It’s a Busy Time for Us

Hello out there! It’s been quite a while, you guys. This post is more of an update post than a multicultural issue.

I’ve been contemplating what to post next for quite a while now, but haven’t been able to nail any whole ideas down. My focus recently has been more on the “marriage” and “job” aspects of my life than on the “multicultural” aspect. We’ve been growing as a couple quite a lot over the last while and I haven’t really taken the time to reflect on it and put anything into a post.

The biggest thing going on for us right now is B’s green card application process. We have gotten the paperwork almost completed and plan on mailing it in this coming up week. Why did we wait so long after being married to apply for his green card, you ask? Well, because that was not on our list of top priorities. When we got married, our reason for getting married was so we could be married… not so we could use our marriage to help get B permanent resident status. Is that surprising to you? It is to certain people for sure.

When we talk with people, whether it’s friends, new acquaintances, or coworkers, about the fact that I’m an American and he’s an Indian, people always seem to expect that we would have immediately applied for his green card after being married. Like they think that’s just the way it works. You meet someone from another country, you fall in love, you get married, you apply for their green card. Whatever.

Some people also seem to be a little suspicious of our motives for getting married, like they think they know anything about us. It makes me angry that anyone would assume they know anything about our motives for getting married. Are two people from the same country ever questioned about their motives for getting married? No one from the US would question a fellow American couple, “But why did you choose to marry anĀ American?” Can’t we just be married because we love each other and could not picture living life without the other one? Geez. It’s like people automatically feel like they have the right to butt into our private life just because we were born in two different spots on the globe.

The other thing going on for me personally is trying to decide what steps to take next, job-wise. I’ve enjoyed working at my current job and I really believe in what the organization is doing. The only problem is that I have a degree in something pretty different than what my job is. I want to find some way to get into more things that line up with my creative, visually-oriented skill set and interests. I’d also like to volunteer at the place where I currently work because it’s a nonprofit. I’ve been researching what kinds of jobs are available in my area that would be a better fit for me. I’ve been getting my website and portfolio ready to show again. Hopefully something good will work out!

The last thing I’ll write about today is how my relationship with my parents has been changing. Since I just turned 24 (!) and I’ve been married for over a year, I’ve been having more of an adult relationship with my parents and it is pretty fun. My mom and I have had some conversations on topics we had not had before. And we’ve been realizing even more that we can be pretty good friends. We’re able to relate to each other in new ways these days and I’m loving it. It’s the same with my dad. It’s a genuinely fun time in my life in those regards.

So basically, real life has caught up with me recently. I’ve been growing up and embracing real adult life, slowly but surely. I’m being challenged and encouraged and I’m growing a lot. I’m thankful for all the people who are in my life and thankful also for the ones who have left. Now is the time I’m focusing on getting to where I need to be, on many different levels.

And since I logged in today and looked at my archives on my sidebar, I realized this blog is a whole year old! It does not seem like it’s been a year since I started sharing my thoughts on what it’s like to be in a multicultural life! Thanks to all of you readers who have told me how much you enjoy my posts. I’m happy to have the opportunity to share my life with you and (hopefully) inspire you to step outside your comfort zone!

Birthday!

My birthday was yesterday, but I’m still young enough not to feel sad about growing a year older! I share my birthday with one of my Indian friends and my great aunt, so October 14th is a pretty special day.

Unfortunately, our big day fell on a Sunday this year, so celebrating long into the night wasn’t really an option for those of us who had work the next day. But we still had fun and were able to enjoy the time with each other and our friends.

I was in for a surprise, however, when it came to the cake. At a typical American birthday party/celebration (at least as far as I know), the scene looks like this:

  1. The people invited show up on time at the pre-determined location.
  2. The birthday person greets everyone, chit-chat and laughter ensue.
  3. Eventually it is time for the cake. The cake is brought out, candles are lit, and the birthday person blows out the candles while making a secret wish.
  4. Cake is sliced in perfect slices and handed out to everyone.
  5. They eat cake, talk and laugh, and maybe eat more cake. The end.

Is that how this particular birthday celebration went? Um, no. This particular birthday celebration with my Indian friends was not like this at all. It was more like this:

  1. A few people showed up at the guys’ apartment on time. Most seemed to be on what we call IST. Most people would think this acronym stands for “Indian Standard Time” but they are wrong. It really stands for “Indian Stretchable Time”. So basically, almost everyone was late. This was fine. I’m used to this by now.
  2. The birthday boy and myself were congratulated by everyone and chit-chat and laughter ensued.
  3. Time for the cake came. This cake looked SO good. It was a three-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate ganache. It was beautiful. It wasn’t a plain, cheap sheet cake, for sure.
  4. The birthday boy and myself stood together with the cake for a few photos and then we cut into it. We were fed a bite of cake by our friends and we fed our friends a bite, too. (This is another thing I don’t understand, but I just went with it). AND THEN…
  5. There was a handful of cake smushed in my face! Then another. Then some frosting. And apparently this is normal. After the birthday people were attacked, a full fledged cake-smushing-in-the-face fight began. There was cake everywhere. And the guys’ apartment had beige carpet.
  6. After things calmed down, I was allowed to go wash the cake off my face. I wondered why I even put make-up on. Then we ate what was left of the cake, drank a beer, and laughed and danced until Sunday the 13th turned into Monday the 14th.

I had a great time, don’t get me wrong. It was just not how I’m used to celebrating. I’ve never had a chocolate cake facial on my birthday until this year. But really, thanks guys! It was a great time, as always. This was probably the most fun birthday I’ve had since my 16th, and that was a long time ago!

But now I know, I will not be hosting a birthday party with any Indians at my house unless I have hardwood floors.