Sometimes I am a chameleon

I kind of consider myself a chameleon, and maybe you do too?  We just moved from an absurdly idyllic-suburban-beach-life in Auckland, New Zealand, to the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.  As we prepared for this move my mind was drawn back to all of our other big moves.  I guess the sheer volume and diversity of the geographical moves we have made in our married life has been the catalyst of my evolutions.  I’m really only starting this chronology from the time I got married, in 2002 (ahh, how has it been nearly 15 years since we got married?!).  The funny thing is, all of these evolutions have come because of something that my husband was doing, I guess the term “trailing spouse” would definitely apply to me.

Orem, Utah:

newly-wed, dancer, graduate student, commuter,


marn byu grad april 2003

Nanjing, China:

floundering Masters Thesis writer, part-time English teacher, adventure partner to Clarke, eventually avid yoga practitioner


Southern California:

part-time dance teacher, yoga student, full-time customer service representative for a mutual fund company, and apartment manager, trying desperately to make a baby that sticks around, finally get and stay pregnant.



South Florida:

neurotic new Mom, part-time yoga teacher, thesis writer, MFA graduator, prepper to move to China.


Shanghai, China:

yoga and dance teacher (riding like a crazy woman on my pearly-pink scooter to my teaching gigs with bags of props, hula hoops, yoga mats dangling off my arms), Mom to an incredibly intense toddler, stressed-out spouse struggling to understand why this daring move was a wise choice.


Auckland, New Zealand:

dance teacher for Littles, Playcentre Mum, yoga teacher (teaching for various studios and running my own small studio), Lego Club hustler, thankfully less-neurotic Mom with the newborn phase round two, New Zealand LOVER.  In New Zealand I came to love and live the small things in life like sunsets, rainbows, good coffee with even better friends, beach walks, every shade of green in the unique New Zealand bush, and the contentment of a community of yogis both to teach and learn from.


Hong Kong…..

Currently in the process of defining…………

In each location I have had different opportunities arise, and different internal drives to pursue different experiences.  Some experiences literally fell in my lap, such as what happened in Shanghai.  I met a former student of my parents (they are both professors of dance) and she really wanted her children to have dance classes at their international school.  She approached the school administration and before I knew it, I had three completely full after-school dance classes running at that school, plus the idea allowed me to pursue other schools the next semester and I was amazed at the response.  I moved to Shanghai thinking I might teach one or two yoga classes here and there, and yet this opportunity presented itself to me and it ended up being a huge opportunity for me both financially and personally (teaching dance always stresses me out in a way that teaching yoga doesn’t, so it was a great opportunity to stretch myself).  I could not have foreseen this experience, nor how it would help give me the confidence to embrace the “chameleon” within me for future moves.

I cannot cling to who or what I was in a different location because each new location makes some of my skills more or less useful/applicable.  I admit I am struggling at the moment to really find my feet here in Hong Kong.  It’s been 4-months and I’m still floundering.  Tried in vain to set up my Lego Club again, it ended up being an expensive learning experience about timing, location, and understanding your market (let’s just say, Hong Kong is just a little different than New Zealand in terms of what parent’s want for their kids).  I thought I would dive right in to a membership at Pure Yoga and be practicing everyday, and yet, I have yet to join.  I thought I would dive right in to teaching yoga, but I haven’t even updated my resume.  And I’m slowly starting a business involving The Marshall Islands, but got sidetracked by the Lego Club experiment.

So my lesson now seems to be patience and intuition.  Patience because these things just take time, unless you have a name plate on your desk and a welcome lunch the day you arrive at your office (i.e. Clarke), these things just take time.  I also need to work from a more intuitive place so that I use my time effectively.  I just sort of threw myself into starting up Lego Club because I thought I should because I thought it would make money I could use to fund my Marshallese Business.  It couldn’t be further from the truth.

Oli has 12 days of school left, and then we are off to Utah to visit for the Summer.  When we come back in the Fall I’m hopeful I can be more intuitive, so that my little dream business will indeed come to life in 2018.

Do you move often?  Are you a trailing/accompanying spouse?  Or have you had multiple, major ways you define yourself?  How do you stay fluid and open to new experiences?  I’d love to hear your experience.



  1. Robin
    June 13, 2017 / 10:04 am

    You’re a talented marvel, lady. Sending hugs your way and subliminal messages to move to Austin next 🤣

  2. Pat
    June 13, 2017 / 3:46 pm

    Haven’t moved much, at least regarding residence, but I am still, after four years of retirement (is it really that long) trying to redifine myself. Confused most of the time, fortunate as well, filled my days and nights with many activities but still trying to find what brings passion, purpose and direction.

    Thanks for sharing Marn. As always, there are jewels for thought in your musings.

    • Kathie
      June 16, 2017 / 12:28 am

      My experience is that every life finds its own rhythm whether it is lived in one place or many places. The challenge is to be open to possibility so that rhythm can manifest itself without being unduly fettered by the habitual, the comfortable, the familiar, which we all need a bit of for balance 🙂

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