How green is that grass?
It’s my wedding anniversary today and I just don’t care.
I used to be a die-hard romantic. I believed in soul mates, love at first sight, happily ever after, and all that hokey shit. I remember looking around and wondering when the hell everyone else had paired up and what I had done to miss the boat. I remember being 30 and living in Santa Monica single and hating every moment of dating. Marriage seemed like a state of bliss beyond reach.
Now, here I am married. And it all feels rather underwhelming. I care more about the state of my career than I do about the fact that I have a husband. It isn’t an accomplishment to be married and I remember feeling strange when people would say congratulations when they found out I was engaged.
I do love my husband.
But I feel like in the process I’ve lost my sense of self.
And I’m very unhappy.
I wish my husband was happy in his career — because then at least I would feel like one of us was making it. But we live in a place where unless you’re a billionaire, you’re a nobody. A town where the millionaires are the norm and if you’re annual earnings are less than $275,000 then you’re below middle class.
I started looking for work in London, UK. I just wanted to get up and start fresh. I found the ideal job which would pay a comfortable enough salary — it was a job I had turned down 6 years ago and I knew the experience I had accrued over the years would make me a blind shoe-in. I had aced the interviews the first time around when I had applied straight out of college, and now surely it would be a walk in the park. Excited at the prospect of moving, I had that moment of giddiness which was certainly smacked down by the reality that they now wanted 15 years experience for the role. A role which I knew I could do with my eyes closed.
And so I felt that twinge of melancholia. Until I had to remind myself that I was piss depressed when I lived in Cambridge with its bleak, dismal days of grey skies and dreary rain. Back then, the idea of living in California was a dream amongst dreams. And here I was trying to escape the Golden State because I felt disillusioned.
But I don’t think it’s a place I’m trying to run away from. I think it’s myself. I’m writing to you from Ann Arbor, Michigan right now. The grass is such a lush verdant green, and the trees are so bounteous you feel at peace simply driving through the town. Alas, when you walk through downtown Ann Arbor, it’s overridden by college kids. The food is overhyped and underdelivers. Oh yes, and I also have 62 members of my in-laws who live here. They’re lovely people but I need my space. I’m a bit of a curmudgeon at heart.
I have all the space in the world in Silicon Valley — except I feel lonely and isolated.
So Flora, when you describe the serene, calm and beautiful landscapes, I understand the loneliness. I have to tell you though — having a man in your life won’t necessarily fill that void. Marriage doesn’t absolve me of my inner demons. And so I find myself looking in the rearview mirror, trying to find that place that made me happy again.