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On Birthing

I am a few plus months in to the whole marriage thing, and Monk and I don’t even speak about realistically trying to have kids.   Is this natural?   Here is the impression I have of couples with babies in the nearby geographic area that I live in:  No travel, Boring, Mundane.  I feel like if you have had your eyes on kids your whole life than of course having kids, gushing and blogging about them is the best thing that ever happened to you.   But what if, before ever considering children, you are living the life you want to live and can think of nothing else that would make you happier?

Should you still have kids?  This is the scary question, the argument is, “of course, this would be the best possible environment to raise your kids in.”

So instead, Monk and I opt to talk about the end result, and do nothing to initiate it and everything to avoid it.  We talk about how are kids are going to be the coolest world educated non-brats around.  Except if we question one another about making them, we light-heartedly opt out.

Is there anyone else out there like me?

On Frustration and Anger

We are fighting right now and I am writing on this hidden blog that he doesn’t know I have.  Really, I don’t think anyone knows I have it or even reads it.  I can’t stand some things about him, things that I didn’t know I was signing up for when we lived abroad together.  OK, so you have me here right where you want me and now you decide to show your true colors?  When we were abroad, we were adventurous, we had the same goals, we would pinpoint a destination and jump at the chance to check it out.  Here, you don’t even want to leave our house, and as an excuse you create these household “responsibilities” for yourself.  Then you label me for having no real world responsiblities.  Umm.. cutting wood on a Saturday is a neccessity?  This is ridiculous, he is showing parts of himself that are such a turn off.  And I’m just annoying him for pointing them out.   I wonder if it would have been better living with him in The States before we got engaged?  I thought what I was getting from our life in Japan was the real thing, the real him.  Overall, he is still the same, but things that bothered me slightly in Japan are amplifying now.  IE.  the way he criticizes me, his lackluster spirit for adventure, the tone in which he answers me.  I am four week away from my wedding and this entry makes me sound 4 weeks and many years past it.  I want my marriage to be perfect… perfect for me (whatever that means.)  Monk, I want us to be different, I want us to be outstanding.

Monk and Me… Marrying Soon

I am getting married on Nov. 1, less than two months away.  Monk–I call him that because he looks like one– and I have been together for three years.  I have known about him since childhood.  He is my best friend’s older brother.  Saving everything until the last minute, lately I have been wedding gown shopping on craigslist in an attempt to find a decent dress that needs no altering.

I’ve come across a handful of young women recently divorced wanting no part of the dress that they wore with the person whom they thought they were going to spend the rest of their life with.  

What makes a marriage last so short?  Did you even have the time to fight?  How could you ever let yourself MARRY someone whom you would end up divorcing just a few years later?  I’ve been questioning this in my mind with Monk.  What will make mine last strong?

Last year at this time I was a girl living in Japan with a boyfriend who had started talking about wanting to get married.  I wasn’t overjoyed about it, I wasn’t not keen on it either.  At the time I loved having a boyfriend, living in a foreign country, living such a fluid life, and didn’t need the word “Marriage,” which meant binding, settled, children, monotony, entering our conversations.  But I did entertain it.  I listened intently to his stories about how outstanding our marriage would be, I contributed making up names for our five kids we would have one day.  Life was great!  I felt relationship security with a man not afraid of commitment, but didn’t have to play the wife part. 

Then September came last year and he took me on an picturesque camping trip in the mountains of Japan.  We were taking a hotspring one night in a small village that was desolate at 10 pm.  Monk said he had to call home and asked me to wait down the street.

“What?  You want me to wait in the dark down the street while you talk to your parents?” I said.  “OH NO,” it clicked in my head, “He is going to propose.”  I was scared, nervous, excited, and experiencing ten emotions at once.

These emotions didn’t stop until two days later by a turquoise-colored river where he did it.  Then the worry, scared, nervous feeling turned to elation.   I was engaged to Monk!  A sensitive, caring, thoughtful man who made me a better person.  We were living abroad, going on adventures every weekend, and we were happy!

Now a year later and two months shy of our wedding day I have learned how to be deeply in love with someone who inherently wants a different lifestyle than I want.  I want to not live in America, to live among different cultures, to forever escape winters in a tropical paradise raising my kids bilingual, barefoot and away from a materialistic pretentious society.  Monk wants to live in our hometown near our family.

So we compromised.   I am writing this in my hometown after living abroad my entire single adult life (six years since Uni.)  We have a deal to spend half a year in our hometown at the end of summer and fall, and to spend the other half on our tropical island. 

We bought a plot of land on a tropical island.  We are marrying twice in one year, both times out of the country.  We remodeled the house in our hometown.  We are each learning how to sacrifice to lay the foundations of a long, healthy and adventurous marriage.  Or at least I hope.

My Animals
My Animals

The dog is still performing heriocally on three legs with cancer.  It’s been more than a month now and all pain medication has ceased. He is glowing, youthful and full of energy.   I am aware that there is little to no chance that the cancer hasn’t metasized into other parts of the body, but I’m hoping it’s camping out in a far off node in his body and plans to stay still.  This does, however, have me on high alert to any signs of it spreading.   I think any of his reactions are signs of the cancer.   His head has been cocked to the side a lot recently, and of course I thought the cancer got there too.  Rather, he just had a tick in his ear.  I need to take a relaxative.

Animals calm you. They give you something to do when you’re bored. They take on the reaction that you want them to. If you’re happy, then so are they. If you’re pensive then they oddly look like that too. My best friends, my partner, my family, we are all animal people. Animal lovers attract other animal lovers.

I went to Uni in the states, but right after moved abroad to Guam for a year, and then Japan for five years.   Along the way I’ve met brilliant expat friends that made me realize how affordable and valuable education outside of the US can be.  For the first time since University, six years later, I’m back in The States and am coming to the reflections and conclusions about life here.

I miss the pace of life that I made for myself abroad. The friendliness of really going out of your way to meet new people and getting a warm reception because they are also out of their comfort zone.  I miss finding something new to discover every weekend. I miss passionate discussions about similar cultural experiences–people don’t seem to have much time for those here.

I miss being around people who know what it’s like to choose to create a different life for themselves. I often I meet someone here who, upon hearing that I just got back from living abroad for six years, will launch into a dreamy fog about how they wished that they had done something like that.  Those can be interesting conversations, but it gets old.  I  prefer the ones about the adventures of actually DOING it!

I just don’t know what to do with myself back in America.  My spirit says “go go find your next adventure,” but I am trying to be open-minded and make a success out of life here.  Problem is I fell deeply in love with a hometown boy, who quit his job in NYC to move out with me in Japan, and then brought us back on a more permanent basis to the states to the hometown we grew up in…  We are newlyweds madly in love but finding it hard to compromise on what kind of environment we want to live our lives in.  He loves being near his parents and loves our hometown.  I love the adventure, cultural experiences and different perspectives you get living around world.  So just a shout out that I admire those couples out there who seem to be on the same page about how they want their lives to turn out.  Especially those living in a global mindset.

Relief on My Part

Deep breath in, hold it, and let it out.  This was my {big} sigh of relief that I made the correct decision.

The vet said Duncan had a maximum of six more months to live.  Well, one week lasted after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and I couldn’t stand seeing him stoically bear his pain in his eyes and not even be able to put down the tumorous leg.  So I made the decision for amputation.  The surgery was five days ago and he is getting around beautifully.

He is already running, he’s pain-free and can use the bathroom with no problem.  He can’t do steps yet, but he is doing great for a 100+ lb dog with out his fourth leg.

 I’m so happy with my decision.  I couldn’t bear seeing that leg anymore.  Most importantly, now when  I look into his eyes I see a smiling, panting, interested dog, not one that is trying to bear the most painful thing in the world on his own shoulders.  He looks youthful and has a glowing presence on three-legs.

The vet told me this wouldn’t resolve the cancer, but it would be a 100 percent pain fix.  I still can’t help but pray for the miracle that the cancer didn’t enter his bloodstream yet.  I needed to get the leg off to at least give the it a chance. 

Go ahead God, he’s all yours.  Do your thing… fix my dog.