Sunday, September 6, 2009

We're Ok

I just realized yesterday that I only write on this blog when I am upset. I think it's just because most of the time I'm really ok and don't need an outlet, or at least can talk about things with Paul rather than just write it. I wanted to post a quick update of how we're feeling so the last post and all of it's culture-shock tantrumness wouldn't linger too much.

We went with our friends Kara and JP and their fantastic kids to the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival downtown today. We had a blast, heard some great music, and were able to just relax with friends and feel like ourselves. I think one of the thinks I like best about the Moses family is that it doesn't feel like I've just known them a few months--I'm just myself with them, which is sometimes hard for me to feel like that's enough.

We've been really enjoying our church, too. This morning as we were eating lunch together after church in our friends' house, I was thinking how nice it is to feel comfortable. And how that almost feels strange to me. Is it oxymoronic to feel strange that you feel comfortable? Ah, the joys of adjustment. It's all one big contradiction. I hate it and I love it, I'm comfortable and I just don't fit, all at the same time. No big freakouts, just life.

My job's going well--I get to speak Spanish about half the time, which is a huge plus, and I start classes next week toward my health care interpreter certificate. I'm super excited about the class, mostly because what I really want is to be in a clinic or hospital interpreting rather than just setting appointments, but also because there are other Spanish speakers taking the class.

Oddly enough, I think my Spanish is actually better here than it was in Spain. I speak it a lot, which could be it. Or maybe I'm just more confident. I'm still surprised sometimes that people don't discount what I say on the phone just because I'm a foreigner or think I'm stupid. In fact, because they're calling me for information, they actually treat me like someone who knows what she's talking about! Having been una extranjera in Madrid, the assumption that someone who is not a native speaker knows what they're talking about is a new experience to me. Anyway, truth be told, I understand the Spanish here better than the English on many days.

The move has been both rough for me and Paul and good for us marriage wise. All in all, I think it's pulled us closer more than anything else. Sometimes it's hard because when we do get mad at each other, all of a sudden it's like I realize--"Wait! He's the only person I know! I can't push him away!" Which infuriates me in the moment but forces us (in a good way) to talk about things and work through stuff rather than staying mad or holding grudges. We're learning that since we're not walking every day, the more we work out, the nicer we are to each other.

And Paul has been wonderfully caring and sweet and romantic and good at making me feel like I'm not insane. I've taken a lot of the stress of the past few months out on him and he's been so good to forgive me over and over. He's a great husband. Having moved cross-culturally as a single person, and then again married, I have to say that even though it can put a strain on our relationship (understatement), it's absolutely a gift from God to come home and have someone who KNOWS you. To have that constant. Moving cross-culturally is probably in the top ten list of most dangerous things to do to your marriage in the first year, but more than anything it has made me so thankful for the wonderful man that Paul is.

So all in all, I think we're ok. I still miss Spain. I still call it "home" without thinking, call dollars euros, put trash in the "bin," but that will just take time. Spain still feels like home to me. But I can say that we are making a home in Memphis.

We're ok. And for now, I'll be thankful for that.