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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

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I feel like I'm really without direction at this point. Things have not gone the way I planned them. Course, that means, at least in this case, that my plans were unrealistic. I'm including expectations under the heading of plans. To wit:

Didn't apply to UCLA - result of unrealistic plan
Haven't bought a house - unrealistic plan
No kids - unrealistic plan
Parents haven't stopped hounding me about religion - unrealistic expectation

To be fair, regarding the house, it isn't a major priority for me. I know everyone is supposed to want a house, but mostly when I think about buying a house I think about all the work to keep it up - all the lawn care and roofing and plumbing - and I just don't care that much for it. Pretty much the same as my feelings about kids.

Also my standards are very high, you might say unrealistic. For example, I don't want to have kids until I can put them through private school. Okay, if I'm being honest, that's pretty unrealistic. For housing, I'd rather live in an apartment as far west in L.A. as I can afford (the Angelenos know what I mean) than buy a house in the Inland Empire or Antelope Valley, which is where people with less money (like myself) buy houses.

Basically, I can't stand the idea of my kids being raised in the same environment I was - public school in the Inland Empire. I want them to have all the opportunities I didn't have. Which, really, is the wish of every good parent. My parents started out with the same wish, I think, but money is the great leveller and it laid them out flat. If they'd kept to two or even three kids, it probably would've been okay. But their religion, like many, forbids birth control, so they had six. After which they finally went against their religion on this issue and my dad got fixed. It took six before sense overcame religion. That's my view; I'm sure they'd see it differently.

I really thought that by now - I'm in my early 30s - my parents would've come to accept that I'm not part of their religion and never will be again. Guess not. For Christmas, my mom says all she wants is for her kids to come to church with her. Sounds innocuous right? Wrong. There's a subtext of guilt and manipulation. My family is evangelical. She's not looking for us to simply go to church as a family. She's looking to bring us all back into the religion. She thinks that with time, prayer, and a little nudge we'll all come back. Not gonna happen. Giving in to these "little" requests will only encourage that erroneous belief. It just makes me so tired and beat down to know that I'll have to fight this battle throughout my entire relationship with them. I'm loath to see or even speak to them, knowing all the effort it will take just to stand my ground.

My brother's in AA. This is a good thing and I hope it's the last stop. Lots of people relapse repeatedly before finally coming to rest. I hope he's an exception to this. I also hope that his AA attendance will sway the judge into giving him a sentence that doesn't include prison. Maybe community service and probation. He has proof of trying to clean up his life this time, but he also has a criminal record. His girlfriend hasn't been by to see him since his arrest, though she has talked to him on the phone. I don't blame her. She's a sweet girl and she really deserves better than this.

Librarian seems to me a more reliable profession than counselor. I think I'll go to CSUN for my bachelor, still in psychology though, and then get my master in library science. I can always go back to school later to be a counselor. Maybe after I'm old and my kids are grown. I should have more patience by then and less need for money.

I thought 30 would be a year of big change. Instead it was a year when my efforts at change were thwarted, because I was trying to change the wrong things. I was trying to change the outside. So 31 is the year I change the inside. 30 broke the old foundation; 31 lays the new foundation. Rocky seas now, hopefully smooth(er) sailing ahead.