I’m in a rut.
I can feel it in my exasperated spirit and my easily annoyed attitude. I can sense it in how discouraged I get about menial things here in Fairbanks or how jealous I become about menial things every where else. The grass is perpetually looking greener everywhere but here and I don’t know what to do.
It’s been these last couple weeks.
It’s discouraging because since my friends left in July, I’ve felt pretty happy about Fairbanks and life in Alaska. They helped me see this place in the best light I ever had and I found myself upbeat and excited for the next year or so here.
And now I’m back to square two.
Square one would be the first couple months that I moved here and hated basically everything. I spent most of my time telling my husband I hated Alaska and requesting that he put in a packet to get us out here at once. So it could be worse, because today I’m feeling like I regressed, but not quite that much.
I can’t stop thinking about what’s next. The days that don’t involve anything exciting drag on and feel lifeless to me. I am constantly aching for the future. I feel hopeless in the present moment. Time has come to a stand still and I don’t know what I’m doing.
I’m not supposed to say this stuff. I’m married and I am lucky enough to live with my husband and that should be enough. Silly little girl. It should be enough that you can spend every single day with your husband. You don’t need friends, or your family, or a career in a bigger city, or nice weather, or vacations, or skylines, or anything else you love. He is enough.
I’ve never believed that. I have never in my life been taught or believed that one person should fulfill all your meaning in life, that one person should be the only reason for your happiness, that one person is all you need to live for.
My husband is a stellar guy. I mean top notch, no exaggeration, treats me like I am the amazing-independent-head strong-gorgeous-smart woman that I am. He is great. I honestly adore the heck out of him.
But he’s not enough.
Life has so many facets. So many people and experiences that change us and fulfill us. I was so full when I married my husband. So full. I had an amazing family, amazing friends, an amazing education, amazing job prospects, dreams, goals, experiences. He didn’t fulfill a void. He complimented all the great things I had going for me. He added to this beautiful life of mine in the biggest best way possible, but it was just an addition. He wasn’t the end all.
So I’m sad. Because all that other stuff and all those other people that make me, me are miles away from here. Sometimes I forget. For weeks and months I can forget and live passionately in the moment in Fairbanks. I can enjoy the gorgeous summers spent hiking and the chilly winters spent on ski slopes and watching the aurora borealis poke shine proudly in the sky each night. Experiencing all this with my husband helps me forget about all the things I left behind.
But then it creeps up on me like a monster in the night.
I remember those people I left behind made me, me. The beautiful state I once called home, I can barely afford to visit any more. I realize I can’t turn back the clock so instead I run towards the future, and get discouraged when it doesn’t arrive fast enough.
I want what’s next. I want the next place with my husband that we’ll live for 3-5 years and make home more than Fairbanks ever will be and possibly more than Minneapolis ever was. I want to make a life for myself in a place that’s more me. More cities. More warmth or more snow (Fairbanks has little of both). More accessible means to family and friends. More places to drive. More vacations. More shopping. More recycling. More liberals. More opportunities.
I’m whiny, discouraged, and sad. I know it doesn’t look good on me. It’s not attractive for a blog post and no one really wants to hear this stuff. Sadness isn’t glamorous or filtered. It’s raw and ugly. It’s a picture on Instagram with your blemishes still showing and something is in your teeth and you’re on your couch. We all like to pretend these moments don’t exist. But they do.
Life isn’t rainbows and sunshine. Another person isn’t the key to happiness. Moving far, far away doesn’t solve any problems or make you more cultured or worldly. Sometimes genuinely happy, content people get very sad. Sometimes we all fall into ruts.
I am hoping I find my way out of this one soon. I won’t find it in dreaming about the future. I’ve been trying and failing on that for weeks. I’ll find it here, in Fairbanks. I’ll find it before we even get close to being told our next duty station – much less move there.
I’ll find my way.
I just have to be sad today.
“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower