Thursday, October 25
10:16 p.m., the largest full moon of the year (30% brighter that it typically is in a very clear sky…which means a very chilly tomorrow morning)
Today I querried another literary agent, with the hopes of getting representation. It is common knowledge that all writers must accept rejection before a big break. I don’t know what I expect. But, I just keep hoping. I keep persevering.
I went to the gym after work. It felt good to get in some cardio on the treadmill. I did intervals of brisk walking for thirty-five minutes, burning around 225 calories. After, I went to grab a bowl of pho soup.
While at the restaurant, I couldn’t help but hear the conversation of a young, Asian-American couple. The man was in scrubs and looked absolutely exhausted. His young wife had arrived after him with their small daughter, who was about two-and-a-half years old. The wife kept rambling on about schools and the mundane things she did that day. It was clear she was a stay-at-home-mom. Her husband, hunched over his food, couldn’t look more disinterested in his wife’s shopping and playgrounds. I could feel his energy funneling like a tornado and almost thundering out loud, “please, ask me about my day, ask me about the young man I resuscitated, or the heart I held in my hands before transplanting it into an aging woman giving the fight of her life,” which she never did. He seemed very passive, still needing to feel important. She seemed more aggressive, also needing to feel important. They seemed so disconnected, so out of synch. It made me wonder about the dynamics of couples that start families.
There’s that heavy decision for the woman to work or to stay at home with her children, or to try to juggle both. But, more often than not, and especially for those who attempt to do the juggling act, these women are doing twice or even three times the work of their spouses. There’s the guilt factor that weighs in heavily for making a choice, one way or the other. You’re either selfish if you want to work, or you have no ambition or social value if you stay at home. And, really, while it’s wonderful that women today are able to make a choice, social pressures unfairly make it difficult for women to seek the balance they really long for. Of course, this isn’t always the case. It just happens a lot.
So, on one hand I felt sorry for her because it seemed like she was desperate to speak with an adult and just rambled on about nonsense, probably because she wasn’t getting any stimulation during her day to formulate more engaging conversation. And I don’t mean for this to sound stereotypical, judgmental or insulting. There are many sacrifices made in raising your own children. But, on the other hand, she was basically unable to stimulate her husband, she couldn’t read him and I just felt the vibrating asymmetry of their energy. It was stifling, actually. And it terrified me. Having children changes everything. And much of it is good stuff. But, I wondered how much of the work she was doing by herself and how crazy that was actually making her. Were they really happy with the decisions they made on behalf of their family?
Perhaps it’s unfair that I observe this family. And perhaps it’s even more unfair for me to draw conclusions based on my observations. Irrespective, this couple really made me think about the dynamics of modern marriages. Are they modern or still a little bit behind the times? I often think about the role of women in today’s society and I don’t have the answers. I guess you just have to do what your gut tells you is the best thing for you and your family. But, I think it is very important, and not selfish at all, to think of yourself in that equation, guilt-free and ever mindful of creating self-happiness that ultimately benefits the whole family in the long run.