Well, school is in its last few weeks, and I’ve been really busy getting through grades, etc. My fabulous husband just got here for the first time, last night and has agreed to do a “guest blog.” So without further ado, I introduce to you- Gene.
For Abu Bloggie Ali – One Key
I’m Gene. Alison’s Husband. I wear that moniker with pride. I just said goodbye to much of my family on May 29th and began a journey that took me 36 hours, spanning 5 airports and 11 time zones to get to this small but beautiful apartment in another world two days later.
And I now have One Key.
This is significant for me, as one of my missions in coming here, besides seeing my wife after weeks and since our last time together, was to take a month-or-so respite from the crazy schedule I’ve had for the last month-or-so. I have been teaching classes at ASU and an acting studio, acting and producing multiple video projects, volunteering with my Kiwanis club and others as well as taking care of our home and furry family members. The day I left I was meeting with clients and wrapping up production paperwork on a large project for a non-profit that involved 30 actors and a crew of nine. I have multiple sets of keys for our home, two offices and my school, 3 vehicles, a rental home, etc. I had them on several rings and always had to check before I left the house to ensure I had the keys I needed for my busy day.
Now it’s June, the month I spend in this faraway land. And I have one key to this apartment. Oh, sure, it sits on a key ring, ready for a partner. Maybe I’ll be trusted with a car key; I got my International Driver’s License from AAA, hanging out with my different currency and passport here.
But one key is fine right now. A symbol of this new, welcome simplicity – woo hoo!
I want to explore this place with my wonderful wife, try new food, meet her colleagues from all over the world, workout more dedicatedly, read some books, scheme some new projects, do research for my classes and dream about what happens when I have Ali back home, complete with her master’s degree, over a year from now.
There’s a much more important thing for me to explore here, however, in the Middle East. The woman nicknamed “Abu Dhabi Ali” after an earlier blog post located here.
When I married Ali, she had never been outside the U.S., other than Mexico. Since then, we’ve traveled to Europe and Japan, and seen Alaska and Hawaii together. This extended solo journey has brought her not only career opportunity and better income, but the independence and worldly perspective of a woman who has grown and matured, yet still adventurous and confident. This “other” Ali fascinates and delights me, while complimenting the other Ali I know back in the States. I’m a lucky man to have them both in my life. Some people have asked how I could “let her go” on this extended adventure away from me. Really? She said she’d stay if I asked her to, but I know it’s the right thing. If I said this was easy, I’d be lying. But supporting my wife on this assignment has given me a chance to grow, strengthen myself as well as our marriage at the same time. This month is a chance for me to understand as well as renew our life together. I definitely needed this.
After spending months admiring Ali’s blog, I’m honored to be a guest blogger here. That’s also how I feel about this trip in many ways. I’m grateful to reunite with my lovely wife, but I realize I am also a guest in her “other” world. I’m glad to meet Abu Dhabi Ali and share this time with her. I’ll be even more excited to bring her home for the summer, back to our normal lives until she returns to the other side of the world for one more year. But right now I’m enjoying filling my senses with this new place, gathering strange souvenirs and new experiences. And using my One Key.