Thursday, March 27, 2008

Schedule Changes

Corey has been on a new regimen. Never in our relationship has he been on a regimen at all, so to even have one is a new thing. This regimen involves discipline, homework, and lots of bike riding. A typical day looks like this: he gets up by 7 at the latest. He does homework a bit, reads the New York Times, and is out the door by 8:30 (approximately when I wake up). Many days he rides his bike to and from work, which means he gets up at 6 to leave around 730.

He works all day, then either goes to class or comes right home to do homework. Tired, full of knowledge, he goes to bed around 930 (approximately when I get home from work/class). We haven't swept our hardwood floors, dusted, mopped, or otherwise taken care of our home since February. The laundry piles spew down the stairs and we are running out of Ziploc bags to pack lunches. I'll tell him to stop and get some Friday night when I see him next.

I have mentioned before how lonely and difficult it is to not see my husband awake. Some evenings I stare at him while he sleeps until he starts in with the sleep talking. Then I just roll over and repeat: This all ends in five weeks. How is it that I feel so separated from the man who uprooted his life and moved out here with me? The man who left behind New York City bagels in exchange for Tram's Kitchen? What is he thinking about while he dreams as I do homework?

My distance from him is really the hardest part of graduate school, and these last few months, when Corey has been in a groove, have been the hardest of all. What happened to the man who stayed up until 5am the night before a project? Who is this person with study skills who does his homework gradually throughout the week? I don't know if I like this new person, because I haven't gotten to spend any time with him.

I don't understand how couples operate in long distance relationships. I also don't understand why people go back and do more graduate school after they finish the first time around. When I got home tonight at 11, he had been in bed for a long time. This time he forgot to leave the porch light on for me and the door was locked, too. I had to fumble my way indoors in the dark.


east side girl said...

Oh my goodness, this post made my heart ache for you!
Being apart (whether you're separated by distance or differing schedules) can be really hard, but I really believe it's one of the things that can help make a relationship stronger. It kind of forces you into a state of independence you wouldn't normally seek out. It forces you to really look at how you can continue to function as a unit, even when you're NOT a unit in the traditional sense of the word. When Spiceboy and I have to spend long stretches of time apart, that's when I usually get the saddest (and bitchiest toward him!). But I usually try to step back and ask myself: "Okay, how can we best get through this? He really needs me right now, so how can I be of the best help to him?" And when he's away, he tries to do the same for me.
When I get really lonely and frustrated, I try to think think about how we're making the relationship work instead of dwelling on the fact that we have no time together. I remind myself that even though we're not always together, or even in sync, we're ALWAYS a team--that's what we took our wedding vows for, and that's what we work toward every day.

You guys seem really strong, and this is only a temporary situation. I hope you're feeling better soon!

Also? I swear I like the food at Tram's kitchen better than any of the Vietnamese I've had here in NYC!

Take care,
East Side Girl

Emily said...

aw Katy. It'll be over soon and you can meet your new hubby!!

freya said...

I hear ya. Try being the wife of a law student. "This all ends in 6 semesters...5 semesters..." Well, we're down to 2 1/2! There is a light!
It sucks, no doubt, but all I can think is it's better than the 9 months apart while studying abroad. At least I can give (and receive) unconscious kisses.

P said...

Great comment, east side girl.

Anonymous said...

seeing a few of my colleagues go through what you described makes me wonder how i would ever maintain a relationship while in grad i applaud you for that. i can barely take care of myself.

it was so awesome to see you last week. i am going to be in PA for most of the summer, i'm gonna try to make it out there again!