Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two years in... the reality of marriage

I have come to realize that when I neglect this space, I neglect me. For the past few years, this blog has been my "private" public space to express myself.  For me, writing and to a lesser extent, talking have provided the most purgative release from whatever angst that ails. Writing has brought awareness of things that are often hidden and has brought me insight that has helped to keep me grounded in a sea of change.

As I have alluded to before, somehow marriage changed everything for me and I no longer felt free to just pour out with the level of authenticity I so prided this blog space for. I felt that I could not just share openly and honestly and so I simply stopped sharing. Two years into the marriage, I am now finding that the time has come to resume this journey into me.

It was easier to write about my life when I was single because I didn't feel committed or obligated to a common cause. It was all about me.  But what I have learnt recently is that while there is another in the equation, I am still here.  My presence should be thusly fully accounted for.

Marriage is not the only thing that made me stop posting here with regularity. When I turned 30, I struggled with finding relevance to this blog. What would a 30 year old have to say on a blog devoted to being 20? I had an identity crisis and could not reconcile this conundrum. I first changed the name of the blog to Thirtysomething, but then somewhere along the way, I decided to go back to Twentysomething but I added the "+" sign.  When I started this blog, I wanted to document the dramatic decade of my 20s as I tried to make sense of all of it and my place here on earth.  I added the + because, as far as I see it, the 20s are only the beginning of the self-exploration needed to keep centred in this life. I am still in many ways, the Twentysomething woman on a quest to find and actualise her truest self. I will be for the rest of my days. I do not want to start a new blog or change the name for every decade. The + anticipates all the years to come and the additional wisdom and insight they will bring.

At the beginning of the year I also started another blog that has provided a new career and the creative release I needed. I have used that platform well and it has opened up doors I had only dreamt of.  But, there is something about this blog that is special. I miss this space. I do not regret leaving it for a while because it made sense at the time. I wrote here when I had something to say that fit this space.  Now, it feels like I have lots to say.

I may have lost my readers here, but I am not looking for a following. That is for the other blog. Here I am simply looking to be me.

I am up at 4:00am writing this while ESC sleeps after coming home at 1:30 after a tiring and busy service.  I haven't been up alone this late in a while but I woke up when he came home and couldn't go back to sleep.

It is not easy being married to a chef. I suspect, it is not easy being married to anyone, including me. Such is life.  Despite, this, the hours and intensity that come with ESCs career have amplified some teething pains.

Marriage is a mirror that we hold up to ourselves.  I have felt more vulnerable over the past two years than I have ever felt in my life. I have opened up and let another human being into my most sacred places and that is a heck of a thing. 

It has also been very difficult to be so far from family and close friends. The distance made me feel like an alien  in my own life. I still look at pictures and read stories of home and feel like I am missing from it all. I have not left since I arrived and I am tremendously homesick, though I am afraid to admit just how much.

Yes, it has been rough at times, but, have we have certainly not been worse for the year. We have been growing individually and as a couple and that has made all the difference. We encourage each others growth.

So what's keeping me up at 4:00 am? 

I think I need a break. I feel overwhelmed with a lot of things I have been facing recently.  ESC and I are working through major issues, I have regained 3/4 of the weight I lost,  my little sister had a baby, my grandmother's cancer has spread to both her lungs and I cannot visit her in the US because my visa  renewal is undergoing a very lengthy session of "administrative processing."  All of this is compounded by the fact that I pretty much have to deal with my issues on my own due to ESC's hours.

It would be nice to leave the country with ESC for a few weeks and visit my granny and go home. We need the time together and I need the break. But, alas, it is peak season for him, and again he is the chef in charge of the kitchen and cannot take leave before April.

I am hoping and praying that things will align so I can visit my granny and be surrounded by family soon. Next year I will be traveling home work on a book that I am being commissioned for.  It cannot come soon enough.

I realize that for our marriage to work well, I will need to budget for annual trips away to meet family and friends so that I can refuel with the love and passion that space gives. I have neglected to make this a priority because I wanted to share the experience with ESC, but I am now aware that I need to go in spite of whether or not he can.  In many ways, I have to think like a single woman to survive the intense aloneness that comes from his hours and being so far from my support group and feeling like my life revolves around him.

I don't think we will be here for very much longer. Three years tops. He just changed jobs in April and will probably stay put for another year and a half until his two year mark. After that, the rest is up for grabs. While we have both fantasized about moving further east, I think I need to move back west first. But who knows? Maybe I am just anxious because I have been away so long and miss home. I could very well go home and feel rejuvenated and come back pumped for years away here as long as I get to go home at least once per year. I have never been away from home for longer than 6 months and I think that my lack of travel could really be the source of my current distress.  I just need to travel.


Anonymous said...

We missed you too :-)

Julie said...

Oh Kari,
So sorry to hear your grandmother's cancer has spread!

I have been feeling home-sick too... but I am also feeling the need to just go off on my own. I'm supposed to take the little one for a month long trip in the summer but it can't come fast enough. And just imagine I still haven't dealt with the first major snow fall for the season yet. What a mighty long winter this will be!

I've been looking out for you on skype so we can chat. Hopefully one day soon we'll spot each other.
Tek care mi fren!

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