Yesterday I jumped on a plane and flew to Adelaide to spend the weekend with Andrew. Andrew picked me up from the airport, we went out for dinner and then back home to do one of my most favourite things in the world, snuggle in bed while watching TV series on the laptop. While we were waiting for an episode to download, I looked around Andrew’s room, at us sitting side by side in this single bed and said:
‘Did you ever think this is how our life would look like at 30?’
‘No, I guess not, I definitely feel like a teenager. Living like this, going to uni. It’s pretty funny!’
‘This really isn’t normal, you know?’ I say.
‘What is normal? There is no normal and besides normal is boring.’
‘Yeah, but this is bizarre,’ I say looking around his room.
Andrew is living in John’s room who is my best friend’s brother. John left the coop as a teenager and now Andrew occupies it. There is a huge painting of a plane on the ceiling, posters of planes plastered on the walls, a framed picture of Bob Marley on the bed side table, a punching bag hanging from the ceiling, a single bed that takes up most of the room, the quilt covers on the bed matching the colours of the walls, red. It is very much a teenager’s dream room occupied by a 30 year old dentist who is also a uni student.
It is so strange seeing Andrew’s life packed into this room. Andrew’s desk is covered in uni books, there are so many of them, piled up high, breakfast plates with crusts on them from the many mornings Andrew studies and eats at the same time are stacked one on top of the other, multiple empty cups of tea with the tea bags still in them, dried out, line his book shelf, there is a cardboard box in the corner which is his laundry basket, his clothes hung up next to clothes that once belonged to a teenager, all his shoes lined up along one side of the wall.
Last night we feel asleep in a single bed, it was uncomfortable, clinging onto each other so we wouldn’t roll off the sides. We woke with each others feet in our faces because in the middle of the night we realised it was more comfortable, and we had more room, if one of us slept at the foot of the bed.
Today is Saturday and Andrew is at work, he works every Saturday, usually doing 9 to 10 hour shifts in emergency dentistry. I’m sitting in a cafe next to his work, where I will stay all day, he will meet me here for his lunch break, where we can spend half an hour together.
Tomorrow we are going to go for a drive and find a nice cafe. I’ll drink lots of coffee, sitting next to Andrew while he studies. We will probably spend the day there before Andrew drops me off at the airport and we say bye to each other for another month.
It’s a funny life at the moment. It’s definitely not a normal one but it’s one of the many stepping stones that we will encounter in the next 9.5 years to get to where we want to end up. We are already .5 of a year down and it has gone quickly, it has been fairly painless but apparently the first 2 years of Andrew’s 10 year journey are the easiest with more grueling expectations and hours of uni life overtaking the possibilities of working and having a life.
Last night at dinner Andrew said, ‘Look, fingers crossed we can do this, and if in a few years we realise that we can’t manage this, if it’s too much, if we can’t afford to do this, I’ll just quit and we can go back to our normal life.’
As much as this life is bizarro at the moment and we both worry about the next decade, how a family will fit into it without having any help or family here in Adelaide, how we will make it all work financially, I do want us to succeed. We would both be devastated if 4 years into all of this, with 6 years left, we have to pull the plug.