Actually, that title should be moments of clarity because there have been several this week already, and it’s only Tuesday night. (I’ll explain the most important now and leave the second for another post, to avoid creating a short novel.)
Last week, I was pretty miserable. That’s not really a secret to anyone I’ve talked to, emailed or blogged with since we left the United States. Actually, I was pretty miserable up until sometime during last night’s (Monday’s) white coat ceremony. Even while getting dressed and walking over to the auditorium, I was ashamed of myself because I knew it was an important milestone in the Mister’s life, but I just couldn’t make myself be excited about it. In my mind, it was just somewhere else I had to go in my job of following him around.
But that changed somewhere during the keynote speaker. A Ross graduate, this woman has been studying neurological diseases in dachshunds and using her research to potentially find a way to cure a similar lysosomal disease in human children. She talked about all the places she has worked, the research she has done and the good she is doing for both the animal and human worlds. Then I watched the Mister get his white coat, which symbolizes the official start of his veterinary career, and some light bulb in my head flicked on.
This is not just a college on a cool island that the Mister wanted to come to for the fun of it. This is not just a joyride he dragged me on because he thought it would be an adventure. This is veterinary school, something he has wanted his entire life, and it will prepare him for the rest of his life supporting me and our future children. He didn’t bring me here to make my life difficult; he brought me here to help him ultimately make my life easier.
Boy did that punch me in the gut.
I’m here because I can help keep him on track and focused, push him in the right directions and remind him what he’s working so hard for. And here I’ve spent the last 11 days moping and crying and wanting to go home.
So I made myself a promise that I’m going to be supportive and helpful while I’m here. I may not like everything about this place, and I may have a lot of reasons to want to go home, but I am going to do my best to make sure coming home is the best part of the Mister’s day, rather than the worst. I’m going to do my best to make sure he doesn’t waste time worrying about me and feeling bad about having brought me here when he could be studying. I’m going to be productive; I’m going to make friends; I’m going to learn about the island and its people and their culture and I’m going to absorb as much of it as I can. Because, in the end, what good is the experience without the stories?
(Although I will never get used to sweet ketchup and squash in alfredo sauce. Ever.)
Oh – and as always, there are more photos at www.flickr.com/photos/chesnuthouse. Although I’ve reached my free upload limit so I’m going to have to find another way to share photos with you guys in the future.