It’s time for me to write that overdue post on how things have changed drastically, luckily not dramatically, and I have been writing this in my mind for three months now, I guess.
Well, it might look a tiny little bit crazy for all those who do not have the slightest idea of what happened lately in my life.
So, let’s start at when the changes finally came. It was in April this year that I started to work as an interpreter at Ai Weiwei’s art projects in Trancoso, Bahia. There were two big projects in total and each of them had their own interpreter. It was a five week job for me, receiving only one visit in the beginning by my partner.
Trancoso lies at the beach and me and my translator colleague managed to sometimes get up around 6 am in the morning to get a swim before heading into the forests, where our projects would take place. That’s such a nice thing to do, heading early in the morning to the beach and just swim in the warm Baiano water. It was very relaxing. It gives you a glimpse of freedom, too.
Working with Chinese and Brazilians was a great experience, especially because the Chinese colleagues were not who you’d usually meet on such jobs. I learned a lot! I learned from all the circumstances. Interpreting in such a project is much more than just translating words. You transmit culture, lend an ear towards problems, and you role up your sleeves when something needs special attention.
Often I summarize it like that: I did my job and everybody respected me and took my opinion into account. Even though I was working in Sao Paulo and always had a good reputation in my job, I did not get that kind of recognition at home. I was never doing something “well” enough. To me the opinion of my partner mattered by then, even if I tried to ignore it, it got to me all the time. So, I got back home after five weeks of Trancoso, feeling very strong and positive. I even prepared dinner that day. Something I had done less and less in the relationship, because I also had not done it ‘good enough’.
While working away from home, I managed to see clearer through my relationship, mainly by encountering someone else who was in an emotionally manipulative relationship, too. And he was yet at an early point, but I recognized myself in him. I knew, I thought and behaved like this young man some years ago. Whether right or not, I started helping him to get another perspective on situations, to build up his self-confidence. And this act helped me to be able to be truly honest to myself and to be honest about our relationship problems, and therefore I had made a clear decision to not want to have a child ‘with’ my husband. There were many things not working out and it would have been just crazy to bring a child between us. We had tried for three years though one could say and the topic itself is very complicated when pressure becomes part of the equation. I mention this after dinner and what happens next is that we decide to split up and it was about time, since we were both not living a healthy relationship. That’s the keyword: healthy relationship. That’s something to achieve and maintain.
It took me two years to get to that point. Two years in which I had tried to solve things by therapy, couples therapy, talking … . Those two years had such a tough impact on our happiness because after opening your eyes, you can never really get back to ‘innocent’ again. Either you manage to work on the issues together or time will tear you apart. And it is Ok when it does. Otherwise you would become one of those long term couples where one is always walking far ahead of the other. Yes! That’s never a nice thing to see!
So, how does a break-up of a ten year long relationship (seven years of marriage) feel? In the beginning I felt relieved. Meditation practices, transactional analysis and my natural optimism helped me to keep my eyes open to reality and to not panic in the time where we had to decide together on certain things, such as living in the house together for a while or not. Who takes care of the cat and until when? These and other matters that can be a problem for many separating couples. But when you manage to calm down yourself, they do not become problems.
I knew by then, that I could not have left sooner. I had not analyzed our problems from a realistic perspective yet and I was not strong enough either. I did not have control enough over my reactions and we could say, I had no control over my feelings.
How does it feel now? Well, just like the title says: It’s not always easy, and that’s OK, too! There will be another post coming up these days to talk about the things that have happened since that day in the end of May.