A Year of Gratitude
It is almost a year to this day that I took the journey to Gatwick airport to collect Esra. My nerves on that day were jangled and my excitement was almost out of control. The journey to Gatwick was a little anxious in itself, as I didn’t know the airport and fretted about parking and finding where I needed to be and all those other little things which generally freak me out. I arrived in good time and waited at the exit through customs, and waited and waited and waited. And then all of a sudden there he was, the whole of his life in three suitcases, walking through those doors in his inimitable style. I squealed and ran to him, I know a bit girly, not so cool for a snobby Brit, but it was the culmination of six months of waiting, temper tantrums and long distance arguments, longing and anticipation and everything else that goes into a long distance relationship. This was it, he was here, we now start our life.
Well that was it, the beginning of our first year together. The creation of a new life in a new Country for Esra and a new part of the Country for me. Needless to say it has been a tumultuous twelve months. Having to deal with a little more than your average newly engaged couple, our life became a journey of settling him in. From gargantuan piles of paperwork for immigration to his inability to work or drive and all those little irksome habits we both have which didn’t gel with each other. He has learned to be quiet in the mornings. I have learned to let him eat ice-cream by the litre and not nag about it. He has learned to add vegetables to plates of food and I have learned that despite my hatred of it, Esra will not quit smoking anytime soon. So as we continue to knock the corners off each other so we can live in (relative) harmony we reach our 12 month anniversary with all limbs in tact and no tell tale scars.
In that year we have established Esra as a resident, moved house, got married, got two new additions to the family, met and made new friends, had two wonderful holidays, celebrated two birthdays, a Christmas and a New Year. I think we have achieved a lot in our first year together.
I have no doubt that as any newly wedded couple will contest, we have a few bumps to navigate yet. I would like to personally strangle the person who coined the phrase “wedded bliss” because I truly believe that phrase constitutes false advertising. We have moments of bliss, nay, days of bliss, interjected with ordinary days, days where we barely see each other, days where one of us is grumpy, days where we fight about silly things, days where one of us cries in frustration, days where we want to quit, days where we love each other so madly we cannot envisage life without the other. That is the reality of marriage, of my marriage at least. The bottom line remains the same however, I cannot imagine living my life without this crazy, annoying, loud American. Despite our cultural differences and our language barriers we have done a pretty good job. It’s not easy when you get two bull headed, strong willed, independent individuals in a house together and tell them to play nicely. There are inevitable fireworks and disagreements, however I think we handle them relatively well. I explode and he sulks….that’s good relationship management isn’t it? joking aside, I think we do a good job, it’s not perfect, but then I think perfect is a little dull. I am hard work, highly strung and reactive. He is a bachelor boy trying to be a husband. We get it wrong sometimes but then we get it very right too.
Esra is now half way through his portfolio and due to sit his final exams in January. In the meantime he has a UK driving exam to pass and he is working at the local pub to help with costs. I continue to work as a surveyor in my job in insurance, I am four months off my medication and he has been a long suffering support (most of the time). We sat down last night and wrote our five year plan, which is very ambitious but a goal is not worth chasing unless it is completely and utterly mental…we aim for the outer reaches of the galaxy and with his never waning enthusiasm and my tenacity and dogged determination there is little doubt we will reach them.
I would like to take the opportunity to state that I love this man more and more each day. I know him better than anyone and in him I see the heart and soul of a good and honest man, like all of us, he is trying to make his way in this world and like all of us he makes mistakes sometimes. There is not one malicious bone in his body and whilst his brain cells may not actually interact with his mouth sometimes, everything he does comes from an honest intention. He is my best friend, my confidant and my life partner, in him I see my future and with him sits my heart.
So here’s to the next 60 months of battles and victories.