Torn Between Two Worlds
It was a Sunday afternoon and I was hanging out at Barnes and Noble bookstore, I had the side of my chair against the wall and my laptop on my lap. An hour earlier, I had just settled down after spending half an hour looking for a spot with power outlet so I could plug my computer and get some work done. I could have done it at home but wanted to be in an unfamiliar environment so I could completely focus and hopefully get more done in the time I had. Now an hour later, still sitting on the chair, I had my headphone on, my head against the wall and tears streaming down my face. I didn’t want this to happen, not in a public place, especially considering I had my chair on one of the passage ways between the bookshelves and the wall. Yes, everyone who passed by would see tears in my eyes but at this point I didn’t care.
I had been talking to my husband over Skype’s voice call and we were having fun just chatting back and forth. He had emailed me earlier letting me know he would call at a designated time. This was the usual practice, we would fix a time to talk/chat, since we both work and the time difference between the US and Nigeria creates a challenge. Setting specific times to talk was a necessity or else we might not be able to talk for a long stretch of time like we both love to. All of a sudden I realized how this was becoming a normal for us – setting appointments to talk – and I became mad, mad at no one in particular, just mad at the fact that we were separated by oceans living in two separate worlds and had to fix appointments to talk. I started thinking out aloud, “Baby, I’m tired and exhausted. All I did all week was eat, sleep, go to work, come home so tired, sleep and wake just in time to get dressed and do it all over again”. “I wish you were here already, I miss you”. “Why am I even here?”. ” Who the hell cares about been in the United States, I want to come home and be with you!”
My husband was quiet for a moment and allowed me vent my emotions. He must have been surprised. I was too. I didn’t expect to have an outburst like that but I guessed the stress had gotten to me. For that moment, I wasn’t the strong confident woman, I was just the woman who had spent only three weeks with her husband in the last three years and was just sick of it already. Forget about dreams and aspirations and why I came to the US, at that moment I just wanted to jump on the next plane and fly home. For the next two hours we talked and prayed, he reminded me of why I was in the US and encouraged me that it wouldn’t be much longer before we could be together. I calmed down and you might say became sane again.
Then and there, I realized how though circumstances might differ, but there are women out there who might have similar emotions from time to time. Army wives who have to wake up every morning and not know for sure when they will see their husband next, single moms who buckle under the pressure of having the responsibility of two parents and their hearts cry out, “I don’t want to do this anymore, I’m exhausted” but have to pick themselves up and keep moving on. I’m amazed at how much strength we can find on the inside of us when faced with a challenge.
Sometimes the strength doesn’t show up until we feel we can’t move any further, then comes strength. If someone had told me three years ago that I would only have seen him for three weeks in three years, I probably will have backed out of coming to the US even though it was my dream. I rejoice in the fact that I have the support of a loving husband and my experience is building me up.
Are you facing situations that seem to be sucking the confidence out of you? Do you find yourself in a place where you know you have to keep moving forward but just feel you’d rather drop and roll over? There is still a strength that awaits you, that waits for you to draw from it. It’s okay to be mad, It’s okay to have an outburst, it’s even okay to cry and shed some breathtaking tears, (you know the ones where you cry until it feels you can’t breathe?), yes, it’s totally fine. But after all that is done, rise up! Do the next thing. Write your spouse a note telling him you love and miss him, encourage a fellow single mom who is feeling down too, there is yet a strength on the inside of you that is waiting to be drawn out.
Rise up, princess. We are in this together. You can do it!
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