Monday, January 26, 2009

The World's Longest To-Do List

Have you ever had one of those moments where you are absolutely convinced that your brain is going to explode?

I am currently dealing with one. I was freaking out last night about everything that had to be done by the time we leave for China on 2/20. Husband asked that I make a list of everything. Today, I decided to do that.

It is three pages long.

And the only frivolous thing on the list is “Eat lots of cheese”.

Yes, I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed with life right now. There is so much to do, and SO LITTLE TIME!! The person that came up with that phrase knew what they were talking about. It would help if I didn’t feel I was doing this alone. I hope Husband will help with this list, now that it’s made.

Speaking of Husband… I just don’t know what to do. I am beginning to think he is depressed. He cries all the time; he’s extremely pessimistic lately, and he’s been having mini panic attacks (which he never had before). I’m torn. We can’t get our $5000 back for our trip. If we don’t go, he’s filing for divorce immediately. I don’t want this trip to do damage to him emotionally or physically. I truly think this will be a good thing for us. Some people don’t agree with me; I know that. But they aren’t us; they don’t know what I do.

Husband is unique. He never wanted to settle down in a house with a wife, a family, and a “steady” job. He’s adventurous. He loves traveling. Nothing makes him happier than sitting down for a night with a group of entire strangers, and laughing and getting to know each other. He doesn’t care about possessions, or “things”. He used to love me; used to want to have kids, even though he didn’t want to raise them in the traditional sense, necessarily. He’s insanely intelligent. He lacks when it comes to “common sense” things; tax paperwork, bills, mechanical stuff, etc). He just doesn’t care about those things; his mind is on life. Learning new things. He adores studying people groups; learning about tribes in Africa, the Inuit in Canada. He just thirsts for KNOWLEDGE.

And I knew these things when I married him; but I needed to fit into the traditional mold. I tried to steer us in the direction of conventionalism. Not necessarily because I wanted it, but because it’s just what you DO when you get married. He started school, I got a full time job. He worked and studied; we saved, bought nice furniture, acquired “things”. In my quest to fit in to this model of a good household, I completely lost the reasons I married him. Suddenly, his endearing qualities irritated me, because it didn’t fit. He tried so hard, for so long. And he’s given up. I’m changing; really, I am. I am seeing these qualities again; and realizing that I can’t live to please other people. We can’t have kids just because our parents want grandchildren. We can’t work at jobs we don’t enjoy, just so we can buy a house or a nice car. We can’t spend our lives working for something we don’t even want. What do I want more than anything? To go to China. To force myself out of this retarded box I’ve locked myself into. To see him flower into that man he used to be, before I stripped the beauty away. I want to see his passion again when he hears a beautiful song; when he sees a crane flying through the air. When he laughs one of those deep belly laughs because of something a new friend has just said.

There is a new movie coming out, with Jamie Fox and Robert Downey Jr. I’ve seen the previews. Fox plays a man with schizophrenia. He was an AMAZING violinist who studied at Julliard; but once his disease started to take over (disease? Disorder? I’m not always politically correct) he moved to the streets. The movie looks so touching. Downey Jr. becomes genuine friends with this man. At one point, he says something along the lines of “I’ve never seen ANYONE love anything the way he loves music”. And that’s exactly how I feel about Husband; only there are so many things I could put in there. The way he loves music; the way he loves animals; the way he loves nature; the way he loves language… etc. He has this passion no one else in the entire world has. It is so frustrating; and so amazing at the same time.

He has lost all hope. I’ve pushed too far; he doesn’t even see the possibility that I can change. He doesn’t believe my love for him; or my desire to be different. And I half don’t blame him. But I sure wish he just WOULD believe it; because it would make this so much easier.

He could stay, see a psychologist, talk through his issues; but he’s still locked in the monotony of a life he doesn’t want to lead. I truly believe that the ultimate answer to it all is to place him in his element. Take away the pressure of college, of work, and everything else. He can learn a new language, make new friends, study new people, eat new food, see new things. And if I am as strong as I want to be, as I NEED to be, I can start chipping away at his bitterness and doubt. I can start growing as a person, and finding out what it is that I REALLY want; not what I think others want for me. I can be a loving, sweet woman; one that will be there for him and accept him for who he is, without trying to change him.

Seriously, this is a big thing. There are people who think we shouldn’t go. No one knows, of course, that we’re at the point we’re at. But they don’t think we should leave our jobs, our lives here. It seems frivolous, and dangerous. But we need that. When we got married, we were children. We never had a chance to BE frivolous together, or to chase a little excitement. Now we do.

1 comment:

debby said...

Boy, Amy Jo, that explains your predicament a little bit better. I actually know two men like that. My neighbor, and a good friend at work is also married to a man like that. In my neighbors case, the house and all the belongings were the wife's (they actually lived together for 19 years before 'committing...') I think there was a lot of compromise on his part to live a more settled life. On the other hand, to live that 'free' life actually does require a commitment of some sort--you need a little money to be that free. My friend at work has been married for more than 20 years also, but it is a very unconventional marriage. They actually don't live together much of the time. I think they went through a crisis a little like yours. And she wanted something of a conventional life, so she owns a house with her sister, and her husband is a traveling doctor. They take lots of adventurous vacations together, and when my friend had a brain aneurism, he was right there taking care of her, very loving and concerned. Interestingly enough, neither of these couples have children.

Amy, I only tell you this because it gives you the possibility that living an 'unconventional' life can be successful. I think you probably need to think through what you truly want and need out of life, and you might not even know that for a few years. At this point, I think China is a grand idea!

And, like it says in the Bible, don't let the world squeeze you into its mold. Most people, Christians included, are hell-bent on depending on the world's resources for their security, which in the end is definitely a very false sense of security.