Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Nomadic Makeover

He's a changed man...or should I say, he's an ever-changing man. 

I listened to Karma have a brief conversation in English on the phone tonight and it was a complete 180 from when he arrived 2 months ago. He made no mistakes, he listened, he answered, he joked, he asked questions...who IS this guy? 

It's THIS guy!!
This is Karma showing off his new clothes in a photo shoot whilst pretending to play American music....I wish you could've heard the actual singing. Priceless.

"This guy" (the new American, "young dude," Karma) is embracing life in the US on a whole new level. Not on the grossest level of throwing away all of his customs, spiritual beliefs and ideals, but on the level of integration and finding his place in this new and strange world that we call "home." 

What spawned such a sudden shift in energies? I blame it on the meat...which I blame on my father. Karma had his first taste of American flesh and now consumes it regularly. This was a hard thing for me to let go of, initially, but I've moved past it. At least he's not begging to eat at McDonald's or shop at Walmart. We cook in a lot and aren't cooking meat in the house, so he won't be headed for a heart attack this week, nor will I mourn daily. We've had some really grounded conversations about this, so I'm off of my high horse (for the most part).

Karma is totally into the Christmas spirit, mostly by shopping and mostly by shopping for himself! Ha! We spent last Saturday and Sunday out in the malls and even went to the holiday land of Macy's (downtown SF). I was initially dreading the parking, crowds, etc...but it was actually a great experience. He's taken an interest in fashion (not super seriously) and I'm intrigued to see where this will lead. 

He also gets really excited about sales! I explained that the AFTER Christmas sales are even better, but he showed serious concern that we might not have time to go shopping RIGHT after Christmas. I tried to tell him that these sales last for a while, but he didn't totally believe me. I hope we make it to a sale! If we don't, surely he'll say that I'm a bad "boss," which is what he refers to me as when I'm making the plans. He says my mom's a "better boss" than I am....I guess I still have a lot to learn. =)

We're heading back to Virginia on Monday night. We were talking about flying today and he said that as a young child in Tibet he would run into the house anytime he heard a plane, it was such a loud noise that it scared him. He also said he used to think about all the people who were flying around the world, since he'd never been on a plane prior to coming here, and where they were going, what they were doing, if they were happy or sad... Then he said, "Now I'm flying a lot. My life, I don't understand!" (as in, "how the hell did I get here!) We had a good laugh. 

Something shifted in me about a week ago and I feel totally comfortable and at ease with our relationship. Not to say that I was in total post-wedding panic, but whatever was residually there has since passed. I find myself thinking about how grateful I am to be married to this wonderful person. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where to start??

Two weddings, one reception, crossed the country, back to work/school....it looks simple in writing!

Let me just say thank you to everyone. I can't say it enough these days and I'm hoping it won't lose its meaning. We have had an overwhelming amount of love, support, congratulatory words, gifts and the list goes on...

It has been, overall, an amazing experience and I think what has struck me the most is how grounded I've felt through it. I've only had momentary bouts of panic, spawned from something I've said, then Karma's reacted to. I seriously need to muzzle myself sometimes. Why do I act out of passion and not wisdom? (yes, I'm human).

Karma and I had a real heart to heart last night, one week after saying our vows at the spiritual ceremony in Virginia. I realized how much deeper our relationship can grow if I can (shut my mouth and) just open my heart. It's like this shield of ice I have built around it is starting to show signs of melting. I think being apart for so long really had it's toll on me, subconsciously, and I built ways of protecting myself from loneliness and the anguish of being far away from the man I love. In theory (or in my idealised mind), these doors would have just flown open upon the moment of reuniting with him...but that hasn't been the case, as you may have read in my earlier blog posts.

It feels kind of crazy to be writing about this instead of giving the nitty-gritty details of my wedding, but this blog has become an avenue for me to really be honest with myself and the people in my life and I appreciate it.

The truth is, I love Karma and I want to spend my life with him (good thing, since we're married!). It's not always going to be easy and that's okay. I'm truly realizing how sensitive he is to what I say and how I say it. He commented last night that he's always been able to let things roll off of him when people have said bad things to him (or about him), but it feels different coming from me. I told him that it's because he's in love with me and wasn't with them. We all go crazy in love. We had a good laugh.

So now for what you really want to hear about. The wedding!

Our ceremony in Virginia was really magical. There was a very small group of family & friends (about 15 people) and Anam Thubten Rinpoche, my meditation and Tibetan language teacher, flew out from Berkeley to officiate it. There was a mix of English and Tibetan throughout the ceremony, but Rinpoche explained everything so beautifully as he went along. Karma and I both cried when we said our vows, he said his in Tibetan and we passed out the English translation for people to read. It was beautiful. Karma likes to write poetry in Tibetan, so he's a wonderful writer. He's been published in Tibetan magazines for his Dharma writings before, too.

He has been telling all of his Tibetan friends (in India) on the phone that we had to kiss in front of the whole room of people. They all ask him if he was embarrassed and think it's the funniest thing in the world. The kiss he planted on me didn't seem too shy!!

The legal marriage ceremony in Oakland was simple and in a beautiful space. My mom was the official witness and a few friends came, too. There was a little panic at first because when the minister asked Karma if he wanted to marry me (before we even begun), Karma looked at me and asked, "What did he say?" The guy was talking too fast and Karma was nervous....so we ended up calling in a Chinese translator. Karma got pretty upset about that and said, "I'm Tibetan!" I haven't seen him react this way very often...needless to say we got married and all was well!

The reception was on Saturday and I'm SO glad my mom came back with us. She had insisted that I get a big tent, rent table clothes and hire a few acquaintances to work for the day--she's seriously a pro. Karma and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with about 80 of our friends and ended the night with some epic karaoke (and an overload of amazing cupcakes).

I'm really in awe of my parents throughout this whole process. I thought it was crazy to take home a man they'd never met, who barely shares their language and doesn't share their culture, only to marry him 5 days later. Not only did they embrace him, but they made him feel as part of the family. We're going back in exactly two weeks for Christmas and I'm really happy! I feel really close with them and am so incredibly grateful.

P.S. Karma saw my hairdryer the other day and asked, "What is that?" I mean, how could I not love this man? AND he just tried to convince me that he went downstairs in his underwear (our roommates are watching a movie)...he thought it was hilarious. I love that he laughs the loudest at his own jokes because I do the same for mine.