Friday, April 29, 2011

Hard Times

We've been absent from this blog for over 3 weeks, and I apologize. We have no intention of abandoning it. Nor of being gone for so long in the future, either.

A few things were holding me back from posting. I wanted to get the last of the thank-yous into the mail (they went out today). I wanted to have something to post about. More precisely, I wanted to have something to post about besides the news we got earlier this month, because it wasn't good news.

But here I am, and here's the news: we're not going to China.

It seems like most people I talk to experience some sort of setback shortly after getting married. I don't know if it's a coincidence, if it's a case of noticing all the blue cars on the road because you've just bought one, or if it just looms more significantly in your mind because now you're married, but whatever the reason, it seems to be a common theme. Maybe it's because as soon as something negative happens, you find yourself thinking, "I just got married, isn't everything supposed to be great for at least a little while? Honeymoon period, anyone?" Life, of course, doesn't work like that.

Shortly after we returned home, Morgan went to the head of the department and asked what was going on with the China trip. He was told that the school in China had decided they wanted to use mostly their own faculty to teach their courses and therefore, the trips were off. Oh, hey, Mr. Department Head, thanks for letting us know. It's not like we have to plan out the next year of our lives or anything.

It was a huge disappointment for both of us. It came at an extra-unfortunate time when everything should have been sunshine and roses, but more than that, it was the first disappointment we would weather as a married couple. How would we deal with it?

The answer for the first couple of days was "in our separate corners." It wasn't how I wanted to do it - isn't the proper thing to do to pull closer together, the two of you against the world? - but I just couldn't bring myself to express all the emotions around it for fear of making Morgan feel worse. Because, trust me, he already felt bad enough. I can't really speak for him, but I suspect that in the less rational corners of his psyche he was worried that I was going to be mad at him for false advertising. As if he had promised me this and then pulled the rug out, instead of having it pulled out from under both of us.

After that initial period, we were able to talk about it and share the anger, disappointment, frustration, and feelings of "now what?" (And "now what?" is a big question, but we're working out the answers.) The near future isn't going to happen where we thought it would, but that's all right. The location might be different, but the overall vision is the same: we'll be together. We'll figure it out from there.


  1. Oh, Ursula! What a huge disappointment for you two. My limited experience has been: Whenever you want something REALLY, REALLY badly and don't get it, your desire isn't wasted. You'll still get something proportional to that desire eventually. So I have no doubts that things will get better for you.
    Off the subject, but I think I will read the Shackleton book at the same time as you and your Facebook group, but without joining Facebook. Thank you for the offer!

  2. That's a lovely thought, Jeanie. Hopefully it holds out as true. :)

    As far as the book goes, that sounds like a good idea, and I'm happy to talk to you about it as we both read it. I just picked it up yesterday and I'm looking forward to starting on it.