I've been a bad wife this week. No, not in the sexy naughty way. Like in the unfun bitchy way. I don't know what's gotten into me. Maybe it's a combination of PMS and just general life stress? I feel so dumb even calling it that. Yeah, life stress from the girl who's bumming around in Southern California (75 degress today) and needs to do a couple returns at Nordstrom tomorrow while her iPad 2 is being repaired. Ugggghhhh I suck I suck I suck.

I've been a bad wife this week, and it's because we're in limbo. That lovely graduated-but-jobless limbo. It would be a lot less daunting if we had any leads or connections, but we don't. We're going about things the old-fashioned way. None of this graduate-and-work-for-your-dad-slash-spouse's-dad business. If I have this conversation one more time, I'm going to go postal:

"You just came back from . . . Israel, right?"

"Well, we were only there for twelve days. We spent four months in Jordan."

"Oh! That must have been a great experience. Were you ever scared being there?"


"Oh, good. I've heard all those Muslims just want to kill you. Did you pick up a little bit of the language or anything?"

"Um, that's why I went there."

"Wow! Can you like read and write in Arabic, too?"

"Yeah." [In my head: I sure hope so! I only learned how to do that two years ago.]

"That's great, great. Sooooo what's your next step?"

"Not a clue."


"We don't know."

"What do you mean?"

[In my head: Right now Plan A is to bum around at my parents' house in Colorado until we find something somewhere. Scratch that: Anything, anywhere. Because despite 6+ years of college each, we have NO IDEA WHAT WE WANT. Plan B is to get on "The Amazing Race" and kick adult responsibilities down the road even further. There is no Plan C. We'd love to spend more time in school waiting out this recession with Master's degrees, but neither of us know what we'd want to study in the first place. And you know what's making all this even better? Getting asked this question for the 300th time. So thank you, person, for reminding me that in spite of all the hard work my husband and I did in college to NOT have the job prospects of art history majors, we have the job prospects of art history majors. Now, please excuse me while I go drown my sorrows in the pint of Baskin Robbins ice cream that my mother-in-law bought for me today after I accidentally snarfed down half of Brock's double-double at In-N-Out before realizing the extra patty in there. Which, of course, will only add to the eight pounds I gained in the Middle East eating !#$*&% falafel and lamb 24/7 in an effort to hone language skills that would set me apart in a workforce that BLOWS because your generation bought mortgages they couldn't afford. Maybe if they hadn't, I wouldn't have felt inclined to drag my husband across two continents over the course of eight months to improve my job now-non-existent job prospects. So yeah, I've got a bigger ass, a smaller bank account, and a guest bedroom at my parents' house. Any other questions, Curious George?]

You know what all this feels like? It feels like a Mormon wedding night. You've been so good and followed all the rules, so the payoff should come easy and be awesome. But in reality, you finally get to the hotel room and are confused as hell.

We speak foreign languages. We did internships. We were involved in extra-curricular activities. We are both good writers. We're gregarious. We're honest. We carefully crafted our time in college--majors, minors, everything--to make us competitive in the work force. We did everything right.

Didn't we?

The worst thing about having no idea what you want is worrying that you're missing opportunities. Brock comes at me with all these great ideas of what to do with his life and I just shoot them down because, for some reason, they don't fall in line with what I think he should be doing. And don't ask me what that is, because I don't know. Remember that episode of Modern Family when Phil accuses Claire of crushing his creativity and squandering his life's potential as a result? I'm so worried that I am that wife. I'm worried because sometimes I look at myself and all that Brock has to deal with and I legitimately think that he would be better off without me. DANG IT whyyyy does that have to sound so melodramatic when I mean it so much???? (Not like quadruple y's and !'s helped my cause there.)

The hard thing about marriage--or at least a marriage where neither partner has a defined career path--is that you're not just worrying about yourself finding work. You're not just worrying about your spouse finding work. You worry about how your actions, choices, and behaviors are affecting two destinies.

Why can't somebody just give me the answers so I can go back to being a nice wife again? So we can figure out where to move and I can end my eight-month streak of living out of a suitcase? So I can buy a gym membership? So we can actually think about when to start having kids instead of it being some amorphous box on a future to-do list? So we can know which church ward to cut our tithing checks to? So we can be us again?


  1. You can always come do some humanitarian thing in the horn of Africa. I know some people you could stay with...

  2. I know this is slightly awkward cause I don't know you and hardly know Brock anymore but if Phoenix sounds the least bit intriguing (unlikely considering your travels recently!) I have lots of family out here with many connections.
    It was this time last year my husband and I were in your boat (minus the fancy vacations and use of large words in blog posts) so I know the frustration in the "we need something! But not just anything!!!!!" feeling.

    In fact, my brother is pretty prominent at Argosy University and could not only possibly get you or Brock a job there but if one or both of you work there, you and your spouse get free schooling (a.k.a. master's degrees).... it might be under your league but I just thought i'd throw it out there.


  3. "Don't ask yourself what you should DO. Simply do what makes you come alive. Because that's what the world needs most...more people who can come alive." - (Paraphrased from a really, really smart person who said this long ago and whose name escapes me)

    You have the exuberance, the smarts, and the guts to tackle anything in this world. The world needs people like you and Brock in it. The confusion is part of the process. A path will emerge. You'll see.

  4. Kristi,
    I totally hear you on the "But I did everything right!" front. I spent much of last semester freaking out about what I was doing with my life, applying to any development job I could find that I might be remotely qualified for (which was met with deafening silence on almost all accounts, btw) and panicing because I wasn't applying to grad schools (better luck next year?). I felt continually taunted by a hideous question mark looming over my future that screamed, "Little-Miss-Always-Has-a-Plan, guess what? You don't know what the crap you're doing!" at all hours of the night. I was so frustrated and so stressed, heck I'm certain if I had a husband I'd of been a hell of a lot worse of a wife than you feel like you've been. I just kept thinking, "But I did everything right! I worked with professors, I interviewed village chiefs in the bush in Mali when I was 19-freaking-years-old, I did my own research project in GHANA, I interned in DC, I'm smart, I can write, I'm graduating with a 3.9--I even TAed for a class I WAS TAKING." Whenever there was a glimmer of hope and it seemed like something was going to work out everything would crumble to pieces. Even now, my plans are only temporary (through May) and after that I'll likely be thrown back into the awfulness of trying to find a freaking job. I hear you, girl. It blows.

    That said, as horrible and stressful as it is, you WILL figure things out. The Lord loves you and Brock and He knows you two have worked your little booties off. Things *will* work out. He trusts you--just keep trusting Him.

  5. Plan C: make sushi? Not the solution to every problem, but at least you'll have sushi.

  6. Kristi, I'm sure you never get this but can you like read and write in Arabic?

    Serious note: ND has an abundance of jobs and I'm here. Just saying.


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