Monday, June 27, 2016

Merging Cultures

This month is my wedding anniversary month. You know what they say about June Brides.
Hubby and I have been together for quite a while. We’re coming up on a decade, which is crazy to think. I’ve spent close to a third of my life married to him. I’m not complaining. I like it a lot.

But after all that time, I guess I assumed that we’ve adapted to one another enough that we don’t get surprised. Yes, I was that na├»ve.

Recently, we had something come up that really made me realize how different we really are. I have a CNA at work who’s Bolivian, and we tease him a lot because his favorite phrase is “It’s okay.” About everything. He’s so easygoing that he really lives that way. Nothing ruffles him, nothing stresses him.
My husband is the same way. It really should be his motto too: “It’s okay.”

I don’t live that way. I get stressed a lot, and I’m a perfectionist. Okay isn’t good enough for me. It needs to be right, and it needs to be planned and prepared. Usually, my uptight manner doesn’t clash with his easygoing one too much. Then there are moments when they explode into something we can barely contain.

Recently, we had his cousin and his best friend over for a visit, and I realized all of them were the same way. They were able to go with the flow, adjust without sweating it. I’m sure it’s part of their culture, where they understand that they can’t control everything. In fact, that’s something my husband has to remind me more often than he should. In the US, we’re so focused on getting things done, on staying busy. We don’t really stop to relax, not like we should.

On our first date, he took me to a park. It was fall, and all of the leaves have changed color, and the ones on the ground crunched under our feet. After a little while, he grabbed my hand and asked me where we were going. I was surprised. I hadn’t really thought about it.

“I don’t know,” I said.

He gave me a sweet smile and asked, “Then can we slow down and just enjoy it?”

I’m glad I have someone who’s willing to teach me to enjoy life. Our differences in culture and background makes us a stronger couple, especially when we can find a way to make them work together.