By Terin Marlae Benavente | Featured Contributor
Last night, my husband and I snuck outside for a brief yet quiet moment of solitude. Oh, how we long for the days where our conversations were not rushed and now, even demanded at times. We love our children dearly but until the pandemic hit, never knew how much we cherish our alone time. Even for myself. Especially now, I find it even difficult to find enough quiet time to write this article without, “MOM! He’s being mean to me!” or “MOM, where are my shoes?!” Seriously, I had barely written a paragraph before that started. As a SAHM/homeschool teacher/graduate student/writer and blogger, I have found it to be incredibly difficult juggling all of these things at once.
During this conversation, we talked about my husband’s dreams for the future and his fear of changing careers. I could tell by his mannerisms not long before he went outside alone that something was bothering him. He and I talk of these things often, as it seems to be a rite of passage that once you hit your mid-30’s and become quarantined in a pandemic, self-reflection is a must. You see, this year’s turn of events has been disastrous and has caused issues for millions of people around the world, our own family included.
My husband lost his job just a few short months ago and was “forced” to take a job well beneath his ability and pay scale. While I am grateful for the opportunity, I can’t help but wonder: Will his dream of becoming a doctor ever become a reality? And if so, is it really just in due time?
What many people do not know is that growing up, my husband had a very difficult life. Born into poverty and raised in a completely different society than where we live now, he and I lived in two unique, yet different worlds. Unfortunately, he grew up with a rather skewed perspective on life, having been on the receiving end of years of prejudice, racism, hunger, self-doubt, and more. I, on the other hand, grew up in the exact opposite. Much if not all of my life was spent with very little struggle, as I was born into a rather “normal” suburban white family. Where every holiday and birthday was celebrated, everyone at school treated you as their friend, and never once was I made to feel “different” or “less” than anyone else. I was happy.
I grew up in a world that, to some, would be considered a ‘white privilege’ world. Where opportunities came with ease while he (still to this day), misses out on opportunities simply because of the color of his skin. While I wish I could say I understand his struggle, I honestly cannot. To me, this is what hurts the most. I, as his wife, maybe a little biased but have always seen his potential to succeed in life (even when he himself could not see it). For twenty-one years now, I have been by his side as I myself have witnessed the hate, abuse, racism, and betrayal he has felt since the day he was born.
Now, more than ever, he has begun to struggle with self-doubt and occasional bouts of anxiety. Living in a pandemic and caring for a family of five can do that to you, let me tell you. As his wife, I have always felt it is my duty to support him, love him, and provide him the reassurance he needs to keep moving forward, especially on days when he feels he cannot.
- Your future belongs to you, and you only. Do not let anyone else dictate the outcome.
- While things may seem difficult now, rest assured it will not last forever.
- What is meant for you will always find its way. As in, do not worry over things not meant for you. Often, closed doors happen for better things to come along.
- Rest assured our job as parents are not to dictate the outcome of our children’s lives, but rather to guide them into it. What is meant for them will be as well.
- Be true to who you are and change for no one. If you meet a person who thinks you aren’t “enough”, walk away. These people were not meant to be in your life.
As I held his hand and we sat quietly in the dark, I hoped that however short our conversation may have been, my words somehow calmed and eased my husband’s fears and frustration. If only for a moment. Even then, we can always try again tomorrow.
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