Last week (the week before?) when I saw Dave up in Nottingham, we talked about how, or if, I’m liking England and my official status as legally residing citizen here. We talked about how Seattle is similar to English weather and how it doesn’t really rain as much as everyone says it does, but when it does rain everyone can’t stop talking about how “it always rains”. And I am so guilty of this. And Brighton is so beautiful and idyllic in the sun. But in all honesty the sun isn’t out that much. And it isn’t so much the rain that bothers me. It’s the lack of sunshine, the cloudy days, the sea that runs into sky so you can’t see where one stops and the other begins. The gray/grey. The iron skies-they weren’t kidding. The near constant need for a sweater or coat or both. And it gets me down. Jon says that he hates the weather too, that I just talk about it more. And I guess it could change, I could adapt. I may adapt eventually. But I think it’s more than that.
I’m having a hard time being so alone. Making friends is no easy thing, even when you’re loud and friendly and not particularly afraid to talk to new people. And it’s not like when you’re little-there are no play dates or school sports to join, no way to immediately find people who have the same interests and similar personalities, are at the same phase of life as you and are open to new friendships, and joining new groups runs that awkward thing where people in the groups already have other mini-groups of friends. Teaching is weird, in that everyone is different ages and runs out the door the second they can (….just like the kids). For me, there is no meeting Lindsey for drinks at Surly Girl off the cuff on a Thursday because we feel like it, no football games with Kellie, no trying out a new restaurant with Rachel, no going over to Joe’s on a Saturday night with a few bottles of wine to bullshit for hours with him and Mike. No driving up to Morrow County on a random weekend to visit my parents then escape back to the city after I’ve filled myself with dumplings and the latest familial gossip and all the country road driving I can stand, fields of corn dotted with barns and houses. No watching my niece play with her millions of toys and grow into her pigtails. There is no meeting anyone new who doesn’t know me more than the American who moved here to live with her husband. It’s all so superficial and I feel so transparent that it hurts. I am invisible. I am lonesome. And I just want to put Jon in a suitcase and run back to the sunshine and the four solid seasons, even the coldest snowy ones, and the hipsters and the familiarity of Ohio. Is that too much?
Jon came home from work while I was writing this and when he hugged me I couldn’t help but cry a little. And we talked about all of this, and how I can’t seem to get a leg up around here, and how the realities of both being unable to find steady, reliable paid work, combined with the lackluster weather, plus the distance between me and everyone I care about (that I’m not married to), is a hard row to hoe. We live here not necessarily because that was our choice but because our choice wasn’t much of one at all. If being together and being in one of our home countries was the ideal, and one of those countries made it easy for us and the other put up every possible obstacle, well, that wasn’t much of a choice. Because we want to be together, somewhere, anywhere. And so I’m here. And believe me, none of this would be happening if I didn’t love Jon so goddamn much-England is beautiful and has many wonderful things happening-but I spent so much time in my early twenties traveling and figuring out where I wanted to be, only to fall in love with someone from across the ocean just when I figured out how much I love my home state. And that’s okay. Life happens, things change. And here we are, trying to make the best of this situation that no matter what, pits one of us thousands of miles away from all that is familiar. But sometimes it’s so hard. And if just one of these things would change-weather (yeah….it’s been this way for centuries, nothing’s going to change), a good and/or satisfying permanent job, or making some actual friends-things would improve so much, so fast. I know it. After all, it’d be nice to know that I have a choice between hanging out by myself or with my husband-it’s weird when those are your only two options. Also-probably not that healthiest of relationships.
So nothing has changed much yet, five months in, and I’m patiently waiting because there isn’t any other option. Working as much as they’ll have me at my teaching job through September. Writing on the side and trying to find more. Skyping with family on the weekend and keeping up with everyone else, however vaguely, via Facebook and twitter and this little space on the internet. Hoping the people I love don’t forget me. Hoping there is a chance for us to reconcile the situation we have found ourselves in, someday. But right now-I just want some sunshine. And not just a few hours in an evening after a long cold day of rain. An actual warm sunny day. C’mon England. Help me out. I’m trying really hard. And there is so much more hope in the air when the sun makes an appearance.