These are the facts: I recently got married. I’m only 24. And my husband is a Diplomat. So basically, I’m a young newlywed, who has to not only adjust to married life, but to culture shocks of life abroad. And this is what mostly what this blog is about.
But first, let me explain the title. Diplomatic Baggage I got from a book, my then boyfriend gave me for our anniversary. The book is about the real life accounts of writer Brigid Keenan as a diplomat’s wife. Which is why from the title alone, the book caught my interest because those were the times when JG (my husband) and I were seriously talking “marriage”.
I enjoyed the book because it was really funny the way Keenan recounts her life as she and her husband moves from one continent to another. But aside from the humor, I thought that it was a good perspective of the life of a Diplomat’s wife.
However, I must say that there is a big possibility that her experiences would be different from mine. Because the author and I don’t have much in common; in fact come from different worlds. Keena was a budding a writer when she married AW, whilst I can only brag about a short writing stint in college. She came from a rich family and studied in an English Finishing School, while I’m but a humble product of our public school system where you learn to be tough first before the actual lessons. She knows fashion and high end style, while I buy clothes from surplus shops and ukay-ukay. You get the picture.
This makes it even more difficult for me because there is an idea that as a Consul’s wife, you are expected to be equipped with social graces and should be a good hostess. I talk and literality walk like a boy, and has never hosted a party, not even a children’s party. Sometimes I think that I am a disgrace to JG. Compared to his friend’s partners who are doctors, executives, and co-officers; I have yet to find success.
This brings me to a few things Keenan said in her book that I could really relate to. In the book she talked about being an appendage. 10% of our country’s populations are OFWs, and to some people, I am lucky for the mere fact that I get to go abroad. (And even though we haven’t left I already get those, “Ang swerte mo naman…”comments, when I tell them about my husband and his work). But as Keenan said in the book, Diplomat’s wives have no identities, instead are only extensions of our husbands. I get to go abroad not because I am successful or want a more comfortable life for my family, I get to go not because of my hard work, but because of my husband and his job.
I wish I could make something of myself on my own, but due to love, and not to mention that I don’t have the brilliance JG has to land me a kick ass prestigious job like his, I must be the one to make the sacrifice. The truth is, being the idealist that I am; I was a little hesitant to get married, because I wanted to take my career or the lack of it, a notch higher. Or even settle to gaining a masters degree. But my wise mother said, that maybe my luck isn’t here, but is wherever JG’s posting takes us. Which was reasonable, when I thought about it, because not only do I get to be with him, (instead of enduring a long distance relationship if I decided to stay) I also get the chance to go global. But still, should I find my success when we leave, it will still be through my husband’s job.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and will not regret my decision of marrying him. Another thing Keenan and I have in common and she put it exactly the way I feel about JG, “I admire him more than anyone. He is disciplined, dutiful, hard-working, clever, thrifty, stoic and funny. And I am the opposite.” We both married men that are very different from our personalities, in my case, these traits are the same reasons I fell in love with my husband. Even if he can be really difficult most of the time; in reality, I wouldn’t last a month without seeing him. Although it’s not always perfect and happy, I really couldn’t imagine getting married to anyone else. So marrying him is really just a matter of prestige versus love. And as idealistic as I am, my being romantic and overtly emotional over passes everything else.
Since JG hasn’t been posted yet; my continental adventures as a Diplomatic Baggage has yet to be written. At present, the blog would be mostly about me since there are still other aspects in my life, married life, life in the Philippines, and my continuous quest to finding my own success (in accomplishments big and small) before I leave it all behind to fully become a trailing spouse.