adulthood · change · family · honesty · intimacy · life · love · relationships · willingness

A Fair and Balanced View

There are a few things that are hard to reconcile. For
example, prefacing your poem to your family by saying it’s mediocre as you did
not have time to edit the first draft – and after reading it in public at the ceremony at school, having people come up to you afterward praising the poem
and asking how they can get a copy. I gave a woman my card.
It’s hard to reconcile my view of where and how I am in my
life with the clouds of pride and support that beamed from my family and
classmates on Saturday, graduation day.
It’s also hard to maintain a stoic, stark, medieval view of
myself when I have women around me who “want what I have,” and a woman to call
who reminds me of the length and breadth of this process of school, and indeed the last 6
years.
A fair and balanced view. How to achieve that around
ourselves, whom we hold to such impossible standards that we’re always falling
short. Or at least I do.
Because I’m not
falling short. My measuring stick is broken and outdated and subjective.
Not much has “changed” outwardly over the last few weeks as
graduation occurred, and it’s hard to know if much has changed inwardly, but, I
think it is, slowly. I think my awareness of my rigid and flagellating stance
with myself will begin to bring change with it.
I also decided to change my workshop to sliding scale,
instead of a set fee. I had the thoughts to either cancel the whole thing (as I
had/have only one registered/paid participant), or to host at my house the few
who said they wanted to come, or do it in the city anyway.
I chose the latter, partly because I want the experience of doing it in a more “formal”
or official setting. I still want to share these tools, and help others
to learn whatever they need to learn from this. And also… I’m worried if I just
cancelled it, people might show up at the event the day-of, and be disappointed 😉
So, we’ll see what happens with that. It still may just be
me and my one registered participant. And if that’s the case, and I eat the
rental fee, so be it. Not ideal, but my ideas about how the workshop should be
are obviously not working, so instead of edging toward “fuck it” and not do it,
or toward “you MUST” and do it for the set fee, I’m finding a middle way. – That feels
like progress.
Also, I got to talk with my mom yesterday at the ass-crack
of dawn when we’d dropped my brother at his flight at SFO, and had a few hours
to kill before her flight. So, we grabbed some coffee and sat in Terminal 2 in
those Ikea-looking tangerine-colored winged chairs, and we talked.
I decided somewhere mid-conversation to tell her why I’d
stopped talking to her on the phone for almost a year. I didn’t “owe” her the
explanation, but I did want to share why. I reminded her of that last
conversation we had, and how she “hi-jacked” the conversation (a term she used
about her behavior when I’d finished). How suddenly a light and fun and mutual
conversation jumped the tracks, the shark, the point, and careened head-long
into “My Mom’s Issues.” I told her that I don’t feel able to hold the space for
that stuff for her anymore, that it feels inappropriate, but that I didn’t have
the words or wherewithal to tell her that in the moment. And so, instead of putting up a boundary, I put up a wall.
And it’s held. She said she had to just accept that we’d communicate
via email and text, and that that had to be enough. And for this year it was.
Seeing her, however, I really was reminded of how much I miss her. And she said
to me after I’d shared what went on with me, that if I felt able, and it sounds
like I feel more able now, to tell her that she’s hijacked the conversation to
let her know. And we’ll see if I can.
We both know we’re still in new territory. Our relationship
has swung the gamut from oversharing, overly enmeshed, over identification all
the way over to not talking for months and months, several times. We’re still
finding our center in our relationship, as I suppose we’re each finding our
center within ourselves. Back to the fair and balanced view. The Middle Way.
How can I hold the contradictions? How can I allow for
myself to be vulnerable without a hard shield of protection? How can I see
myself as a simple, or simply complex, human, with assets and liabilities? And, how can I allow others that same
generosity?
Dunno.  😉  But I think I’m trying. 

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