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changes
reevaluating, globetrotting, and starting over
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
5.23.08
general


In January, I got kicked out of Canada.

It didn't happen quite as dramatically as that sounds, but I like saying it. After visiting my family for Christmas with my husband, Adrian, I wasn't allowed back into Canada based on a completely arbitrary decision by a random border guard. It sucked. I was a two hour drive from my cozy, lovely life -- being a part-time nanny, a full time wife, a writer -- and I had to turn around and drive away. The very next day I was on a plane back to my family in Charlotte, North Carolina; Adrian was hard at work in Vancouver.

Life is always forcing us to reevaluate, whether we want to or not. Nearly every day brings a change that forces us to make a decision of yea or nay in regards to SOMETHING in our lives. Daylight Savings Time in spring and fall always have me cleaning up a storm, going through all the things in my cabinets, closets and shelves - deciding what stays and what goes. The boss from hell making just one more idiotic comment puts another nail in the coffin, maybe you'll decide you need another job.

Big decisions, little decisions. Things keep changing. And change begets more change.

Reevaluate. I couldn't just be a bum, so I decided to get a job. After applying for several positions online, I took an interview with Muzak and immediately loved the place -- the company, the positivity, the creativity, the job functions -- I said yes to a job offer the next day. I happily took up my position as a Cash Applications Specialist. I loved it far more than you might think. Then I got a call back from Delta.

Reevaluate. Four phone interviews, a day-long face to face interview, an on-the-spot job offer, a ten year background check, an FBI criminal background check, fingerprints... did I still want the job? Yes I did. Great, training starts on the fourth of March.

Reevaluate. I left my job at Muzak, even though I loved it. I flew to Atlanta and started training that day. Training took six weeks and was hard, not physically difficult, just extremely mentally challenging. You have to not only memorize a lot of information required by the Federal Aviation Administration, but be able to regurgitate it at a moments notice. You have to remember how to manually and automatically operate every door on every aircraft in the fleet. You have to remember the safety checks for every piece of emergency equipment on every plane. You have to remember the symptoms and first aid for every injury, illness and life-threatening emergency. And, above all, you have to remember to give Legendary Service with 21st Century Graciousness.

It's a lot to cram into six weeks, let me tell you. But I loved it.

I met some great people and made amazing friends. There are a very small few I will never let go of - we're bonded for life. I started flying all over the country in my third week. I've already been to Ireland and Russia. I'm not even sure where I'll go next!

It's been months since I've seen my husband. I haven't forgotten about him, so much as I've had too much work and too much fun to really think about our relationship. But taking a moment to do so makes me realize how much has changed in a few short months.

Then, I was able to wake up when I wanted for the most part. Being a nanny for two awesome little girls wasn't terribly difficult. Writing a screenplay and making jewelry were my 'Me Time' activities. I loved cooking dinner for my husband and myself or for a group of friends. I had no focus, nothing to acheive. It was wonderfully easy-going. I happily cozied up to being Mrs. Taverner.

Now, I have a schedule. I barely know what day of the week it is, I just know dates - when I'm where and when I'm flying. I'm constantly seeing new people and new places, trying new food, getting hit on by good looking men. I 'live' in a crashpad I see once every three or four days, and then only for a day at a time. I'm independent for the first time in years.

Reevaluate. Relationship. Yea or Nay? Does it go in the keep pile or in the give-away pile? I'm having a really great time flying all over the place, being fabulous and fun - I should do that for as long as I can! But I do love my husband, despite the months of distance.

Things have been strained in my marriage, and I don't think I've helped them at all. Where I once would have done anything to make my significant other happy, I stand my ground on what makes ME happy. I changed my mind about having kids - at the moment, I'm hugely against it. I don't want to have children while I'm doing this job - and I don't want to quit this job to have children. So where do I compromise?

I went for a visit at the beginning of May - five months or so since I had left my home in Vancouver, BC. It wasn't the same. The apartment, the neighbourhood, the marriage - it all felt like it fit last year and doesn't now. So I did some spring cleaning. Got rid of a lot of excess stuff. Tossed many bags of clothes out by the dumpster. Donated many books and small appliances and kitchen items to a charity.

Kept the marriage. It's a bit beat up. After spending some time talking, reevaluating what we both want in a marriage, discussing how easy it would be to just let it go, realizing we wanted to make a go of it: it's tender and new. I'm not nearly as co-dependent as I was. He's not nearly as distant as he was sometimes. We are both, daily, figuring out what our relationship is and what it could be.

Reevaluation is hard for me. I'm a pack-rat. I've hung onto food way past its expiration date. I've hung onto pants long out of style. I've hung onto souvenirs and Christmas cards just because someone I love gave them to me, not because I particularly liked the item. I've hung onto formal dresses because I might wear them again. I've hung onto books even though I know I won't read them again. I'm learning to let go now.

I'm going to keep my marriage. We both could have walked away. We know it's not going to be easy. We know it's going to take time to figure out a balance. I think it's worth it.


ABOUT MAIGEN THOMAS

Maigen is simple. is smart. is wholesome. is skeevy. is spicy. is delicate. is better. is purer. is 100% more awesome than yesterday. She';s traveling the world and writing about her experiences with life, love, yoga, food, travel and people. Mostly people. Because they';re funny. hear more of her random thoughts @maigen on twitter.

more about maigen thomas

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COMMENTS

lucy lediaev
5.23.08 @ 11:44a

Sometimes distance and maturation are destructive to a relationship. It appears in your case, you've used the physical distance and new maturity to re-explore what both of you really want and to go forward from there. I wish you both the best and all success in making things work even better than before this forced hiatus in your marriage.

sandra thompson
5.25.08 @ 4:41p

You are courageous and strong. Good luck, but I really think luck is the last thing you need: you make your own "luck." I hope you keep all of us informed of your progress (or regress) in future.



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