Mark got his first syllabus today. It looks like it's going to be brutal. The class is something about fascism (a topic I know quite literally NOTHING about), and it's going to be one of those book-a-week, class participation is a fourth of your grade, huge paper/presentation combo potentially the SECOND WEEK of class type of things. I talked to him on the phone about it, and he said (only half-joking) that he was just kidding, that he really wanted to go to library school instead. I said, sorry mister, too late to change your mind now.
We knew it was going to be like this. We knew it would be insanely hard, that he would be basically thrown full-force back into school mode after having been out for two years. (I'd like to ask him again now about his grand and glorious idea to do full-time grad school, a volunteer position with the civil rights museum in town, AND a part-time job, all at the same time. I think he'd be changing his tune a little bit.) But, my point is, this honestly didn't catch us off-guard. But what it does do, for me at least, is reaffirm my extreme desire to get this job in Birmingham and be able to be there for my husband. I know that most likely, even if I do get it, that I will have to start working on night shift, but I feel the oddest sense of calm about a dayshift position. I don't know if that is God giving me his guidance in that everything will work out for the best, or that He has something extra up His sleeve, or what - but there are at least 2 dayshift positions posted on the website, maybe three, so ... who knows? Maybe I'll get one of them. I just feel like I need to be there for Mark, to cook him study-food, to be supportive, to give him a pep talk when he needs a break, to encourage him... And I think that this last month or so of being apart has actually helped us. I am better equipped than I have ever been to let go when I need to, to let him study and stay up late and do his thing without being clingy and needy. I'd like to have a scheduled "us" night once a week, both for my benefit and his, but other than that, I think I'm prepared to be okay with him locking himself in the office (or the UAB library) and studying like crazy while I clean house/hang out with friends/work/scrapbook/etc, etc... I'm much more independent now, especially more so than when we first got married. The silver lining is showing itself. It's so neat, looking back at our relationship then, and how it's blossomed and grown and how much more we love each other and appreciate each other now. Mark has made me a better person. When we first were married, I was selfish (and somewhat scared), not wanting to leave Chattanooga, still very tied to my parents/sister/family. I didn't want to move from the area, I was afraid of change. Today, I'm (trying to) roll with the punches. Is it easy? No. Do I always handle it well? Hardly. But I find that I'm growing more and more excited about the future. I'm taking one day at a time, handling the changes and setbacks and the unknown as they come, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where God's plan for our lives takes us, be it in Chattanooga or Birmingham or elsewhere. I'm realizing that life is an adventure and can't always be planned out or dictated.
But first things first - I want to be with Mark. Please pray for my job to come through. Because we need this. Financially, emotionally, physically - it would be easier on all counts if I could make more money and live in the same city as my husband. Pray that a dayshift position is open, and that it is an option that I may take it. My head and heart are buzzing with emotions - nervousness, excitement, happiness, fear, worry, sadness to leave.... But, from somewhere deeper, a sense of peace is starting to wash over me about the whole situation. And I know, because of that, we're exactly where we need to be right now, and that God is going to take care of us. Because He loves us. I don't know why exactly, but I really feel good about this, like it's going to work out. I hope it will.