C'mon Inner Peace… I Don't Have All Damn Day
Reading through some of my old articles leaves me meloncholy; I’ve been reminiscing on everything we went through to get my husband to the United States.
It feels like a lifetime ago.
One can only attempt to visualize the day when your long distance relationship finally comes together permanently.
The reality is… real-life can never live up to that fantasy.
Manny arrived and it was like I was married to a stranger. We knew each other so well… from a distance, “vacation love,” if you will.
But, having him move to the United States was more of shock to both of our systems than I could’ve ever imagined.
The love was always there, but having your husband move into YOUR world from a completely different culture… was difficult to say the least.
No wonder they make so many reality shows about people like us. For all intents and purposes, parts of this acculturation process is absolutely a freak-show.
I wish the visa process was different.
I wish there had been a way to obtain a tourist visa prior to him moving here.
Instead, governments force couples to do it their way with no consideration for the families involved… and it was one giant mind-fuck.
He needed time to traverse the planetary differences between East and West. Because truly, our cultures are so vastly different that sometimes it feels like we come from completely different planets… not continents.
Baby steps. (Exhale)
I was filled with sadness looking back on our first few months together in the United States.
I’ve lost friends because of this. I’ve cut out family. I have had to literally hold his hand through some very difficult cultural differences.
And… although things are much better now, we are not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination.
But, on a positive note, I’ve also rediscovered the man I once knew, and I’ve fallen in love with him all over again.
He was there… learning how to fit-in. He was there all along, while I was busy doing damage control.
I was desperately trying to make loved ones understand how incredibly difficult this was… for BOTH OF US. Those with no compassion are no longer part of our lives, and I feel free.
Free for new beginnings.
We have dealt with racism on shocking levels; two guys even kicked a dent into our car because they didn’t like “brown” people.
We’ve heard some unbelievable comments from Indians as well.
One vile man asked Manny, in Punjabi, how long he “planned on staying married to the white girl.”
The man lovingly informed Manny that he only needed to “fake it” for two years. After the two year interview, Manny is free to leave me… and marry the Indian girl of his dreams.
But, you see? My husband tells me these things.
He has no intention of leaving in two years, or in twenty years. He is the exact same ‘moral” man I married… and I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am.
So, looking back at some of my recent posts, I felt like time has gone by at a snail’s pace.
All these years we waited to be together. I thought THAT was the hard part, but I was VERY wrong.
The hard part is having your friends and family adjust to a person you already know.
The hard part is having the man of your dreams transform into a stranger while he navigates, culture, food, language, humor, and basic survival skills.
The transformation is slow and painful, but well worth the hard work.
Six months ago, Manny would repeatedly wear his clothes from India, and now he never wears them.
He was repulsed by salad; now he has become vegan; salad being his main staple.
Manny gets up at 6am for a long bike-ride down the beach for exercise, and peace.
I see him smile more often and his face has taken on a more gentle, relaxed appearance. He engages in conversation more easily, and even wants to eat at a restaurant once in awhile.
He was always a night-person, but now he goes to sleep by 10pm.
He has even switched his dinner times to something more comparable to Europe, although, not quite an “American” dinner time… yet.
We were forced to evacuate to a shelter during Hurricane Irma; Manny met lots of old ladies who fell in love with his devotion to volunteering… and very special tea.
We go to Yoga together; a dream come true for me!
And, he has learned to appreciate American “weekends,” because they are for family adventures.
Manny FINALLY got his driver’s license. The best part of that is that I don’t feel like he is going to kill us by driving on the wrong side of the road… as much.
Believe me though, there are still times when I scream “THIS IS NOT INDIA,” when he fails to realize a “Stop Sign” really means Stop, and “Right on Red,” is not exactly permission to careen himself into oncoming traffic because “they will stop.”
No Manny… No they will not.
I find we have many more days passing between his quiet, distant, moods.
Trepidation has been replaced with laughter, and a general peace is taking over the entire home as we all learn to co-exist happily.
My mom is less afraid he is trying to control her, and my son is adjusting to sharing his mommy.
Although, I admit to spending even more quality time with my son because the semi-pre-teen years can be difficult to navigate, even without throwing some Indian guy into your mother’s bed.
Manny’s Grandmother passed away recently.
He did not show much emotion about her passing, but I couldn’t help but feel sadness for him being 10,000 miles away from home, He was not able to simply jump on a plane and be with family. This was the first of many realizations, I suppose.
His little brother calls a lot; I can tell he needs Manny for guidance.
And, his family calls with the problems of India, whatever they may be. I think he feels very far removed from their scenarios. It’s as if he has grown into his own person now, with the wisdom only world-travel can give.
Each day though, I fall more and more in love with him.
I honestly didn’t know love could be this way.
He makes me iced coffee each morning before he leaves. He cooks dinners and even drives me wherever I have to go.
Our love has grown so much stronger than I could have ever imagined possible.
At least once a week, he asks me to marry him all over again; I melt.
Follow our story in the links below:
Read about when I met “My Indian Boyfriend “—>HERE
Culture Shock: —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Prelude —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Showtime —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Indian Astrology —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: The Dress —> HERE
Surviving Long Distance Love—> HERE
Open Letter to my Husband—> HERE
Our Story, Retold —> HERE
Culture Shock: What to Expect?-–> HERE
Culture Shock: Manny’s First Christmas —> HERE
Our Honeymoon: Rishikesh India—> HERE
K1 Fiance Visa: The Process—> HERE
K1 Fiance Visa: The Inteview —> HERE
Cr1 Spousal Visa: The Timeline —> HERE
Cr1 Spousal Visa: Interview Questions —>HERE
A Journey to: New Delhi—> HERE
A Journey to: Jaipur India —> HERE
A Journey to: Dubai UAE —> HERE
Our First Diwali—> HERE
Giving Thanks, Shukryia —> HERE
Being Sikh in America—> HERE
The Indian Grocery: Natural Products—> HERE
A Path to Happiness—> HERE
Buddhaful Britt: Most Interesting Travel Blogger —> HERE
Buddhaful Advise: As We Think, So We Become —> HERE
Buddhaful Advise: Inner Peace —> HERE
Buddhaful Advise: Everyday Stress —> HERE
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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain