Well, I have officially been in the UK now since February 9th *thinks* so nearly 8 weeks. Things have been slow as far as my getting out and meeting people because I feel very vulnerable and “naked” here. Things really are the same but different so I feel a bit like an alien, grey skin, big eyes and all.
My first step was to find a therapist close to our home so I could see someone about what I’m feeling and the things that are coming up. I realized nearly right away that … to put it lightly a LOT of issues have come up, personally. Here is just a quick breakdown:
- Being married! Hah, no small adjustment for a single, independent girl. It’s new for both Ken and I, blending our beliefs, how we do things and what we like with each other. I have to remind him to slow down and include me in the little things like washing up, cooking, laundry, shopping. He’s used to do all these things alone so asking him to slow down and include me is a big adjustment for him. Not working or having “my own money” is a big adjustment for me.
- Moving to another country. Again, no small adjustment here, this is a big leap! From speaking the “same” language (because we don’t) to where to find things in a grocery store, how to get around the village or just making small talk with strangers. People behave differently (in small ways of course) and have different expectations. When you’re the foreigner, pseople nearly look at you like you’re nuts at times for not knowing what they may consider basic things.
- Managing the very limited space at home. There is no way around the fact that this house is super small. It’s great for a single person but for a couple with two large pomeranian husky dogs and two cats, it’s insane. Try best vacuum for pet hair . Cooking is twice as complicated as is getting all the animals fed when we eat, finding a place to sit at eat (no dinning room) or just getting dressed and ready to go out. A lot needs to be done in the home to make it more livable for two people and though we have had our recent conflicts on what to do and where to put things, it is slowly coming together with a lot of discussion. We finally have a shower, some bathroom shelves to organize things and some bedroom shelves next to the bed. Slow but steady progress.
- Dealing with the past. Yes, the past IS the past which *duh* is why it is called the past. I got that. But I have burried and ignored a slew of incidents and memories in favour of “moving on” when really, I did not move on or resolve a damn thing. I’ll go in to this huge point a bit more later.
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As far as I can recall right now, those are the biggies. They’re HUGE, aren’t they? It is probably no surprise then that I have my moments where I get teary, frustrated, confused, scared and angry. These aren’t big, diva outbursts but rather little moments of “what the f*ck is going on?!” because none of these things are easy to deal with on a small scale, let alone the insanely large scale I am working with. While it may seem like a fairy tale come true in some respects (and it is really) it is also a lot of work and a lot of times where I get angry, frustrated, scared, depressed or confused.
The good news is that I am happy. I AM really HAPPY. Ken is patient, listens as best he can (but he is, after all, a man and some girl things just bypass his ears which is ok and normal), he is supportive and affectionate. We have a lot of times where we just laugh and smile at each other. If I get upset, he might get upset too but we quickly bring it back down a notch before we have anything close to a real blow up or argument. It is a huge learning experience and while we’re both not perfect, he is really kind and caring in all ways. I really could not have asked for more in a partner, honestly.
So while I’ve been here, talking with the therapist about these topics, I have been thinking more domestically. Ugh, I hate the idea of having to be (by some higher force, like children or something) to be Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, Julia Child. No, thank you. But with that said, I have found some interest and even enjoyment in cooking. I have found I really do enjoy baking so I’ve been doing a fair amount of that. I do appreciate a freshly “hoovered” (or vacuumed) room. While I hate dishes, they get done half the time by me and half by Ken (maybe more than half by Ken since he washes up after I make dinner).
With all this Happy Homemaker BS said, I have had my interest piqued in more “green living” but (sadly) not because I am on an environmental kick but because I’m 1) cheap 2) bored. So I am obsessed with Pinterest.com boards about homemade shampoo and conditioner, soaps, lotion bars and other items of green origins. I am hoping to make some decent homemade shampoo though today I just did the 1 part baking soda and 3 parts hot water method. It’s now sitting in a repurposed E45 container in the bathroom. I washed my hair with it and eh, so far so good. Next will be finding a container for apple cider vinegar conditioner. Hoping to work my way up to homemade lotions soon.
As far as the website, I have given it a more DIY(ish) and friendly look. I am lightening things up for the time being. It isn’t all sadness and woe these days though I am struggling with a lot of past issues. I want the look (as it is today) to reflect a more positive outlook. I did that with roses in the background, ya dig?
Speaking of past issues, I won’t go into too much detail but I have found since moving here that I have been so ill equipped with domestic skills. My Mother did not take the time to teach me how to cook, clean or otherwise keep house. Her basic statement was that I wasn’t the domestic type and she seemed pretty sure I wouldn’t marry when I grew up. Boy was she eventually wrong but this has obviously left me without a lot of skills or confidence. Because I am now married, I bump into these issues every day and it is embarassing to say the least. How do you impart upon others that your Mother basically didn’t teach you jack-shit?
This whole not learning anything about being female from my Mother probably has a lot to do with my attitude about not being girly per se. I never learned the traditional female gender role crap which actually is not bad but I have no clue what I am doing. The feelings I took away from my childhood from my Mother were that I was largely inadequate at anything domestic and I now feel ill equipped, constantly reminded that I was “never good” at this stuff. I feel like I am drowning in quick sand. If I have children, I intend to pass on the skills I was never taught that will benefit anyone, regardless of gender. Yes, I wish I was taught traditional girl stuff instead of having to learn it myself but if I had kids, I think I would seek to teach them all the skills that are important, regardless of your gender. It’s important to know domestic stuff and important to develop your intellect so that you can be anything or anyone you want.
If I think hard, I think my Mother probably didn’t learn this stuff from my Grandmother so therefore she didn’t have anything to pass on. She passed it off as I wasn’t good things, I was clumsy, etc and avoided having to share anything with me. It’s too bad she didn’t take just pass on the important stuff and instill in me that whatever I was good at was a positive and thus to develop what talents I had. To be fair, parenting is hard and in the end, we learn from the mistakes our parents made and hopefully, if we have kids, we pass on the refined version hoping they will have a better life than we had.
I totally just summed up how to raise kids. You’re welcome.
Well all that said and sorted, I’m in need of lunch and to finish laundry. I also am reading a book on career changes because while I would like to improve my domestic skills, I think a job would really be good for Ken’s sanity and mine. I think we can both handle so much of me having spare time. It’s driving me insane and it’s depressing as all Hell. I’m about done with it. A part time job even, geez, anything!