Monday, October 12, 2009

Cultural Differences?! Belony!!!

I've come to realise many things as of late - The conclusion being that my Yeti is the best husband in the world.

Lesson 1: Julien and I have a lot more in common than perceived.

Our journey wasn't always an easy one. I would understand if people were apprehensive while we were dating - there's always a chance that Julien might decide to up and leave for France. Since we've been married though, there have been some good meaning people who have come up to me and told me that there might be some issues that Julien and I might face in the future due to our cultural differences. Thank you for the concern but here's where I would like to set the record straight. Julien and I have more similarities than any other Chinese man I've dated. I've never seen our different cultural upbringing as a challenge, but I rather find that it adds value to our lives in general. It makes life so much more exciting! It's because we come from different backgrounds that we are more inclined to be understanding towards each other. Not all the time of course. Having said that, the fact that we don't agree over something cannot always be attributed to our cultural differences. It's just merely a difference in opinions, this can happen between anyone.

This also helps us to learn how to compromise with one another or even brainstorm on situations to come up with more creative solutions. There are more positive attributes to this than there are negative in my point of view.

Lesson 2: As long as we both are happy, nothing else really matters.

I've been very blessed at work and was privileged to even qualify for a company holiday trip that would be fully paid for to Korea for 3 days. Of course I was to share this with Julien. Unfortunately, the timings just coincided with our pre planned Paris trip and after much discussion, we both decided to pass on the Korea trip. Much to my dismay, not everyone agreed with my decision at work not to go for the Korea trip.

It was an easy choice for me to make. I always ask myself these 2 questions when I feel stuck sometimes. Q1: Is there anything to lose? Q2: Will you regret this for the rest of your life?

For Korea, yes there is something to lose because this is a company paid trip and we're talking about 1st class treatment during this 3 days. Good hotel stays, good meals, etc. But I can always go for another company trip the next time, I just need to make sure I qualify. As for Paris, there is everything to lose, because I don't want to spend Christmas or New Year away from Julien and I know that he would want to spend this season with me too. And nothing means more to me than to make my husband happy. I mean, he already travelled more than 10,000km just to be with me. So yes I have everything to lose and yes I will regret it for the rest of my life because no one else can give me back this experience, not with all the money in the world. Sure I can still make it happen by travelling to Korea from France, but why should it be at the expense of my own happiness or Julien's happiness even?

I've come to learn, thank goodness quickly as well, that in every decision that we both make, as long as we both come together in agreement on something, and are happy with our final decision, nothing else really matters. I will definitely apply this in our future decisions.

Lesson 3: It's important to communicate.

For the longest time, I had this misunderstanding towards Julien with regards to my work. I realised it's very important to talk with one another. Regardless of cultural background, misunderstandings can arise when not clarified. Julien had previously made a statement about work that made me feel he was not being supportive. That honestly put my morale on a low. Each time he made the same statement I would feel inadequate. Recently, I found out though that his statement was not in relation to me personally. It was more a general statement. You probably do not understand what I'm saying but it doesn't matter. I'm glad that we both managed to clarify with one another about this. He is actually very supportive & understanding towards my working hours and just work in general.

We all define things differently. Even words, we perceive them differently. It's very important that I understand something in a way that Julien would want me to understand it. And only communication can allow us to do so.

Lesson 4: Time once passed cannot be re-wound.

I've been in a very reflective mood as of late and just the other day, this question popped up in my head out of no where: "If you went to Heaven today, is there anything that you would regret?"

My answer: No, for work. No, for friends. Yes, for family.

I seriously need to do some rebalancing of my time management with regards to family time. I mean, heck! I just got married! I guess this also attributed to my decision to drop the Korea trip altogether. I'd rather spend quality time with my husband and my loved ones than leave all this for some fully paid company trip. I know I work hard. And I want to play hard too - It's my entitlement.

Lesson 5: Julien's a very good natured boy...

Says my mother since the first time she met Julien. And she is right. Patience and understanding are truly a part of his virtues. This has helped us avoid quite a number of conflicting situations. Or rather, it helped prevent these situations from escalating. We're not altogether saints. We do fight like every other normal couple. I think the right word my mum was trying to look for was "Gracious".

Julien always told me of the "mirror effect". Basically to treat others how you want others to treat you. Which I find to be true from our own experience. In most situations, even during my worst days, with my own insecurities, he treats me with utmost respect, and I in turn am filled with respect for him.

Lesson 6: Love is not just gazing at each other; it's looking together in the same direction - Antione de Saint-Exupery

This phrase that was on our wedding programme, has been a huge part of our lives. What this means to both of us in short, is that in a marriage, we both have our imperfections. Instead of focusing on each other's faults, we both need to focus and be filled with God's love for us before it over flows to one another.

Spend less time staying angry. Spend more time living.

Lesson 7: I married the right man.

Enough said. =)

Feeling melancholic today. Maybe it's because my Yeti's away for 3 days. *Whine*


micheltdt said...

Hello Ting, when I read this post on your blog, I feel very proud of having you as my daughter in law. Honestly, you and Julien show intelligence and wisdom in your couple's relationship. Please carry on with mutual frankness and attention! You will be happy for ever. And Julien will soon be near you again!!! All the best, Michel.

Prawnkid said...

i felt a little guilty, worried, fearful, exasperated, etc etc, for being the one to encourage you on a trip then.

all the more so when you told me that you were getting attached! *gulp*

but julien (the way i pronounce it!) has proven he's the man for you and it is a relief, happy and settled heart i have for you now.

enjoy couplehood before the factory starts production!!!

and julien... you owe me a big one for getting her to paris!!!