A couple of weeks ago, JG and I celebrated our first year anniversary as a married couple. I must admit that six years ago, I never imagined that we would be spending it thousands of miles away in a place with such a different atmosphere, with a very different culture. As if adjusting to married life and the discoveries we make about each other is not a challenge enough. We also have to adjust to culture shock. But I take it as a learning process.
On a more personal level, there are things both negative and positive that I learn about JG. And in fairness to him, I’m sure he has learned new things about me, that probably has hopefully made him love me more, or God forbid, love me less. Especially when it comes to my futile attempt to cook, (its a good thing his mom is here with us, I leave the cooking to her. [which is good for me too]); I have always said that I have never been the domesticated kind, so I find comfort in thinking that I warned him before we got married.
In the year we’ve been married, I admit that there are lots of time when I lose my hold on my temper. But I must commend myself in the improvements I notice in times “misunderstandings”; in the past I would really just push it, now I just brood… kidding.
Also the statement, “mothers know best” is a big factor in my life this past year. Before we left, I take time to see my mom who also served as my therapist. Every weekend when we see each other I tell her my grievances, and she gives me sound advice, funny because most of the time she takes JG’s side. These days she does her counseling via the internet, found in our long trend of 95 exchange of emails. One of her best advice is when I complained about how much JG and I still find ourselves out of sync even though we’ve been together for 7 seven years. My mother then told me to take away the number of years I’ve known him to his current age; which leaves 20 years. She told me that I am trying to understand someone who has been living his own life for 20 years before I came into it, so I shouldn’t expect to know everything about him with the mere seven that we’ve been together; she told me to complain when I’ve at least covered that 20 years. She added that its the same with him, that the 18 years of life prior to meeting him can’t easily be changed. And that made a lot of sense to me.
And then there’s Libya. We didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived here almost six months ago, despite everything we read about it. I must admit that we both see our current post differently; I see it as an adventure, JG on the hand, at least I think, looks at it as a challenge. The Libyans, their country, and culture is an interesting learning arena for me, something new to embrace. JG sees it as a challenge, probably because this his first assignment and he wants to do his best to do this right; and that includes making sure I don’t get into trouble with my insistence to explore as much of it as I can. I have to give it to my dear husband, his job in the foreign service is no walk in the park; and I understand that the least I can do is to not add to his concerns.
Look out here’s the mushy part: In the end no matter how much we get learn about each other, good or bad; or wherever FSO life takes us, I wouldn’t want to spend it with anyone else as JG. So here’s to another year…