Identities

High School Special Education Teacher.

Case Manager.

Cohort Group Member.

Certified Personal Trainer.

Summer Camp Leader.

Babysitter.

Wife.

Best Friend.

Dog Mom.

These were my identities before we moved. These were my life. My purpose. My motivation to get up each morning and kick ass.

How quickly things change.

Since moving, my identities went from many to few. Here I am known for 1 thing – I am D’s wife.

I am still a best friend. I am still a dog mom. I can still be a teacher or a trainer or a camp leader when we move back. But here, surrounded by strangers, I am 1 thing. My identity is solely through my husband.

Don’t get me wrong, I love D. And I wouldn’t want to spend my life with anyone else.

But, 7 months into this assignment, and I’m not sure how much longer I can go without my own identity. I want to work. I want to help people. I want a purpose to get up before 11:30 am each day. I want MY life outside of just being a wife.

Maybe I am selfish. Who gets upset about a year and a half off of work to live in Europe?

I have experienced so many unbelievable adventures. Visited places I never would be able to otherwise. Countless trips with D. An amazing trip to Paris with my best friend. These are things that never would have happened if we didn’t move here. And I am incredibly grateful for these things.

But, I also just want normalcy.

I try to ignore these thoughts and feelings. I know that me being upset about living here upsets D. I know he feels responsible for my lack of happiness here. And, that’s not fair to him.

This past week, C came to visit. Not only did I laugh and smile more than I have in 7 months, but I was also just genuinely happier than I have been in 7 months. Life felt normal. I was able to briefly forget that this week long “normal” was temporary. It felt like a summer vacation, especially since D was able to take some days off and hang out with us.

But, C left yesterday, and those thoughts and feelings came flooding back. Not only because I realized how much I miss my best friend, but because I realized how much I missed my “normal” life.

I realized that living here causes me to forfeit another ENTIRE school year of teaching.

I realized that living here means another year of my only identify being D’s wife.

I realized that in living here, I have no real purpose. No motivation for each day.

It’s so much deeper than missing just one thing about home. It’s missing my entire life there. And I don’t know how to survive another possible 8-12 months here while feeling this way.

I guess it’s time to fake it til I make it!

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