For the past three and a half years my husband, Khoren,
attended a local community college, ultimately earning a degree in computer
technology. Or was it information technology? Either way, you get the idea. Just
last week he was hired in his field at a great company. At last, the decision
to go to school and all of his hard work had paid off. The path to get to this
point was a little bumpy in the beginning.
It might be helpful to share some insight into our
relationship. As background, Khoren and I went to high school together; we even
dated for a year before I left for college. He was two years behind me. Not
surprisingly, we lasted until October of my freshman year.
After earning his high school diploma, my husband took a
different path than I. He decided to travel the country and head overseas to
check out what Europe had to offer. During that time, he took in a lot of
concerts and made it to some baseball stadiums here and there. When we first
started dating again … 18 years later … he had been working for a company for
nine years installing and programming high-end audio systems for private
residences. The economy went south and so did his job. He moved to Maine with
me and looked for something new — a process that proved bleak.
My husband is one smart guy. I couldn’t stand seeing him
take a job that wouldn’t challenge him and I don’t think he could either. We agreed
he should go back to school, and we knew we were fortunate to have that option.
That decision wasn’t easy, though. For me. I felt slightly miffed. Why didn’t
he do things my way – the right way? Then, we’d have two incomes and we’d be on
But here’s the thing. If he had done things my way he
would’ve gone directly to college and then to work, to be diagnosed with MS just
a few years into his career. That precious carefree time he spent exploring the
world independently and on his own terms would’ve been lost. Turns out that by
not being stuck to a traditional set of rules, he gave himself a gift.
He really doesn’t make it easy for me to be
right all the time. (He’ll laugh when he reads that line, because I’m pretty
much never really right). And that’s exactly what I love about him.
Nieuwejaar lives in southern Maine with her husband, Khoren.