Wednesday, January 22, 2014

An Extreme Extrovert and Grad Student Widowhood

I feel like I haven't had a whole lot to blog about lately. I could blame that on myself, and how I haven't gotten out of the house a lot recently, but that's not true; I get out plenty.

More likely, I think that I'm just bummed a little that I've been alone a lot over the past few weeks. Matt's finishing up the final bits of his research that he needs in order to write his dissertation. He's chugging along on that paper and prepping to defend it. In between those, he's applying and interviewing for jobs.

Meanwhile, I go to networking socials and church events and club meetings because I'm an extreme extrovert and need the social interaction. But afterward, I come home alone, have dinner alone, and then Elliott sits on my lap and we watch re-runs of Friends, or I putz around the house or work on projects until Matt comes home from work.

I've always imagined myself as this independent, feminist, I-can-do-it-all-myself, don't-need-a-man-to-make-me-happy type of girl. Matt wasn't around for the majority of our first years together, since we lived in different states, and I got used to filling my schedule, finding others to fill that emotional need I had to connect with people day in and day out. I was always surrounded by friends so I never had time to feel lonely.

But real life is not like college life. I don't have people to distract me all the time anymore. I fill my social calendar as much as possible, but still find these moments where it's just me and Elliott, alone. I feel way too dependent on other people for my happiness. Maybe that was true in college too, and I just never thought about it.

But I can't ask any more of Matt. He's already doing so much. He goes to work early and comes home from work late, trying to get everything done so he can graduate. He's still involved in a lot of things, and he volunteers, and soon he'll be teaching a class on top of everything else.

And I will still be around when it has all blown over and the diploma is hanging on the wall.

This is what it's like being married to a grad student in his last semester. And this, too, shall pass.


  1. It must be really hard being a grad student widow. I told you about my friend with three kids, and her husband just graduated, too. She was pregnant during his last semester and had the two older children, and I know it was hard. I always joke that I'm a brew widow, because Ryan works with his beer stuff all the time, too. Maybe once Matt finds a job, things will settle down and you'll see more of him.

    1. I don't know how grad students with kids do it. It just sounds so much harder, and I am in awe of those who do it.

  2. Oh man, I remember those days. We never saw each other. It was tough. Hang in there. It will get better so soon. And then, maybe you guys can take a trip together. "cough" California "cough" Just sayin'

  3. Those seasons where you seemingly never get to see each other seem to come every once in a while! I swear I felt like a widow during my first year of marriage because I had a college days schedule and Angel worked 12 hour night shifts. And I went to lots of parties (including a Valentine's Day party) single, even though I was married. It's a bummer when you can't actually be around each other, but like you said, it's not forever!

  4. Stay strong, it will all be worth it in the end and you'll be a stronger couple for going through it together!