Monday, October 14, 2013

Where is your husband in all this?

Hi. I'm Firefly Girl.

About two years ago I decided I wanted to learn how to be a yoga instructor. At first I thought this dream would never happen because even though I love practicing yoga, I didn't think I was good enough to take the training to become an instructor. I talked myself out of signing up for courses because I thought I needed to be stronger and be able to at least do an unsupported handstand or side crow first. Even though I discouraged myself from trying, this dream didn't go away. I talked about it with some of my favorite teachers and they all encouraged me to go for it. It's what's in your heart that counts, they said.

So, two years later, I've signed up for a training program that is even more wonderful and exciting than anything I imagined for myself those years ago: I'll be spending 4 weeks at an intensive training course in Bali this fall/winter. I'll be living in a hotel that overlooks a rice paddy and is around the corner from a monkey forest. Sometimes I can't believe that I'm actually lucky enough to get to do this. And yet one annoying question keeps popping up:

"Where is your husband in all this?"

First I would like to comment on the embedded sexism in this question. My husband travels regularly for his work, sometimes months at a time, sometimes to dangerous places, and no one, once, has ever asked me where I am in all that. I guess it's just assumed that men can go wherever they want, whenever they want, and a woman will, naturally, be supportive. But heaven forbid a woman decide she wants to go on an adventure because it blows people's minds and the gossip starts.

Second I would like to comment on what I think that question implies. I can only come up with two interpretations: did you get his permission, and/or, is there trouble brewing in your marriage that you're running away from?

[Note: to those who have asked what he's going to be doing while I'm there or asked how he's doing in general...that's totally different and I always appreciate friends asking about his well-being. It's something about the tone of the previous question that implied a nosiness or a disapproval that didn't sit right with me.]

Neither my husband nor I have lived what most people would call conventional lives before we met and got married. We both crave adventure and we've been all over the world. Now that we're married, I guess most people expect us to settle down like Ward and June because that's what people do?

Well, that's not us. And that doesn't mean that we don't figure out things together, even if what we figure out doesn't match the standard American plan.

So to anyone who might still be wondering where my husband is in all this, here's the answer that will have to suffice:

I'm afraid that's none of your business.

Love and light,
Firefly Girl