I have been in California since July 4th and I have been trying to post updates as often as I can for my family and friends that I am not able to talk to every day. My updates have been pretty generic in the sense that I am writing “I did this or I saw that, I miss home, I drank coffee, I saw a cat, ect”. On the surface these updates are awesome and usually accompanied by pictures on my blog or twitter or instagram, but they don’t really express what it is like being away from home. Here is a look at what it has been like below the surface:
At first it was challenging but being away has given me a new perspective on my life. I think it is healthy for me to be here and to have the experience of being entirely who I am without having to withhold certain roles or expectations. Now, when I go back home and I do have to fill those roles and expectations I can remain true to myself and I will never again fall victim to loosing who I am. As much as I do love my life it is nice to just be me without being all of the other things that I am expected to be. I find that the many roles I play in life leave me putting the happiness of everyone else first. I had to leave home for the summer to really understand that I exist independently of everything I am surrounded by on a day to day basis.
Before I left, and even now that I am across the country people ask me, “what does your husband think about you being gone or why would you leave your husband for so long?” I guess it is a legitimate question but it makes me cringe each time I hear it. If the roles were reversed I don’t think these questions would be asked, and if they were they would be asked infrequently. Phil is the best person I know and the only person that I have ever met who has never once discouraged my dreams or my goals. If I want to accomplish something he will always find a way to help me do it. This is why we are married. Being so far away isn’t necessarily an ideal situation but it is only temporary. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him, figuratively and literally. He booked my flight and helped me find a place to stay. Point blank, our society needs to stop assuming that women are destined to fill traditional gender roles. At first these kinds of comments made me upset and they made me feel like a bad wife, but now I just pity the close minded people asking them. For the people who genuinely care and want to know what it is like to be so far away….it isn’t easy. When you love someone you don’t ever want to be away from them.
As much as I have enjoyed connecting with my classmates I have also enjoyed doing things by myself. Some people are afraid to do things alone or don’t like doing things alone but I have come to enjoy it. It isn’t as scary as people make it out to be. I’d rather live my life than live in fear. I don’t know this area well and I don’t know many people here, but that isn’t stopping me from doing things. Not much has bothered me since I have been here. You can’t enjoy life if you worry or stress about things that could happen.
I’ve come to realize that I don’t need a lot of stuff. In total I’ll be gone for about 7 weeks. I only flew out here with one suitcase and a backpack. I don’t need nearly as much stuff as I own and when I get home I’ll probably get rid of a lot of stuff. I could probably stay out here for a lot longer without ever missing most of the material objects I left at home.
I’ve realized a lot about running too, but that is a post for another day.