1. Dear Deanna,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story, your family and your home(s) with us. I loved the part about the concept of two homes and am all tingly because you were able to bring my original/vague concept of home/travel/detours/rest stops full circle in such a beautiful way. You were the first writer to volunteer a desire to contribute and am honored that you took the time to share it on these pages. Thank you, Deanna!!


    1. Thank YOU Michelle for having me! As I mentioned to you, I started with a completely different post but I ended up with this one. And I love how it came out because hopefully it shows the difficulty and the wonder in being an expat. I also have always believed in the power of love and my story, for me, is a testament to that. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!


    1. Thank you!! I sure hope there’s some stability in my future. Lord knows it’s about time. 🙂 Hope life is being good to you too.


      1. *jumps up and down waving with huge smile*

        Michelle, sorry I’m so late in responding. I’ve been a bit tied up lately. Much love in return. I look forward to your email or call. TYT — I understand. ❤


  2. I love how you say your journey has changed you, which to me means you’ve let it change you. Not everyone does that when they hit the unexpected. Some resist and push away but it sounds like you’ve embraced it! It’s beautiful and inspiring. I hope you get that little rest stop before getting back on that ride!


  3. Excellent post Deanna. Sound slike you really have it together. Your story reminds me of (I’m dating myself here) Red Rider’s song “Can’t Turn Back” : “Though he’s lost a bit of freedom
    He has traded it for love”
    Very cool. Thank you.


    1. Paul I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh a little at someone saying I have it all together! 🙂 I definitely don’t feel that way! But, I do have my priorities straight and I think that helps give clarity. Oh, I’ll have to check that out. I love music references! Glad you enjoyed the post.


  4. Thank you for sharing this. I am sure my wife has some of these same feelings and concerns. She was born and raised in Finland. I am from Utah, USA. We met on an online poker table and 3 years later we got married. She has her family and friends that she will always love and miss back in Finland but she believes she is on the path that was paved for her. I sure hope so. She is kind of a super hero and I don’t know what I would do without her in my life. It is amazing how you want the same opportunities for your son. They say that the hardest choices you make in life are often the best choices. Good luck on all your journeys and enjoy those pit stops!


    1. Awww, that’s so sweet what you said about your wife. I think it’s hard choice no matter what but it sounds like she feels the same way I do. And that belief offers a lot of peace when your heart struggles with homesickness. I completely agree – the hardest decisions are usually the right ones and the most rewarding! Good luck to you as well!


      1. Thanks for replying 🙂 I do worry that I may be a resentment over time for her so I do my best to make her feel “at home”. I hope you enjoy your week and keep making the tough choices in life! 🙂


  5. Beautifully, soulfully written by wonderful friend! I am so happy that the bumps are smoothing and the road a little bit easier to travel. I am thrilled for your happiness and what seems like your content. So happy to hear about the possibility of employment! Love is an amazing thing, is it not?


    1. Thank you, Sandy. Fingers crossed we are able to enjoy a rest stop. It sure would be nice! Yes!!! I have a tentative offer, but until it’s official I can’t get excited. And Love is AMAZING. Thank you sweet, SW.


  6. “Whether I live here in Germany or back in the states, my heart will always long for the other. Because I am changed.”

    Ugh, I love that.

    Beautiful, Deanna. Enjoy these times. What a wonderful adventure you are on.


    1. “Ugh, I love that.” – is the perfect sentiment. It’s exactly how I feel. It’s hard but I love it and it’s such a unique experience and transformation to try and explain.

      Thank you, Nicole!


  7. Deanna, I’m so glad to find you over here on Michelle’s blog! You feel emotions that probably every expat feels, but your writing and words are so succinct and powerful that you express them better than most could.

    So happy to hear about the apartment and possible job … keep us posted on this beautiful rest stop of your life!

    Warm thoughts to you and your family from this expat in Norway!!


    1. What kind comments, Cindi. I felt the same way about Deanna’s words–Succinct and powerful!
      Thank you for stopping in and saying hello–I think of you often over there in Norway 🙂


  8. Deanna, I, too, hope your bumpy road smooths out soon, and it sounds like it’s starting to do just that. You make Germany sound amazing. Hopefully one day I’ll get to see it.


  9. I’m glad I came over to Mama’s tonight and read this post. Never regret the choices you make in love,because they do lead you to the place that matters most . . indeed. So beautifully expressed. Best wishes to you both.


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