Friday, July 23, 2010

For as exciting as it all sounds moving halfway around the world and embarking on the adventure of a lifetime together, both Steve and I were more nervous than either of us let on to each other.  Not about the country or the job, but about how much time we’d actually be spending together.

We spent the first five years of our marriage with plenty of alone time because of Steve’s travel for work.  Sure, when I was 22 and about to get married I wasn’t very fond of the concept of spending so many nights without him.  But it didn’t take long to realize it was the best thing for me.  I didn’t become The Girl Who Got Married and Lost Her Identity.

Obviously his travel was much easier on me than on him.  He spent many a sleepless night on rock hard mattresses in Toledo, Detroit, and other places rightfully deemed The Armpit of America only to wake up to a free “breakfast” of powdered eggs and mystery meat sausages.  I, on the other hand, plopped down on my ever-so-perfect sectional couch with that secure feeling of Home Sweet Home every night.

Living this way allowed me to hold on to the things I love while still being someone’s wife – me time, girlfriend time, shopping for overpriced shoes, beverages that end in “tini”.  And I had plenty of ladies to share that with in Cleveland and Chicago.

But we decided to test the limits of our true love and move to the opposite hemisphere with no family or friends, to share one office, one tiny apartment, and one bathtub-less bathroom.  To the other couples here, it’s par for the course.  But in hindsight it might have been downright crazy.

A little more than halfway through the year, life speaks for itself.  We’re still insanely happy together, crossed that 6 year anniversary mark with pride, and don’t regret changing life up so drastically.  Hell, we even got a dog.

And maybe that is what’s so odd about it – I feel both older and younger here.  Chalk it up to yet another contradiction of living in Korea!  I spend a lot of time hanging out with people a good 5 years or more younger than me, so it often feels like the college experience I never had.  But at the same time, I’ve never felt myself age as much as I have in the past 7 months.  Perhaps it’s that great fun comes with its side of stress, perhaps it’s that I will turn 30 right after returning home and usher in a new decade of life.

But as for me and Steve, there is no contradiction.  This is continuing to be an experience that brings us closer together.  In sheer number of years our marriage is still a child, but it’s almost as if it took this move away from everything we know to feel more married.  More like a family.  More grown up.  It’s like the 6-year-old kid finally got potty trained.