After 47 years, I’d have said my favorite parts of the day are the morning when I wake up and find my husband in bed with me, and in the evening when he comes home and we make dinner together. My life has its rhythm because I enjoy him.
A few weeks ago, he got a call asking if he’d consider an interview with a head-hunter in Singapore. I freaked.
I was willing to leave the US to go to Canada if his draft board went after him. I would be willing to leave the US now, if we had to. Or even if Romney had been elected, and was as bad a President as he looked like he’d be.
But to leave for a job? We both have jobs. We like our jobs. Why leave? He has a talent for languages. I do not. He would have a job there. I would not. And since I fix people’s computers in their homes and businesses, I could not create such a job where I don’t speak the language. Even the computers there speak a foreign language.
I told him I wasn’t interested. He wanted the job interview. He spent over an hour on the phone and said this was just the head-hunter. The next level would be talking with people at the institute that wanted to hire him.
I said something I never thought I’d say to him. “If you go, you go alone.”
This stunned me. Had anybody asked me – what do you value most in life? I’d have answered “my husband’s company. I love be-withing him.” I had no idea there was anything I value more.
That I value being independent – able to talk to people around me – earn money – understand directions, and get help in words I understand – I never even thought about how much I value that.
I am not aging well. I cannot imagine trying to explain my health issues in Chinese, Malay or Tamil. I get lost frequently, when I bike more than 3 or 4 miles from my home. Would I be able to use a smartphone and get google maps in English if I was in Singapore? I eat weird foods. Could I even get chocolate sweetened with stevia? Or seaweed dried seaweed for making sushi. Do they even sell brown rice there?
My mind was going crazy – what do I really value? Who am I? Would I really become a prisoner of the English language? I can master the Pimsleur basics for travel – but that’s not the same thing as real communication. I know there’s an ex-pat community there from England – but I don’t want to be a member of a culture that lives in an enclave.
It shocked me that I would throw away my marriage, which I enjoy, rather than move to another country. Discovering new facets of my personality can be a shock.
Fortunately I won’t have to deal with it – at least this time. My husband decided he liked being wanted, but he doesn’t want that job.