Donde pongo el ojo pongo la bala.
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Home is where the… wife feels professionally fulfilled?

After two weeks of interpreting at conferences in Cancun, I finally flew back on a basically empty plane last Friday. (Click image for larger view.)

I think there were maybe 20 of us on that flight, which makes me wonder how JetBlue is able to afford the fuel and the salaries on flights that open. It was just as well that there was no one around, though, I was kind of “in a mood”.

George and Justin (our Aussie houseguest turned house-sitter who came to us via CouchSurfing) picked me up for a night on the town before heading home. I was kind of quiet and cranky on the drive to Merritt Island, and I didn’t really know what was wrong with me… until I saw the sign for exit 49, the first on 528 for Merritt Island.

I kind of lost it when I realized we really were approaching the suburbs. After many tears, much talk, and a bit of tea and perspective, I (we?) came to a lot of realizations.

I’m not entirely happy in the suburbs. (There’s a shocker!) While I don’t mean to be ungrateful (George is an amazing husband, we have a lovely and spacious home that allows us to have guests whenever we like, etc.), for me, quality of life outweighs material goods. Spending two weeks in Cancun near my family, in a location right in the middle of the action, with weather ever more delicious than the weather here, the food I grew up on, and a steady flow of work, I was kind of dreading coming back. My mom and I even made silly excuses for reasons why I should change my ticket — the only thing that kept me from going through with it was missing G.

I guess I had never realized how important interpreting actually is to me. I love using all of my mental resources every second I’m live. I love that giddy feeling of knowing exactly what term to use before the speaker even says it. I love having to cram and learn new vocabulary for each event: today I am an expert in rheumatology, tomorrow I will be an expert in medical devices, and the day after, an IT expert. I get to wear all those different hats, I get to be a specialist in a field for a day. Maybe this is why actors love their craft so much. This is my craft; this is what I have consciously prepared myself for my entire adult life, and unconsciously my entire life, period. All of those different countries I lived in, all of those cultures I had to learn and understand, all of the inside jokes I had to decipher? It all makes sense, it was all worth it, if what I’m doing with my time is interpreting.

It’s strange — I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a housewife or a stay-at-home mom, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using the skills I’ve acquired to teach or to translate documents from my desk at home. It’s just not, for lack of a better term, my bliss. Interpreting is.

The conclusion we’ve reached is that there will be a lot of changes this year. And while I’m not ready to talk about the specifics and there will be a lot of work to be done to get to those changes, I think I feel a lot better being aware of exactly how I feel… and feeling supported and like it’s OK that I’m not happy being a mediocre version of myself.