Part II

So I shall pick up where I left off, you poor things.

What I would like to have studied

It was really hard for me to tell what I would like to have studied. My horizons weren’t really very wide at graduation from high school and as you can imagine, studying at an ed. center on base didn’t widen them much further. When I got back to the states, though, and started up at the University of Maryland, I had access to (a) advanced German, which was a lot of fun, (b) Italian, which I’d taught myself a bit of when I was in ninth grade, and (c) linguistics (only 101 level). And I was hooked. Hooked like a crack junkie under a bridge. I read way ahead of where I was supposed to be in all three classes. It was so cool. I felt like a kid in the candy store except all the candy in front of me was free and there was more round the back. Sadly, I felt I couldn’t switch majors being as I was a senior at that point, so I was stuck with the degree I’d earned.
Let’s see if you can guess the kinds of things I would have preferred to study. Three guesses, the first two don’t count.

What I would like to do

I really only have the contours; obviously I’d like to be able to be openly gay at work, and to use my not inconsiderable talent for languages, including my pretty good abilities in German. And to be able to keep my current lifestyle or at least not take too much of a hit(!). I have no idea what that would be but I’m sure it is out there somewhere. Oh and at least for the foreseeable future the job has to be in the Washington, DC area. That’s a lot of ‘must haves’ but I’d be willing to work at home part time to get my orthopedic walkers in the door. I guess at 43 you have to be willing, eh?

If you have any ideas I’d be grateful!

How I may be able to get there

I’m not sure. Have you any ideas? I do have one – a career counsellor. I mean it may be worth it, and I would think of the cost as an investment in my future and happiness. Trouble is, the only one I know of doesn’t have a web page (which these days is unique, to say the least). Do you know of any? Honest injun, I need to know. I will, I promise, have this one called by the end of the week (I feel some trepidation as you can imagine). And I may look around at any advice I can find about things to look for in hiring one and also for any other names there may be.

What I think may be holding me back

Normally I’d say my mum and dad, indirectly. See, as I said last time, I often felt not only that there was an easy way to do things, but also an ‘approved of’ way; a way that would please mummy and daddy (which, if I went down it, would make my life easier). I was talking to Alan about this and I remembered wanting to continue with violin (when I was but a young tyke) but mummy being convinced that playing the clarinet would be better (and something she’d prefer). So I went and did it. And yes, that’s holding me back a bit – but I’m less and less sure that all or even most of the blame should be laid at the door of mum and dad.

And this all came about last night. I had this dream where my mum and dad were absolutely torturing me. Dad was trying to kill me with a knife and mum was trying to lock me in the bathroom. Wow, right? Imagery. Suppressed memories? But also, the world as seen by a little kid. How close could that have been to an adult understanding of what my mum and dad were actually doing, and how close could that have been to an adult understanding of their motives and realities. All parents have to do things that strike their children as not just tough or firm but fair but “ruinous of life” “deserving of hatred,” and “murderous” even.

But honestly, my mum and dad never even came close to killing me. I mean, I dream about it, but can’t remember being spanked much. I figure that what I’m remembering is a child’s perception of what was going on. Not a grown-up discernment or judgement (objectively) or empathy to their childhoods and parental skill set (subjectively).

I know that if I went to my mum and dad and said “I’m staying in a job I don’t much like because I want to please you,” after the laughter died down they’d insist that they would want me to do nothing of the sort. And when I think about it that sounds like a monumental evasion of my own responsibility to myself. What’s in the past has passed; I can’t do anything about what opportunities were open to me at 16 or 17 or even 20, but I can stop paying such needless attention to not just real things from my childhood, but also imagined things. Things that probably didn’t even happen.

I mean, yes I may be scared of switching careers, but whose problem is that? Mine. It may be different from what mum and dad would have suggested but when I consider their perspective, or what may be their perspective, they were all about safety. Dad’s career choices were a proven route to security (not success, just security). We never wondered where our next meal would come from, in fact, we often knew when our next holiday would come from. We had a house and never lost it, we had a car at all times, colour television; if there were money worries we were insulated from them as kids. I do think they’d be unhappy if I were to have to move far from the general area, but is that ‘terrible’ or just ‘natural.’ Heck, I’d have mixed feelings about it.

And they, given their chaotic childhoods, had to have it always in mind, lurking in the background, that stability and security are far from guaranteed just because we want them badly to be.
So. What I thought was holding me back was them. What I think is holding me back is, ultimately, me. Phew. That was good to figure out.

Up to of late

Well, what has the AngloAmerican been up to of late? Not a lot since I last blogged, lo those few hours ago. I’ve baked two loaves of bread; here they are before and after going into the oven:

Bread risen ready for slicing and baking Bread out of oven and cooling

51G+T52V7tL._SL500.jpg I’ve also been watching “Grafters” (a BBC miniseries from 1998) starring daddylicious (yet only a year older than me RG6TE.jpgOMG) Robson Green. Part of the appeal is not just his rather dishy looks but also hearing Northern English accents (it’s grim oop north!) I remember hearing from my childhood. But the show’s really good – about two brothers, Geordies in London, trying to start a building business, and well worth you taking a lot. I know you can get it from Netflix.Curious about old Robson, born in 1964 in Hexham, Northumberland (Northumbria in new money)? Here’s a scene of his from his show Extreme Fishing, in which he seems to have lost some sort of bet to a bunch of rowdy Canadians.

(I am and remain, speechless at those Canucks’ luck)

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