Something truly wonderful happened to me, and the reason I know that is because my heart is heavy now. When something uplifting happens just like this insightful and warm conversation I have had on Saturday evening, only later we notice how much we were in the moment, and experiencing human connection.
This is the type of connection I have been looking for. A way into my new family, the one I married into. And the way I notice it is that finally somebody asked me about me, and actually listened. It wasn’t to make small talk or a polite question, but more than that. And I have to mention here that politeness doesn’t run in the family. It is more like information exchange, and not much to do with an actual interest in me or anyone else for that matter. Even though I should be at least some kind of concern. That also shows the status my husband has in the family. If he had any type of importance in terms of hierarchy, his choice would draw interest in me – naturally.
Well, that has not happened yet, even though it is getting to five years that we have been together. And because we don’t often see the family it is also a question to use the time when we are actually sitting around a dinner table. The conversations I have hoped for never happened. Up until this Saturday evening. I have had a glorious day full of art, love, good conversations, delicious cakes, and even enough time to think to myself, just walking in the city by myself in this misty January.
I got lucky, because my phone didn’t work in the country, which meant everyone needed to trust I would be where I needed to be, and arrive when I arrived. No distractions, nothing tragic, important or particularly game-changing supposed to happen in those few hours I had my rendez-vous to go to. And it did, and it didn’t. Had I had my phone, I would left my friend’s place earlier and joined my husband in visiting his grandmother in the middle of the city. Instead I left by myself when I wanted to, when the time was right. On the way back to my great-aunt-in-law to my relief that my husband had not been back yet. We were staying at her place during the weekend.
I was happy to know I wasn’t too late for dinner, so there we were, just the two of us. She said: good, we can finish the champagne and talk. (My husband decided not to drink this year.) I was honestly looking forward to this time alone. I love talking to people, who actually listen. Who doesn’t? So she asked me: would you tell me how this art school thing came into your life, why did you choose it? And then I asked: where exactly should I start? How far should I go back to explain the importance of art in my life and how much the pressure was on me to go to university when I didn’t? And I started telling my life as I had always wanted to, but only to those who I knew would listen. And she listened, and I could say many things I wanted to. And of course I would have continued to do so had my husband not showed up 15 minutes later after I started. Those minutes were truly magical. I am beyond grateful for finally being seen as part of the family. That is how that conversation felt.