Monday, December 7, 2009

Feeling Funky

I am kind of in a funk. Does that ever happen to you? I was in it all weekend. I was an absolute joy to be around. I was tired and grumpy and all three of the other members in my household got on my last ever-lovin’ nerve.

Today is no better, I am afraid. Today is the first day of the rest of my life, so to speak, and I feel a little lost and despondent and just plain annoyed. There are a lot of things on my mind and I just feel really anxious.

Saturday was graduation, but I didn't go. Isn't that silly. I was in the middle of a writing frenzy when the last-call to order (even rent) a doctoral robe passed and I missed it. I didn't really want to go anyway because I didn't want to drag my husband with two small tots to bore themselves to death at a long ceremony. My hubs was upset because he wanted a picture for the kids. I said we could just photoshop my B.A. graduation picture with a few more wrinkles, but he didn't find it humorous. Graduation ceremonies are for families and friends to come celebrate your accomplishment, and as I mentioned before, I kind of feel much of my family doesn't care or understand what I am doing and why.

I wasn't even going to order announcements, but my aunt asked for one,(I got your announcement in the mail Ali!) so I ordered 10 a la carte. I sent her one and then wracked my brain about what to do with the other 9. I saved one for each of my kids and sent one to my father-in-law (who is so excited).

Now, I can no longer hide under the “I am a graduate student” comfy cloak. Now I am just jobless, which sounds much more unsettling than perpetual graduate student--which is at least a title. But I don’t think I am going to be job-hunting here. I think we have mostly, kinda, sorta, basically, made the decision to move to Chile in the very near future. This brings up a lot of feelings.

We have to start thinking about selling the house (painting it first) and packing up what we are going to send and selling what isn’t worth taking. We have bureaucratic things do to—register our kids and our marriage at the Chilean consulate, and see if it is better to start my visa process here or wait until we get to Chile. We are both thinking about the job process in Chile and the details involved in making such a monumental move and getting settled.

I feel like the move to Chile is a good idea in many ways, but I am also worried about it. My father-in-law says that we have to make a decision based on what is best for our family, the kids, but I know in truth, my decision is a little more selfish than that. I want to be happy. If I am happy, we are all happy. If I am unhappy, we are all unhappy (take the last few days as evidence). And sometimes I wonder if I will be happy and if my husband and I will be happy in our relationship.

I have lived in Chile, so I know in many ways, exactly what I am getting into… but in other ways I have no idea. We didn’t have kids before—now we have to think about education, which for me is a sensitive subject in Chile. You pretty much have to pay for a private school, and many of them are Catholic, many of them are single-sex. I know, for a fact, that we will argue over whether Nico should go to the same Jesuit school my husband went to, and I just don’t know if I can stomach a religious school. There are also issues of class that bother me about the educational system in Chile.

There are also parenting issues. With kids, living in the US is so simple—almost no one makes comments about your parenting (with the exception of on the blogosphere—where they will rip you apart for anything). In Chile, almost everyone feels it is their place to tell you that your kids need more clothes on or that they should not be bare-foot, or that what kind of mother are you that you don’t blow-dry their hair after a bath and what are they eating and why can’t they have soda and such. The one time we visited with G, I almost had a conniption-fit with all the child-rearing commentary.

I feel like because one of my obsessions is Spanish and Latin America and I like living abroad and I married a Chilean, and I always said that we would move back, and now we have lived in the US for quite a while, and we will probably have good job opportunities there and our kids will grow up with family etc. etc. so it seems like the logical decision. There are huge things I know I will have to learn to live with, but now that the move is almost certain, I start panicking about random petty details: like the other day I almost changed my mind just thinking about how gross the milk is in Chile and how my kids are going to have to drink it and how I know they are not going to drink it and they’ll stop drinking milk all together and won’t get enough calcium, so maybe we should just stay here, where my kids like the milk, even if I don’t drink milk anywhere. Do you see the insanity I am creating for myself?

Since our move is imminent in the next 3-4 months, it doesn’t make sense to try to find a job here—even a crappy one, since we have to factor in child-care. So that means staying at home with the kids, which is great in many ways and not-so-great in others. But that is an entirely different post.

I just want to scream. If I scream into the blogosphere, does anybody hear it?


lydia said...

when you started ranting about milk i swear I could faintly hear you screaming all the way here in valpo.

thats funny that everybody is all in-your-face about parenting (ive seen it too), because my personal opinion is that someone needs to give the majority of parents a lesson or two on just that.

i play capoeira and I can;t tell you how many parents just let their kids wander into the middle of a circle where there are fast unpredictable kicks and flips flying all over the place. as something that I see happen over and over twice a week when we play outside, nobody seems to be alarmed whatsoever until i have to glare at the parents enough. i rarely see people resisting their kids. i've seen too many toddlers get kicked in the head while parents just watch.

on saturday during a presentation of 2 people doing aerial acrobatics (where the large tela goes from the ceiling to the ground) and NOBODY did anything to stop the 3 young toddlers that were running around underneath, pulling down on the fabric, etc until one of them caused the artist to fall down out of the air and narrowly miss crushing the kid to death, not to mention the obvious danger to himself.

i feel like its backwards. everybody focuses on the minimal dangers like preventing goosebumps and nobody does a darn thing to prevent closecalls with the emergency room.

mosey along said...

Well. As the queen of funk all I can offer is empathy. My latest blog may seem all light and airy and Christmassy and oh-so-happy but inwardly the doom of the Holidays is twitching in my gut.

And I don't think I'm ready for you to be on a different continent just yet, selfishly. But for you, the need to be happy is definitely paramount. The problems will sort themselves out, and once you're past the "why am I doing this???" phase, you'll be able to see the forest for the trees. I remember when moving across country just repeating as a mantra "this is not a life sentence". That way, if everything went well (as it has, for the most part!), no worries. If I crashed and burned, you pick up and move on.

You sound like you have a great hubby.

And I don't know what else to say other than hang in there. And I am SO coming to see you. Whenever. But I am.

Danielle said...

I think Josh heard the scream and he's clear in the other room! ;) Sounds like you will be a busy woman! But aren't you always? Good luck with your decision and consider the fact that I have a very healthy sister with six kids that doesn't include dairy in their diets at all. Visit her site at
or her blog
I think you might really like it since you're into health.

Eileen said...

Yay, move to Chile and come play with us! It will be great. Well, it will be different. I'd guess you're just having a post-project depression for now, and that it will dissipate, or at least that's what I'm hoping. I'm a firm believer in being quiet and listening to what you need, despite all my spinninness. I hope you can find that place. Anyway, as you plan for the move you will probably have more tasks than time, and that will certainly keep you busy.

As for schools, would you consider Latinoamericano in Providencia? It's lefty, quirky, pro-kid and lots of other stuff. It also has a ton of foreign kids, including my goddaughter, so I know a bit about it. Definitely not religious, and quite unique. I can get more info about it if you like.

And I agree that your dh sounds like a dream. Do you call him Mr. Doctor just to annoy him? You should. It might make you smile!

Margaret said...

Querida Annje-
Red Rover-Red Rover let Annje come over! We in Chile need you and want you! OK- big step, I know... but please know that YOU already have a community here!
BTW- funny that Eileen should mention el Latino Americano. My daughter studied there... and I'd be more than happy to tell you everything I can about our experience. And don't worry, there are plenty of alternatives to nuns and same-sex schools!

Annje said...

Eileen and Margaret (Peg) I would love to know more about Latinoamericano. You don't have to write me a big long email, in a few months we can probably talk about it over coffee ;-), but if you have an easy link on hand...

The decision has basically been made, so make a little hueco para mi. Of course, I knew there were gringos in Chile, but meeting the best and brightest ones online made me feel a little better about the decision--you know, having my own potential peeps...

I showed my hubs the comments about his greatness and my funny hubby has taken it as proof that you have all seen what he has to put up with (there is some truth to that).

I haven't called him Mr. Dr., but in the hospital with our two kids they always called him Mr. (my last name)--assuming that I had taken his last name. That always made me chuckle. I think we should ask to be addressed as Dr. and Mr. XX.

anymommy said...

I hear you!! Wow. That is a big decision and (I think) an incredible one. I know there will be frustrations, but gifts too, that you'll give your family. They'll learn so much living outside of our strictly US perspective. And they'll have you, so they'll be fine.

I can't wait for you to write about your life there.

Also Congratulations, graduate!!!