Taking a break from my usual posts on specific places or experiences here in HK or the area, this is instead a post of a much more personal nature. And to me, actually much more important.
Aside from a few jokes here and there and the occasional, more personal conversations with very close friends and family, Mark and I are generally quite private when it comes to discussing our marriage. For better or worse, we’re also pretty practical people – and not overtly, visually romantic in front of others (in other words, we’re not a ‘PDA’ couple). But as we just celebrated our 2nd anniversary and are in the throes of a very important stage in our lives together, I feel compelled to write a bit of a love letter – in a less traditional, highly ‘social’ way.
Remember how I said we’re both pretty practical? Well, before we decided to get married, we openly discussed our major life goals. One of Mark’s was to relocate to Asia for at least a couple of years for work. While not surprising, knowing him as I did even several years ago, this was still a tough one for me to process. From a selfish perspective, I was skeptical – how would this impact me, my job, my career, my personal life outside our marriage? But intellectually, I knew it was a smart choice for him to pursue this wish (maybe also for me), and the perhaps-not-obvious-but-still-there romantic side of me knew that supporting him fully was the right thing to do.
Three months after our move to Hong Kong, I now have a little more headspace and time to reflect on our marriage, our decision to move here, and everything it took to get here.
I’ll spare you the details of our endless discussions on the topic of moving and the mind-numbing details that required attention to facilitate our move. It was exhausting. Needless to say, it was an incredibly stressful, months-long period preparing for such a relocation, as well as initially adjusting to our new life here. One that would test any marriage.
But nothing worth fighting for is – well, ever accomplished without a fight. The best things in life are never handed to you – you have to work for it. And work for it, we did.
And in the light of day and well-entrenched in our new life chapter together, I can say without hesitation that this is, as Mark knew all along, absolutely the best decision we have made together since getting married. Of course, we’ve navigated a few bumps along the way. But we adore Hong Kong – it already feels like home. Our quality of life here, in so many ways, is multiples above where we both have been. It has also inspired this new creative outlet for me. So much is here, ready to explore – and on so many levels, it’s almost overwhelming – in a very, very good way.
And this area is truly a land of opportunity, albeit with a significant learning curve and requiring a lot of hard work. Mark is thriving in his new role, and I also have new and exciting opportunities around the corner that would never have been possible before. With the well-known, critical (but still enjoyable) need to network here, we’ve also made excellent new friends, locals and expats alike. I already feel that we are growing – learning, absorbing, taking in different perspectives and cultures. And having the time of our lives!
So perhaps in one of my most romantic gestures to date (those who are married may understand this!), I readily admit that I was wrong to be skeptical.
We’re not naive – we are in the early stages of our marriage and our lives here. Of course, things can change. But we will make the most of our experience here – and not take any of it, or each other, for granted.
To my dear Mark – thank you. I said this in my wedding vows to you 2 years ago, and I still mean it. My true partner in life will challenge me – to see things differently, to expand my horizons, to be a better person. Challenge me, you have – and I love you for that.
I wouldn’t want to be on this crazy, amazing adventure with anyone but crazy, amazing you.