“It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.” Betty Friedan.

Good god, ain’t that the truth! But boy, with my family the way it is, it was easier just to come out of hiding and finish the starting of beginning to be a complete person.

Ha. Ain’t that convoluted?

I have just learned lately a lesson I am doomed to repeat my entire life, I’m afraid.

One cannot have independence/freedom without responsibility.

In high school I finally figured it out my senior year. When I started doing my homework and brought my D GPA up to a B GPA before I graduated. I also had 3 jobs at the same time by graduation. I had a car. I rarely had to report home. Until I started doing what was expected of me, I was not able to be free. But to gain the freedom, I had to tie myself down to a lot of other work. Hmmm.

Just before college, I bought my leater jacket. I saved up the money for it and everything, working, living on my own. I remember quite clearly remarking that the great thing about being mature is that one can choose to be immature. I remember the immense satisfaction of the fruit of my labor.

Mind you, these are like my only 2 brushes with a work ethic in about 22 years of life. I might have been exposed to it before, but I hadn’t paid attention but those 2 times that I recollect.

Let’s see. I learned the lesson the hard way by getting fired alot and by bouncing checks but it mostly made an impression on the positive side of the equation. At least something does!

So earning my Bachelor’s degree (in no less than 10 years, mind you!) was a great lesson in reaping and working hard and all that stuff. And I even got a full time job a little over a year after I graduated.

But here I am at 32, almost 3 years since I graduated, really feeling very pleased with myself as a whole entity all to myself. I know for sure and certain that I need no other to get me through life. I can even care for my children (when pressed). With my partner starting his own company, and therefore forfeiting income for the forseeable future, I am the breadwinner. (I feel like doing that old Tim Allen routine. Me breadwinner. Uuugh::bangs chest::Uuugh–remember? No, I didn’t capture it well in print, I apologize)

So lately I have been expending a lot more energy than usual. I have been forcing myself to do things that ordinarily I would have asked my partner to do, or insisted that he do, or hoped he would do. I have prepared entire meals by myself, setting the table, cleaning up afterwards, all after having worked the night before and being tired and not even hungry. I have cooked dinner, bathed both kids (or really just refereed) , read to them both and tucked them in then gone out to “straighten up.” I know this all sounds like a normal day for most folks, but my partner and I once shared it all cause we both work full time. But lately, as is setting up his new company and finishing up his work for his employer, he has been working 12-18 hour days. And I work 12 hour nights, but only three. So I feel like I gotta take up the slack. He took up a whole big old lot of slack while I was in school, especially my senior year. I could at least return the favor.

Now, my partner sort of tends to take this the wrong way (mostly because I am just not so eloquent when thinking on my feet). But, I know now for sure and certain that I am with him because he is the love of my life, my soulmate, my partner; I am not with him because he is my children’s father or because I do not earn enough money to support myself. It just reminds me that I had and have a choice and I am not here because I have to be or because it is the right thing or the safe thing to do. Just like dating the cute guy in high school, I am with my partner because I like him. Period. *sigh*

Now, that may not seem like a lot to anyone else, but it is a huge deal. I am not very good at making up my mind about things. I am not very good at knowing my own heart. I have to sit on things a very long time before I know where I stand. Sorta like I just gotta roll around on an issue and find a comfortable position. I am so glad I have recognized finally, the comfortable position I am in.


oh, and Love.


~ by merialiss on August 30, 2004.

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