Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy 6 Squared

Dear Jenna,

Today you are 36. It has been a pleasure to celebrate your birthday with you since the 22nd one. Of all the years we have been together, I think the days surrounding this birthday are the most stressful. There have been some good ones---we celebrated your 29th birthday on board a boat off the coast of Southern Turkey where a cake was hand delivered from a small row boat to our boat, we drank in pubs for many of them, hiked for a few, camped for a few, enjoyed the peacefulness of our farm in Terrebonne, and we visited Victoria last year. Most of them we were surrounded by friends (at least they were close), and that is the difference with this one. I know you are lonely and you feel like our time in Germany has been like pushing "pause" on your life. The things that are most important to you--family and friends, and commradarie amongst co-workers and other mellow, friendly people, to be challenged intellectually and stimulated by your outside envirnoment...well, none of these criteria are being met right now. Of course, these things are very difficult to control, and I felt going into this Germany thing that we would be both be happy--me with travelling and seeing new things, and you with meeting interesting people and being in a new interesting place. I feel very guilty about your unhappiness, and I am sorry that it turned out this way. It is not enough for you to just be in a new place--you are attached to family and friends more than I am. I really didnt understand what that meant until now. It seems we have always been surrounded by a support group, but now we are not, and it shows. You are not the Jenna you want to be right now. But I feel helpless, like this whole adventure is laying on my shoulders....it is up to me if it succeeds or not. I am pushing and pushing, not knowing when to give up my dream of living in Germany. I know now that Germany is not the country for us, and I doubt 10 years here would cure that notion. But I find it very hard to give up and go back to Portland right now. So here we are, at a stalemate. No stability, hardly any money...a situation we did not want to be in. I start my new job on Monday, up in Hamburg, away from you and Mayzie for 4-6 weeks, the last thing I wanted to happen. We will move up there probobly, but it will be more of the same. We will not be any happier up there. It is still Germany.

I don't know what I want anymore. I know that I want you to be happy, so something will need to change. I do know that I love Europe and am thouroughly enjoying travelling around, but you are much more important to me than that. I know we have talked this topic to death, there needs to be some action...but I have no idea what that will be. It's almost like I have no control. The practical side of me wants to stay here and make it work because of the investment we have made--furniture, car, paperwork, etc. and the fact that this was my dream for so long. The emotional side is ready to throw the towel in so that we can be happy again, in a more stable environment, because I am tired of feeling like this. But is that in Portland, or where? I think it would help if you are working (in an english speaking country) so that new friends can be made. So...England again, Oz, NZ, or where? Who the hell knows. Seems overwhelming trying to get all the paperwork done and to push you to move somewhere else when you would rather be back in Oregon. But if we can be patient, we can do it any of this fairly quickly.

This is by far the biggest test our relationship has been through in almost 15 years. But I know that the whole cliche "what doesnt kill us makes us stronger" thing will apply when we look back on this in a few years, wherever we are. I know that we are a great team and we can get through this bout of temporary craziness.

I love you more than ever and hope my tendencies to push push push to make things happen and work in my favor don't push push push you out the door.

Nick

2 comments:

Troy said...

Jenna, have a happy birthday and I hope your travels get easier.

DarrenDriven said...

That was very touching prose, Nick. I hope Jenna agrees! Happy Bday cuz!