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July 20, 2005 - Wednesday, 3:37 a.m.
I have been thinking about so much for so long and nothing has formulated in my mind. Things are finally starting to gel and I am sure that is what is keeping me awake. Phil told me to think about this all a few weeks ago, and Iíve done nothing but think for weeks. Actually what he told me to do was to think about him and that surely I would realize that there are things I canít live with. Most of it I have just stewed over in my mind. Really nothing about him is scaring me.
Phil got home last night and was at work today. He called me about noon, and then came down to see me just before 4 pm. He came bearing gifts and then visited with me for well over an hour. It was approaching 5:30 when he left my cube. It was a nice comfortable visit, that flitted over a number of topics, from an account of his trip, to the book he read, to just life in general. How I feel about him hasnít changed. I just feel more confident about how I feel.
Iíve realized though that I need to know if Phil Ďhopesí Iíll Ďfigure stuff out and leaveí or if he is Ďworriedí that will happen. These are two very different scenarios. In the first he doesnít really want me in his life, in the second he is afraid to want me in his life, for fear Iíll disappear down the road. Honestly, I donít want a relationship with someone that doesnít WANT me in their life. I wonít be tolerated or Ďput up withí. I want that person to want ME in their life, as much as I want THEM in MY life. I have a lot to offer.
I think Iíve figured out something about myself, or perhaps it is just lack of sleep and the remnants of a dream, perhaps itíll become clear as I write. Some people have very specific aspirations in life. They want to be a doctor, a ballerina, they want to be Ďsuccessfulí, Ďpowerfulí, Ďfamousí. They want a certain chain of events to occur and THAT is what will make them happy. Iíve realized that my aspirations are so non-specific that they can be accomplished in a multitude of ways, hence the inability for me to pick a path very well. My aspirations are so simplistic that I can accomplish them on any of many paths. What are they, you ask? A piece of is that I donít want to be a burden to anyone. I donít mind being Ďtaken care ofí; however it needs to stay away from burden if at all possible. I need to be able to run my own course. However, the more overlaying desire in my life is Ďto be of serviceí somehow. I was raised to believe that service is probably the highest aspiration a person can have in life. This can look like so many things. You could be a doctorÖ but it can be as simple as taking care of the people in your life. Service is an underlying character of my life and my person. Itís what brings me happiness. In my job I work to Ďtake careí of the people and issues that come my way, from solving a work problem to listening to someone who wants and needs to be heard on a personal level. I am there to do whatever I can to the best of my ability. I work hard, doing my best is important to me. And if that person walks away a little calmer, a little happier, with one less problem they have to worry about, I am happy; I have succeeded for that day. It doesnít matter where I am. I doesnít matter what job I have. I donít need a powerful or prestigious job to impress anyone. I donít need to make tons of money to be a success in my mind. I just need to find a way to help.
Why Phil? Iíve asked myself this a lot in the last few weeks. What is it about Phil that draws me to him so much? Is it who he is? Is it what he does? I think it is about how he makes me feel. Itís about who I am when I am with him. Iíve mentioned this often in the last few weeks. He makes me feel brave. I feel brave with him. I like who I am, I like what I believe is possible with him. Heís said that our lifestyles are different, and heís right, but what I can see of his lifestyle doesnít put me off. Maybe I donít know or see everything, but what I can glean isnít an issue. Also all that Iíve seen of WHO he is, I like and admire. He is good to his word, he cares about the people that touch his life, he has a passion in life that he takes seriously and pursues. Heís smart. I like talking to him and listening to him. He has a good heart. I value his input. These are all things that matter.
When I was young I had a lot of dreams of going out into the world, of seeing things, living in different places. Even at nineteen these dreams were scary. I couldnít imagine going the places I wanted to go by myself. I could imagine myself in little backward countries, in places that I could only get around on foot, helping people, helping them learn, helping them do things, but I couldnít see me alone doing these things, and the people who filtered into my life didnít have these types of dreams. Mixed in with that I wanted to be a mom and a wife, not a doctor, no big dreams of a career, just being a mom and finding my place in the world, where I could do the most that I could, very non-specific, very hard to get my hands around. It was easy to focus on being a mom that had a specific set of events; it had its OWN road map. I knew that I could make a difference in the life of my kids and in the lives of the people who touched my life, and that is what I have done, to the best of my ability.
Iíve thought about why am I going to school? Is it for the big career? Itís it to makes lots of money so I can have all sorts of things? No. I am going to school so I can assure myself that in the years to come I wonít end up as a burden to my kids. Iím going to school so I have a chance at finding a better paying job so I can figure out a way to pay for the years of raising my kids on my own. I did that to the best of my ability, I tried to do what I could to make their life good, not affluent, just good. Good memories of chances to do things, good memories of feeling safe and taken care of, I wanted them to remember that their childhood was good. That they felt loved and safe. They never had abundance, but they had want then needed and some of what they wanted. They had birthday parties, and vacations, new shoes and clothes when they needed them. They never worried about being hungry, they could always go to the doctor if they needed to, I took care of them the best that I could. In that process I went into debt, I had a good job, but it wasnít good enough to raise three kids by myself. I live in a world that required ONE outstanding income, or two GOOD incomes. One GOOD income didnít cut it. Do I mind? No. If tomorrow they came and took every material possession I own, it would have been worth it. Now I just want enough money to Ďsettle the billí. A few years of an outstanding income would do it, and then I could pursue whatever I wanted to pursue. Find a place to do what I can to make the lives of the people around me better. I want time to spend doing things that I love, photography, writing, seeing the world, experiencing life.
Iíve had a hard time with the whole career thing, of Ďmaking moneyí, of feeling like Iím making my life about the money. Really, it is a means to an end, and I am okay with that.
So, am I running under some false impression that Phil wants to go out and save the world and I can go along for the ride? No. It doesnít seem to me that Phil wants to save the world specifically. Phil wants to be out in life, he wants to do what he wants to do. I donít know that he knows what makes him happy. I can see a lot of what makes him happy. Music is one of them. I think he also finds happiness in doing things for people, whether it is changing a tire or listening to them. I think that what I think makes me happy, makes him happy as well. If we could find a spot in the world where we could do the things that we enjoy AND help the people that we meet, weíd be happy.
I need to talk to Phil about this stuff. I need him to know what drives me. I am going to invite him to dinner on Thursday. We agreed that we wanted to do that, just not when. Sometime during the night it came to me that I need to pick a day, rather then wait for him to tell me when a good time might be.
Perhaps now that this is down on paper I can fall back to sleep. I need a few more hours of sleep before I face the day.