Before I became a trailing spouse, I had a career. I worked hard in college and received a degree in political science and a minor in criminal justice. I interned with the Election Commission and a Member of Congress, and eventually moved to DC on my own. Then, at a young age, I was a permanent staff member in two different Members’ offices. I was pretty damn proud of myself and no one hassled me because I was independent. I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T, do you know what that means? (p.s. the only reason I know how to spell “independent” is because of that tacky song).
Going from working a lot in DC to not working at all in Scotland was a huge shock, and do you know what made it even worse? People asking me the same question every single week: “But what do you DO all day?” Bitch, I’m writing posts for my website! Obviously I didn’t respond with that because I’m somewhat shy when it comes to my blog, but this question was difficult to answer and made me feel bad about myself. I felt embarrassed.
There was no way I could have worked in the United Kingdom because I didn’t obtain a work visa since we were there short-term, but I still felt like I should have been doing bigger things with my life. Even though I spent my days writing, traveling, and learning about photography (oh, and cuddling Malcolm), I could tell that some people were still judging me because Brandon was bringing home the bacon and I wasn’t contributing. We both made the decision to pack up our lives in DC and move abroad because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity; therefore, I had to say goodbye to my job on the Hill. Wasn’t that enough? I sacrificed my career dreams to move to Aberdeen and travel the world with my husband.
It wasn’t enough because like I’ve said before, we’re judged by our careers. And that sort of sucks for people like me. Sometimes I feel invisible because I’m no longer independent and I rely on my spouse “too much”. Ho-kay. (You think I’m kidding but I’ve heard this statement before).
Since we’ve been moving every 6 months for B’s career, I still don’t have a job. I’d much rather write, volunteer, and take photographs than work a part-time job I despise, and my husband fully supports this decision. I’m still not contributing much monetarily, but that’s not the only thing that matters in life. I finally feel comfortable with myself. So to those people who judge me even though they have no clue what it’s like to pick up and move constantly? I say shut up. In the nicest way possible, of course.
Filed Under: Expat, Lifestyle