The scale of opportunity

More blog-searching today (and somehow this is a productive day at work) and I found a “trailing spouse” blog, albeit an expat* one.  She doesn’t like the term trailing spouse either**, but her blog is endlessly positive:

As a trailing spouse, identity can be a tough thing (because if you’re like me, that last thing you want to be called is a “trailing spouse”). But if the career you had before isn’t going to work out abroad (or you lose yours via a layoff like me), maybe there’s something else you’d love to do and try. Maybe, in fact, this is your big opportunity for that something you used to put on hold. 

Chantal at One Big Yodel 

I don’t want my opportunity, a positive thing, tinged with the fact that I only have it because it’s the consolation prize for having no control***.  Here’s my internalized misogyny (it’s just popping up way too much this week) again, in that I can’t see my worth if I didn’t come to it myself, as if taking that opportunity is just backsliding into a dependent female role. I don’t, however, feel this way when it comes to education.  If J was working and I was going back to school or taking classes in whatever field I settle on, that feels ok. But if it’s to start an Etsy or make Halloween costumes (traditionally female pursuits) it’s not.  See what I did there?  Thanks world.  You’ve made me a woman-hater.

How do I cleanse my mind of these tendencies?  I feel fucked all-around.  And I haven’t even touched upon the stink of privilege in all this.

*I’m more interested in domestic relocation.
**Yeah, I changed my title again, because no one’s going to find this blog otherwise.
***I’m speaking for myself, not Chantal.  She has her shit together.

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2 Comments on “The scale of opportunity”

  1. freeze-dried says:

    You already know this, but as a trailing / traveling spouse, I've had to grapple with the same questions. (And since I'm nowhere as awesomely creative as you, my angst was about keeping house and elevating laundry to high art.)I find that it helps to think of what you are doing as a question of prioritizing (as you've said in one of your snow-day posts). Like, for me, knowing that I don't want a long distance relationship with P (right up there on my priority list) helps mitigate some of the stress of constantly re-arranging the things I do. But continuing a conversation from sometime ago – it is terrible that we (as women, specifically) are pushed into fighting for the difference between trailing as a "naturalized" idea and trailing as a matter of choice.

  2. a. b. says:

    I need to add another thought on this, that I couldn't articulate when talking to a friend earlier. I understand how lucky I am, and know if I had the opportunity to do whatever I wanted, that would be a very good thing. What bothers me is that I want to earn my opportunities. I don't want to be a person who had everything* given to her by luck of the draw. Is that also selfish and short-sighted?*Speaking in a future tense, as none of this has happened and might never happen.


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