Sometimes I struggle with what to write in this space. With its equal parts unknown readership and at least a handful of people reading these words that I see every day or people that know and love me and therefore may not want to be privy to my sadder moments, it is hard to know what to share. But I have been feeling burdened lately under my new existence and perhaps that happens to everyone at some point, I think, and so it is not so bad to write the things that I feel and think right at this moment. So. This. Some realizations.
I’m not good at being an immigrant wife.
And I’m even worse at being unemployed.
I thought at this time in my life, at the ripe old age of 27 that I would be making my way on a career path that, if I didn’t love, at least was somewhat fulfilling or consumed most of my days, or had, like, a trajectory of some sort. And now, with the freshness of my big move fading away and still no job on the horizon I am starting to worry. I don’t know how women in decades before, or even now, dealt with being dependent upon their partner for survival. I love and trust Jon completely and still, I am on edge because I’m scared that he is going to a) suddenly run off, leaving me stranded, alone and mostly penniless in a foreign country or b) get hit by a bus. Or a train. Or a car. Or an errant biker. Any of these things leaves me, in a word, fucked. How did women before me deal with this? It really has nothing to do with trust at all, just the fact that I was raised to be strongly independent and now, despite my best efforts, I am completely and 100 percent unable to be so in some very integral ways. It is in equal parts freeing and unacceptable. I want a job, goddammit. The sad part is that I feel that if I were to at least be pregnant I would be deserving of this cushy job with the title “housewife”, a noble calling. I could putter around doing future mom things and make excuses for myself and my growing fetus. But that is also a dumb idea (for me! I repeat, for me). A mom I am presently, most certainly, not.
The job search itself has become more depressing, as anyone looking for employment in this day and age is aware of. Wake up, check the usual sites while sipping coffee, send a good handful of resumes and cover letters throughout the morning while half-watching shows about houses on tv. There is a pattern. And it really saddens me to think that I may not get to use my degree. Either of them. Or my experiences, or the things I’m good at. And oh the bitterness I will feel if my next level of employment has nothing to do with the work that I so diligently put in to my studies and my passions and the money that I so sadly gave to the federal government for a degree that I really, really thought I needed, a degree that I thought would help me further my goals. Now I’m sending applications to American Express’ call center and hoping for a call back.
Again, I understand that many women would love to be in my position. As it is currently, I could sit on my ass all day and allow Jon to be our sole bread winner, and I realize that that alone means that we are lucky. But this is not what I want, nor can I imagine my life continuing on like this for months and months. Without my own job and my own life I depend so heavily on Jon for entertainment and companionship that it scares me a little. Yes, this was obviously going to happen upon moving to a country where I am, essentially, alone, but it bothers me. Repeatedly it is brought to my attention that these are early days and soon enough I will be working like everyone else in the rat race and wishing for this time back that was slow like molasses and all to myself, but that time…it seems so far away. And allowing myself this acceptance that yes, I was meant to work and yes, it makes me a better partner and wife is important.
For now I will keep looking and keep hoping for the best. There is no choice. But this is my main conclusion. Immigrant wife is not my best role. And I so admire women who have done this before me, because it is a struggle.