I know you have come to expect much wittier word play from me, but I’m just letting this post flow stream of conscious.  The past six months in a nutshell: quit job, moved to Japan with wife, same job reacquired in Japanese setting.  And playing the odds that 5 people will ever read this, I am gonna just take off the gloves and start swinging.  David wrote poetic Psalms to capture his momentary frustrations and struggles with faith and opposition, I write emo-esque blogs.

There is a moment after marriage where it sinks in that your fate is forever intertwined with someone else.  And someone who is fundamentally the opposite of you.  When two people can look at the same object and find completely opposite perspectives, there are two choices.  Accept the other person’s view, in hopes that your understanding never gives way to emotion, or fight it out until one of you caves and changes.

Enter age.  That inevitable process of aging, accompanied by the opportunity, but not promise, of growing.  Five minutes on youtube will give you a compelling case study on stunted growth.  And there is always that fun moment when it sinks in that these people probably see nothing wrong with what they are doing.  It seems like the past 5 years of my life have been the amplifying of that voice in the back of my head that says “hey, is this really what you want to do?  Is this the person you want to be?”  On the day of my wedding that voice got handed a megaphone.

And that is the basis of one of the most frustrating battles of my life.  Probably a microcosmic look into the process every parent feels that they go through from the birth of a child.  The realization that the simplest decisions made today can have a profound and reverberating effect on the outcome of a life.

So essentially, the more aware you become, the harder it is to ignore the voice, and the more you follow the voice, the more aware you become.  Which was ok when it was just me.  I could have that fight in my head and still convince those around me I was sane.  Heck, I only know of 2 or 3 people besides family who would describe me as anything but level-headed and calm.  Now, I have a wife.  A beautiful, smart, but young wife.  I’m only 25 myself, but the three years that separate her from me are more than just 1000 days and change.  And now there are more than just my own choices and plans to reconcile with the voice.

As I sit here at a McDonalds in Hiroshima, Japan (yes, 7000 miles from home and still afflicted by Ronald), it is incredibly eye-opening to sit and see the cultural and maturity-related fallout of a generation of teenagers who are encouraged and even coerced to follow suit, blend in, not question new trends and bury their inquisitive nature.

I’m sure I am not the only newish husband who has felt that he is in a fight with his wife, not because of a wrong, but because of her inability to see the situation objectively, or frankly because of her unwillingness or lack of resolve to consistently and convincingly avoid the path of least resistance.

And I am by no means arrogant enough to say I have it figured out, that I am on the path less traveled and sprinting towards the battle.  But there is a frustration in the difference between standing beside someone and facing a world falling apart, and standing seemingly alone while half of you trails behind.  There are days, weeks when I barely have the strength to maintain my own position in the fight…and I worry constantly that I don’t and won’t have the patience, endurance and compassion to fight with her as well.

I pray, as others in my position surely do as well, that the day comes quickly when we see things the same…when our personality and temperament differences are celebrated and mutually strengthening because of the maturity and respect we share.  When I feel less like a teacher or a parent and more like a partner.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.

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