In person, I tend to put on a brave face. At least a braver-than-I-feel face. A young gal at work asked me the other day "how are you so fine with this?" To which I replied, "I'm not. I'm pretending to be fine."
So, lest it be assumed that I am taking my situation lightly because I try to make light of it here and there, know that I am not. I'm just, like, fake and stuff.
Sooooooooo, to explain...
My husband and I have been married for four years (and some-odd months). We met one another through a small community theatre's summertime productions (in repertory) of Guys and Dolls and Into the Woods. We were both cast in both shows, and we started to get our flirt on during some semi-tedious Into the Woods music rehearsals (don't get me wrong, I love love love that show, but the music is rather intricate and can be tricky to learn; it might perhaps be especially difficult if one is distracted by much flirting).
We have loved each other a whole lot from the very beginning, and have each supported one another in our various artistic endeavors ever since we met.
My husband began channeling his artistic interests in a slightly different direction (or rather from a different direction) a couple of years after we got married, taking primarily to the design aspects of theatre rather than performing (though he is still remarkably talented as a performer, too). He is awesome, and graduated with a BFA in Theatre Design a year ago.
As an artist, I have continued to focus my efforts primarily on performing over these past four years (although I appreciate and am intrigued by design more and more these days). In fact, I've been focusing my artistic goals and efforts on performing since high school, having almost constantly been involved in a show since my Junior year.
For various reasons that I won't get into at the moment, I had/have a tremendous fear of being in debt ever since becoming aware of the importance of money. So, up until very recently, I did not attend college regularly post high school graduation. Here and there I'd attend a semester when I could afford to pay for it out of pocket. Mostly, I worked. And worked, and worked, and worked...
I've been a cashier, a retail sales associate, a baker, a server, and (I think most importantly) a dental assistant. I was lucky enough to get on-the-job training as a dental assistant, and to work in a wonderful office with great people in a place where my work was fulfilling. Having always been most interested in the arts and in the social/psychological, I was shocked to discover that I actually had skills as a dental assistant. Starting out, I wasn't sure I could hack it. But I did it, and I surprised myself by doing rather well. As I continued to learn and grow while employed there, thought very seriously about my interests and my employment. I thought that I should perhaps attend school to become a dental hygienist; for a while that seemed like the perfect direction to go in.
Although I believe that is one of the best jobs I ever had, and I was so changed and blessed by it, I started to realize that it was a career... I could legitimately stick with working in a dental office for the rest of my life and consider myself lucky and secure. However, there were other things that I had always wanted to do which I still had not done. I hadn't finished college; I wasn't even close. And I hadn't taken steps towards truly furthering my knowledge and depth as an artist. I had certainly grown, being a decently self-aware person and continually performing in shows allowed me to pay attention to the areas in which I was lacking and to work hard on my weaknesses as an actress. But I hadn't really tried. Not by my standards. And I knew it. And I knew that it would drive me crazy forever if I never did.
So, approximately two years ago, decisions started being made, important inspiring conversations were had, and I began attending school in the Fall. At that point, things at the dental office merely rearranged so that I could continue working there, only part time. During Fall semester, I had a few more inspiring conversations and did a lot more thinking about my life... And I decided to transfer schools so as to attend a musical theatre program I had respected and had thought about joining for years. That Spring semester brought on an interesting situation for my love and I. As he went into his final undergrad semester, I began at a new school (an hour away from his school/the place I had attended semesters of college periodically since high school). The distance of my school meant saying goodbye to my wonderful dental assisting job, and it also meant that a good deal more gas money would be spent by us. We took up my mother-in-law's offer to stay with my husband's parents for the duration of the semester/as long as we needed a place to stay, so as to save money on rent. We were taken care of by my in-laws for a short time, and I've continued to attend that program (and, after that first semester, with a tuition waiver). We have lived in my school's city since this past Fall semester.
Sheesh. I promise, there's a point...
My husband, being the absolutely incredible human being he is, worked mega-full-time this past school year and told me not to worry about it; I could just concentrate on school. But the idea has always been that he would attend grad school for theatre design, as he switched to a major in design while partially through his time in the theatre program and he wants to feel like he really knows the ropes before jumping into the business. So, he attended URTA's this past February, and had a lot to consider afterward...
We could have waited for him to attend URTA's the following February. He could have continued to put his dreams on hold. I could have quit my current program and gone with him wherever he decided to go.
Ooooooooor.... He could start grad school while I finished the last year of my undergrad. Unfortunately, there was not a grad school that he wanted to attend in the state where we currently live. However, there is a great one (that was tied with another school at the very top of his list), that was a comparatively short-ish distance away. And so, the not easy but very supportive of us both and probably right(?) decision was made.
That's the point. And we're there. We've been planning on it for months; we knew it was happening. We have things worked out pretty well, all things considered. He is rooming with two of our dearest friends in yonder state, and I am rooming with dear friends in this here state. For approximately 10 months (with visits planned and anxiously awaited). We are both on scholarship in our respective places. We both love and are loved by the people we are staying with. We will communicate a TON during this time via texting/calling/face-timing/etc.
But it's weird. It's scary. He's my best friend, and he's usually always there, and he can't be. I miss him. He is missing from me. And I can't be there for him to tell him to his face how awesome he is during his first year at a new school.
'Cause we crazy, and we did this.
There has been much talk (some to our faces, and a bit behind our backs) about our marriage, and what we are capable of. The truth is, we know. We know this is going to be hard. We know this could make things difficult/weird in the future when we get to hang out all the time again. We know what they say about long-distance relationships. And yeah... We know we're crazy.
But, we are also crazy in love. I'm not really one for PDA or over-mushiness in public places (even semi-private public places, like other people's homes). So perhaps I seem "fine" with this. I'm not. Buuuut I am.
This is difficult already, and it's only the beginning. But I know him, and I know us. And maybe I'm uber-biased, but I think we're pretty special. We're not okay with the situation, but we're okay. Just a little batty.