One day four years ago


Yesterday was the 4th anniversary of my arrival in Wales. I got here on a 2-year visa, with one suitcase, £700 in the bank, no job and full of love for the man I was going to live with yet filled with apprehension on how things would pan out.

Before I left, my girlfriends threw me a surprise farewell breakfast party. I got annoyed because I hated farewells. But deep down I was so touched by their gesture that I excused myself to go to the bathroom to cry. I was very, very scared.

I didn’t even remember that July the 14th was my anniversary last night until I got into bed exhausted, at 22:35. I was just about to doze off when the date sprang into mind. I ran downstairs to tell R, “Hey! Today is my anniversay!” And he replied, “Happy Anniversary, honey.” Typical!

I’d been busy yesterday supervising some guys who came to do a few jobs around the house (fix the broken door bell, put the loose screws back onto a cupboard, paint a few walls in the house and tidy up the back garden), then cleaning up the place after they’d gone.

Then I went grocery shopping with Lucien and he was a wretch as usual. It poured down while we were out and I struggled with putting all the bags of stuff in the car and my shoes were so wet with water they squelched when I walked. I took my shoes off and put my wet foot on the pedal and drove home.

After unpacking all the food, I came into the living room and discovered Lucien had ripped a small strip of wallpaper off. Devastated and speechless, I went to grab my glue stick to stick the torn paper back onto the wall as best as I could. I was too tired to reprimand the boy.

The life I live now is a world’s difference from when I was living with the folks. I thought I knew it all then but actually I had no clue about anything. How much do vegetables cost?  How much do we pay for gas, water and electricity? Who to call when things break down? What’s a mortgage? How to cook a meal for three? Where to grab bargains? Which type of car insurance suits me?

I really had an easy life and did not know it. I came home to piping hot freshly cooked food. I never had to do the dishes nor housework. My clothes were neatly ironed and folded by my maid. No wonder my mother laughs at me now when she sees me washing the loo, “To think you were a 千金小姐! Now have to wash toilet and do everything yourself.”

You never really grow up until you leave your old bedroom behind and strike out on your own. Then you realise that instead of being able to spend 50% of your income on clothes, eating out and other materialistic luxuries (and saving the other 50%), now 50% of your income immediately goes to bills and repayments, with the other 50% going towards food and transport.

You realise that you didn’t know you had it in you to be so strong in the face of adversity. You didn’t know because your parents did such an excellent job in making sure adversity never found you. You now also have to be strong because there is a child whose life you are responsible for, whose mouth you need to put food into, and whose future depended on you. The usual excuse of “I can’t do it” simply doesn’t exist in my life because I haven’t got the option of not doing it. And you know what? I find that is kinda good in a sense that it toughens you up. It makes me stop whinging and just get on with it.

Of course I get bad days where I argue with the husband , the weather’s so shit and depressing or I have the urge to duct tape Lucien to the wall because he’s so ill-behaved, but I have never lost sleep or agonised over the day’s events. Part of it is accepting life as it is now and appreciating what comes with it, part of it is doing little things that make you happy, and part of it is trying not to sweat the small stuff.

How does one do that, you ask?

I don’t know, it has taken me 4 years, 7,000 miles, 1 c-section, 1 husband and 1 child to figure this out. Get yourself thrown into the deep end and I’m sure you will work something out.

Explore posts in the same categories: Drama, Family, Life

One Comment on “One day four years ago”

  1. tsl Says:

    because i guess ultimately, there’s always something to be thankful for no matter how shitty life can be.


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