It's just a new point of embarkation.
That's where I feel I am, now that Monday is past. That's when I mailed my final deposit of my manuscript to Little U., where, hopefully, it will arrive and undergo review for archiving by the end of the week. Once it receives clearance, I will be DONE. My degree should arrive in the mail in late summer.
We -- D and I -- are thankful to have this nearly behind us. It's been an incredible strain on both of us for four years, first because of the return to a commuter relationship it required and secondly because the thesis portion dragged out and drew resources from me in ways that made our marriage suffer. I can't begin to encapsulate how exactly that worked (or, rather, didn't), but the effect was a stagnation in our growth as a couple. We'd never had the chance to have a "normal" existence together because of the long-distance situation that limited us before we were married and then our work schedules afterward (D worked days and I worked nights and weekends). We did our best, but we were inexperienced. We floundered.
The holding pattern we maintained during this last year was only just bearable, with much of the credit to the help we sought. Now that thesis work is essentially done, we are refocusing on what we need to get to a better place.
D's been angry about the idea of starting over. That's how it all feels to him -- that somehow, everything we'd been through in the last twelve years together "didn't count." I'd argue that it very much does. We learned a lot of survival skills; they just don't apply as much anymore.
So, as we construct a new set, I'm doing my best to foster some optimism for both of us, even though he's not quite there yet. It's exhausting. You want, at times, to scream when you feel someone else scattering the fragile pieces of hope you've propped together like tinder waiting for a spark. But it's not nearly as crazy-making as battling a past-due project, deadlines come and gone, alone. As much as D wanted to, he couldn't help me write, and the responsibility I felt for our misery put me in a constant low-level panic (with intermittent high-level spikes). Now that the precipitating factor for much of that is gone -- and I'm saying no to any new deadlines that involve paying tuition on top of having to meet them -- I feel like the balance in our dynamic has a chance at restoration.
There will, without question, be other events to throw that balance off. But before then, my hope is that we'll have better tools in place to make what comes more manageable. That this will be our hope soon.
1 day ago