Waiting…and questions about life

The past few years I have been waiting.

Waiting on news about Rabindra’s visa.

Waiting to take our first trip to Nepal.

Waiting to meet his family.

Waiting to make plans for our future.

Waiting to travel the world.

A friend of mine recently asked me if I regretted it all. They said to me “you were always the one that was going to travel the world and save the babies in Africa. I mean I know you love Rabindra but look at what you’ve been through. You have put your life on hold and you are so stressed out. You have changed. Is it all worth it?”

Yes it’s true I’ve put my life on hold. I haven’t been to Africa and I haven’t travelled the world like I hoped.

Last year a group of my friends took an overseas trip to Europe- the one we had been planning since high school. I couldn’t go because of the situation we are in regarding Rabindra’s visa and not knowing what will happen to us.

I got jealous a couple of times when they called me from exotic, far flung places in the middle of the night while I was in bed after a long day of commuting and working.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on everything over the past few days.

I don’t know how much more waiting I can do but I’ve reached a place where I think I’m going to be a lot stronger and I just have to accept whatever comes my way.

It’s taken me a long time to accept that things will never be truly normal for me.

We are unlikely to have the financial positions that so many of my friends have here because we’ll have his family to support.

We will face discrimination and we will be judged by others.

I can’t expect things to be easy for us.

We will have a tough road ahead.

All the waiting is frustrating and is taking a huge mental toll on me.

It’s true that I don’t know where I will be one year from now.

Maybe I will look back and regret it. Who knows.

But for now I do not regret missing out on travelling the world with my friends or not going to Africa on a humanatarian visit like I planned.

I can still do my bit with kids- maybe not in Africa but in a place I feel so much more love for- Nepal.

I feel blessed I met Rabindra. He changed my life in ways no-one will ever know except me.

I was looking at him the other day and thought to myself, “we are from completely different backgrounds, we have lived totally different lives. But here we are, together, after more than 2 and a half years, and we are both changing and evolving for the sake of each other.”

I guess not many people would understand what I mean by this unless you are in a intercultural relationship.

So as for my friend’s question, the answer is this: yes, it is all worth it.

It’s an adventure very few will ever get to experience.

I chose this life because of love. It’s not going to be easy, but I chose it.

I won’t back out now.

Have people you know questioned the reasons for your relationship and what it’s worth? How have you responded?

Do you think life is inherently harder because you are in an intercultural relationship?

Do you regret anything?

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This entry was posted in Cross-cultural, Differences, Intercultural, Intercultural Relationship, Love, Nepal. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Waiting…and questions about life

  1. Sara says:

    I think life has extra difficulties being in an intercultural relationship…but it also has extra good stuff! Sometimes it’s a burden to temporarily (or long-term) take on aspects of a partner’s culture…sometimes it’s really fulfilling and freeing and fun. Sometimes it’s frustrating to explain or justify every little piece of a tradition…sometimes it’s like getting to give a special piece of yourself to your partner and getting to see that piece be accepted with love and joy (or at least good-naturedly!). Sometimes it feels like you’re shut out from both cultures…sometimes it feels so fun to get to have a foot in each.

    One thing I’ve been struggling with lately is what I like to call “Dude, where’s my White privilege?” I had that experience tonight when a woman asked where I was from, then said to A “And of course you have to be from India!” Right now, I actually have less patience with those little acts of putting us in a box than A does…mostly because I’ve never had to deal with it before. I’ve never lived outside the Midwest or in an area where I was not in the racial or religious majority, so the only thing I’ve had presumptions made about me is my undergrad major (psych)!

    I wrote out a gigantic comment about my one regret…and then I wrote most of a post…but I’m really ready to go to bed, and my words aren’t ready to be posted yet. However, my thoughts have been clarified enough to give a broad answer: My one regret was how we settled the last “compatibility hurdle” before we decided to get married. He’s realized why it was unfair to me (after a LOT of arguing and talking) and sincerely apologized, and things feel really balanced and good now. I think we were able to balance individual and cultural issues for everything else…although I also think there’s fewer compromises for us because we both share American culture, most of his immediate family is in the US and speak English, and the only country he begged me to say I’d consider moving to is Canada.

    I also think that everyone evolves for each other…I think it just looks more obvious when partners come from distinctly different cultures. We make little changes for each other every day — I make beds, A rinses/soaks dishes when he puts them in the sink. This has very little to do with culture (well, bed-making is pretty Indian, but it’s not exclusively Indian), but these are the kinds of everyday compromises that everyone in successful relationships makes (and may not even think about it, even as they express serious concerns about your relationship).

  2. Isn’t it every one’s dream to travel the world and so less of us in reality start with it. I also dreamt of traveling to South-America, etc but would I have done it if I was with a European partner, hmm the chance is little. Would I have done it if I was single? Maybe. My financial situation wouldn’t be that much different in all the three above options.

    Hmm, to answer your question I believe life can be surely financial harder when you are in an intercultural relationship and he needs to support his family. And yes, people will judge you more. But if there is love, understanding and true commitment, it is all worth it. In intercultural relationships understanding is a thing that needs to be worked on. By the way, I think every relationship (intercultural or not) gets pressure of external factors (financial, family,…), so I wouldn’t say life is inherent harder. It’s sounds so harsh.

  3. Kayla says:

    I don’t think my relationship has made life harder….but it has made it much more complicated. I’m not the most patient person and this “waiting for the parents” to somewhat approve of me has really tested my patience. My mom has started to think A is just stringing me along. My friends don’t understand why I can’t give him an ultimatum. His parents phone calls drive me nuts (I have to leave and go into the other room). I have to deal with him going to India for 3 weeks every year. I have to deal with looks and being judged by random people when we are out in public. My family laughs at what my future last name will be.

    But I’ve learned so much about myself and another culture through this process. I’ve never loved anyone like him. I want to be with him forever. So in the end, it’s all worth it.

  4. Kay says:

    Do you think life is inherently harder because you are in an intercultural relationship?

    I don’t think so, in my case. But then again, it’s probably because our friends and family are quite open minded and diverse to begin with. It also helps that neither of us really cares about what anyone else thinks.

  5. intercultured says:

    For me the most difficult issues are those connected with living in a foreign country, constant legal struggle over staying here (wherever we stay, at least one of us needs a visa and until we get married it cannot be changed). It only adds to the financial stuggles, problems with establishing a satisfying social life an a career.

    We definitely had to sacrifice a lot. I don’t want to list all the stuff here, but one of the most important (and traumatic too, I think) are A.’s leaving India “for good” and my serious deterioration of career prospects.

    I don’t care what others think about it though. I realized quite early on, that for people who have never experienced similar type of difficulties it is almost impossible to express minimal empathy.

    I don’t regret anything. I think it’s always like this in life, that we are blessed with a few positives and cursed with a few negatives. Everything cannot be always perfect. Life is surely harder, but still worth it.

  6. KC says:

    I needed to read this tonight. Thanks for writing it. I have been feeling rather impatient lately and tired of feeling like our future depends on so many factors out of our control. I feel like it’s one giant waiting game…and while Simba is definitely worth it, that doesn’t change the feelings of frustration. This made me feel at least a little less alone.

  7. synthesizedlove says:

    Hello, my name is Marissa and I’m a new blogger. We seem to be in a similar situation with visas. I cried when I read this post, because I could relate to it so much that I almost felt like I wrote it. It’s good to be reminded that I’m not alone, although I certainly wouldn’t wish this on anyone! I’m sorry that you have to go through this, and I really hope that everything works out for you and Rabindra.

  8. Marissa says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to comment from WordPress! Just to clarify, my blog is on Blogspot. Still figuring this whole blog thing out.

  9. Sam says:

    Hey:). once again a great post.. I can use all the above given points when I am feeling down. The acceptance that Life is going to be different maybe solves a lot of things. Constant comparison with friends, the fact that their life could have been mine and would have been smooth – some really difficult emotions.

  10. Tegan says:

    Hi Casey,
    Thanks so much for sharing this post. It almost felt like I was reading my own words. It’s calming to realise that you’re not the only person in the world feeling these things. I think I’ll have to start my own blog, too! I’m a 22yo Aussie who married my Pakistani husband a year and a half ago, after only a few months of knowing each other. We’ve been through a lot and we’re about to go through a whole lot more.
    I don’t tend to explain to people further than “We love each other” when they query our relationship or sacrifices it appears we’ve made, they don’t seem to understand much beyond that. Yes it can be tough, but why should it be easy? Life probably isn’t supposed to follow the path we set out for ourselves when we were in high school. Heck, that’d be boring and way too easy.
    I’d like to share a couple of my favourite quotes. One from the protagonist Richard, from The Beach, “And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.” and another from a letter to Muhammad Ali Jinnah (founder of Pakistan) from his wife, on her death bed, “I have suffered much, sweetheart, because I have loved much. The measure of my agony has been in accord to the measure of my love.”.

  11. Pingback: The long story- from Australia to Nepal (part 1) | white girl in a sari

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