When I first moved to San Diego and couldn’t find a job, I chafed at having to rely on G for my money. He chafted at having to support me wholly. My first three months here were horrible. I was poor, isolated from all my friends and family and in a completely new place with no chance for independance.
I worked steadily for a year and a half and then, making a poor judgement call as to when we’d be moving back to Canada, found myself unemployed again this past March. At first, I tried feverishly to find some kind of work. I answered every ad I could from Craigslist but I was unable to find anything beyond porn ($2500 to show some man my vagina for blurry photos) or soft-core web content that would assuredly break my contract with Suicidegirls (not interested!). I found a few photographers who claimed they would pay me for non-nude work but of course, they lost contact after one or two emails so that’s obviously not happening. I’ve had a few leads on the babysitting front–I’ve got a bunch of referrals from the family I used to sit for, and they’ve had me in on a few days to watch V. But other than that, it’s been a big fat 0 for my income and a lot of time to spend at home.
In March, I couldn’t stand the idea that I’d be sitting here idly for months while G commutes daily to a job he hates. I made myself rules to ensure my sanity: must shower by ten, must walk Buzz on at least 3 long walks, must clean the house and plan out supper for Greg. Must put on makeup and not dress sloppily. Must do yoga every day. Now that I’ve had three months of idle time, I’ve come to accept that this is what the rest of my time in this city will be like. Now that I’m resigned to being stuck at home for at least another three months, I’m even starting to enjoy it. I’ve gotten into a really good routine that has kept my house cleaner than ever before. I’ve started to cook interesting, healthy food and here’s the kicker–most of it turns out pretty well! I used to be a horrible cook but I am starting to really enjoy it.
Having so much free time has made me so much more self-disciplined. I have had a few mega-lazy do-nothing days but somehow I’ve found myself further from procrastination than ever before. I have broken a lot of bad habits and I really like who I’m becoming. I have a lot of time to reflect, more than ever before, and I haven’t really liked a lot of what I’ve found in myself. I was never one for introspection but because of it, I’m in a healthier mental place than I have been for ages. I’m learning to let go of emotional baggage that I’ve been carrying around for far too long and it’s so freeing.
For most of my first two years here, I could hardly recognise myself. I was totally removed from everything I knew and loved. In that kind of situation, some people choose to reinvent themselves, but I just turned inward. My self-esteem whittled away, I gained a bunch of weight, I lost sight of my passions and the things that made me happy. I took my unhappiness out on G and refused to budge even when I knew I was wrong. It was just easier to let myself sink into misery than to try and change and improve.
On January first, I woke up feeling brand-new. I don’t know what exactly triggered it, but I gained a new resolve to be happy again. I’d already lost a bit of weight, but I started out working out harder and eating better and got back to my normal weight. I have figured out a lot about what makes me happy and I’ve been working on being honest. It’s very difficult to admit one’s own faults but I think it’s worth the effort. This honesty has given me a grip on my emotions and given me perspective. I feel sexy and confident and smart again, which is a big deal. I was all of those things before I moved down here but I lost them somewhere along the way.
Being tough, sexy & happy has improved my relationship with G so much. It’s given me the ability to cut off my sensitivity (I can be sooooo sensitive) and to connect with G in a way I never knew before. Our relationship is so changed! It’s like we’re falling in love all over again. It’s intense and beautiful.
I didn’t know that resigning myself to being a housewife could be so fulfilling. It’s a very simple thing: it feels good to have a clean house. It feels good to eat yummy food that I made from scratch. It feels good to set small goals for myself (I have make a to-do list every day). It’s so funny, but the moment I accepted my situation instead of straining against it and stressing, I became strangely serene about it all.
One of the most welcome changes has been a return to creativity. If you had known me before I was married, you’d know that I did a lot of creative stuff: I wrote poetry, I did lots of little crafty stuff with yarn and felt and sculpy, I used to draw and play guitar and sing. When I moved here (and in other relationships) my creativity fell by the wayside as I immersed myself in another person. Now with this growth of confidence in myself, I’m looking back and finding my voice. I’m trying to create without judgement, which is really difficult. I’ve gotten used to writing or creating things that I think other people will like, which is really sad. Now I’m trying to do things the way I want: say what I want, draw how I want, etc, even if it’s not very good and even if no one else likes or appreciates it. Giving myself freedom to be creative has been amazing.
I have to say I don’t think half of this positivity would be happening without yoga. Practicing it consistently has given me back a lot of the body-confidence that I was lacking and it has given me a calmness and objectivity that I didn’t have before. All in all I feel amazing. I just hope I can continue this upswing of goodness through all the stress that lies ahead: moving to Canada, finding somewhere to live, going back to work full time, etc. I think having the time to navel-gaze will pay off in the long run.