I had lunch today with three wonderful ladies. All married, two are pregnant. One has been living in Houston for 6 years, one for almost a year, the other barely surviving 4 months, and I am going into my 3rd year. Together we were four married ladies, trying to adapt with the life of a wife in a foreign country.
To me, the past three years have been quite a journey. It's been about homesickness, learning to run a household, taking care of 3 dogs, compromising (again and again) with the husband, and trying to keep myself intact as a significant human being. It's been about learning and doing and taking chances. It's been about re-inventing myself.
Over plates of sandwiches the ladies and I talked about basic stuff. Questions are always the same: "How long have you been here?", "Do you like it here?", "What do you do all day?". Things haven't been good for the friend who just arrived here 4 months ago. She's homesick and bored. I know exactly how that feels. I know exactly how the 1st year feels. It sucks. Big time.
Another friend asked when I started doing yoga. "Two and a half years ago," I said. "What did you do during the first 6 months?" she asked again. I mentally took a look back at those months and answered, "Being depressed." It is true. It was depressing and I was depressed. Marriage alone was confusing at first. Living with a boy, trying to figure out our roles and how not to kill each other. I kind of had the impression that I had to perform as a "good wife". Cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry were my job. I lost myself between peeling a garlic for a stir fry and folding my husband's underwear. I was lost and sad. I was not a "good wife" and I may never be one.
But it was not about the cooking, cleaning, folding underwear or being acknowledged as a "good wife" or a good anything. It was about me doing those things without putting myself first. Without knowing why I was here in Houston, married to my husband and away from my support system. I love my husband, I really do. But at one point I realized that if I wasn't happy then I'd make his life a living hell. And I didn't want to do that to him. He was and is -however- my bestfriend. He is my support system.
What was hard was feeling comfortable and safe in the new environment. And it was hard to take the mind off the past, the home, the comfort zone that was no longer there and create a present, a new home, and a fresh comfort zone. I'm glad I took risks and put myself out there. I'm doing a lot of stuff for myself and I've made new wonderful friends aside from my Indonesian friends.
I used to say to people that all I did all day was taking care of the house, my husband and my dogs. Well that's not true anymore. I still take care of the house and the husband and the dogs. But now I'm doing them with joy and willingness, because God knows I'm doing other things that makes me feel worthy and significant. And after three years and a few laugh lines on the corners of my eyes later, this place called Texas, is really not bad at all.