Reference Points

Whew! The past two weeks have been two of the most exciting, emotional, and revealing weeks I have experienced so far in my short 25 years. I say “so far” because my reference points are different, and they’re expanding and changing every day, every week, every year of my life.

So, let’s see. On Monday, January 23 my mom and I piled in my little car, with 2 cats and a dog, and drove 2 days to get from Arizona to Maryland. At 9 in the morning, I hugged and kissed my amazing husband goodbye, as tears fell down my cheeks, while my husband nodded to respond to my question: “You promise we will see each other?”

For 4 days, I unpacked, got the animals comfortable, and dealt with my own emotional repercussions. I worried, I cried, and my reference points changed again.

I had not experienced such emotional discontentment since my husband went to basic training in 2015. And there were no texts or phone calls then.

This past Monday, I started my new job. And I was, and am, so excited about it all. Yes, it’s still new and shiny, and I am young. But this is the industry I was raised in, this is the industry I fought for years to not be a part of, and this is the industry I ended up desiring to be a part of. This is my first “big girl job,” and I am really looking forward to how I grow and how my reference points change.

And they already have. Living with my mom, I commute an hour and 10 minutes each way (and in the DC metro area, it’s usually more like an hour and a half to get “home”). Even though I may not be doing lots of physical activity, I have never been more exhausted when I get home. And I’ve realized how my husband feels. While he doesn’t have the same type of commute, he does work all day. When I wasn’t working, I would want nothing more than to go to something when he got home at 5, or even do something on weekends, and I would get so frustrated when all he wanted to do was sit.

But now I understand. My reference point has changed.

And I told him so. I texted him yesterday to say I was sorry for the way I had acted and treated him when he was working and that I understand now.

Throughout this process, I have felt as if God wanted us to learn something. I am beginning to see what could possibly be the first lesson: reference points.

I can get very needy and clingy when I am not busy. Of course, my husband becomes the object of this neediness. But because I didn’t have the reference points, I couldn’t understand how he was feeling or why he would get frustrated when I would get this way. Now I do. Because now I, too, am tired when I get home from work.

Like I said, I feel like God is trying to teach us (and me) something here. I think He is trying to teach me that I need to learn to relate to my husband on this different level. I think He is trying to show me that my reference points will change as I continue through this life, and that those reference points are going to be what help me relate to my husband as we both find our careers.

I think these reference points are also going to help us connect with each other. When we experience similar things, those reference points become similar, and it makes it easier to be on the same level when we discuss careers, moving, or anything that comes in this life.

The change in my reference points has already made an impact on me. It has changed the way I talk to my husband, it has changed the way I think about our life together, and it has changed the way I view our careers. We don’t have reference points for what life will be like in 10 years, or even for what it will be like in one year. But we have reference points for what we are going through now, and those can be our guide as we continue to navigate our current situation, our careers, and our marriage.

I still think God is teaching us something. And if I can already feel the first lesson, I know the next lessons will be tough. But I also know that I have a husband who is strong, supportive, and loves me no matter what; and I love my husband more than anything. Those are my reference points.