Holiday. Celebrate. It’s All Right.

For that record, that song is way too perky for me. That said, I’m looking forward to this three-day weekend in the States to memorialize people who fought for this country and/or just sleep as much as I actually should be sleeping every night.

My boyfriend and I are celebrating our anniversary this weekend and off on our annual getaway to a state park nearby. I used to think it was silly to pay for a hotel in an area that’s less than two hours from your house, but now I like the idea of it. When you spend so much time working it’s nice to have a little getaway, even if you could have just gotten up early and returned the next morning from homeThis most may get a bit mushy, but it’s also a reflection of how far I’ve come in my life. I had a very productive therapy session yesterday where we discussed my dueling motives of being financially ambitious, hungering for attention and approval by a certain type of man, and wanting to just break free of all of that to lead a creative life (even if that means dropping down a few notches in class.)

Before meeting and falling in love with my s/o (sig other), I really didn’t have any sort of balance because I didn’t know what it was like to be loved unconditionally. Not everyone can love unconditionally either, but his heart is just golden. He is the opposite of my father in many ways. So, at the psychological root, I constantly go back and forth between being so happy to be loved and safe and not feel like I have to strive to be better at anything (other than perhaps cleaning up the apartment) in order to prove myself and be worthy versus needing some sort of constant beratement in my life with occasional verbal rewards to thrive.

Every time I visit my parents, which is now once or twice a year, I feel further removed from their grasp and more embedded in my own. Just one weekend reminded me why I ran so far away from home, even though I do miss my extended family and friends who chose to remain local. My life now isn’t at all what I expected, but who can expect such a life working in software when growing up with parents who were in financial services and design/stay-at-home-mom-ing, so far away from Silicon Valley?

When I was younger, I’m not really sure what kind of life I envisioned for myself. Other that being “famous” somehow, I couldn’t really put my finger on what I wanted to do. If the thought of helping people ever crossed my mind it was overshadowed by this hunger to be recognized.

My therapist uses a technique where she makes certain statements and asks me to pay attention how I feel when she is making those statements. She typically says things like “You are good enough” in a very nurturing voice, to see how that sits with me. I always have to laugh a little when she says it, then note that it doesn’t feel right or real. Yesterday, she came up with a new one to test and said “you are amazing.” That felt better. I don’t want to be good enough. I want to be amazing.

The reality is, while amazing is achievable for anyone, it takes a lot of focused effort over many years. It takes a lot of risk taking and being willing to fail. It would take me basically saying I don’t care what my parents or any critical person in my family thinks, or what my own rational brain is telling me, I’m going to just be free. I’m going to make some stupid choices and hope that one day they lead me to the write one. Yes, I meant right, but I wrote write, Freudian slip, but maybe it means something, leaving it in…

Yet who says artists aren’t motivated by something outside of themselves. Actors are drawn to their craft because they enjoy entertaining, and the applause that comes with it. You don’t usually get applause as an engineer, and most engineers don’t want it because they prefer to do their work and solve problems, their inner recognition is good enough. But they also probably didn’t grow up with parents who constantly made them doubt their abilities, or taught them that life was black or white.

It seems at 30 I really should STOP caring what my parent’s think. Or what anyone else thinks for that matter. Here I am, so fortunate to have my partner, who human as he is in his own imperfections, he’s really incredible for so many reasons. He’s everything I never thought I wanted, and yet I do. And today I am feeling thankful that I get to celebrate nearly a decade with him.

And I can’t wait to sleep.

 

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