So I had my second therapy session two days after my recovery from the stomach virus. The therapist had read my historical write-up, and I think she gained a better sense of the pressures I felt at a very young age. Only two weeks had passed since our first meeting, but I was in a more stable condition this time. Perhaps my body had already been exhausted by the fever and sickness, and I was just happy to be nearly back to normal.
I could tell from her questioning though, that maybe she didn’t really know what I was hoping to get out of therapy. As if I had already known what I needed to do… In part, I suppose I want a place to talk out loud about my insecurities and then I want a “reasonable” plan for working/striving towards things I want to accomplish. Finally, I’d like some kind of coping mechanism for me to not freak out or get frustrate during the process of this “reasonable” plan. Does that even make sense? Like I want to try to be ok with things but not be complacent.
Interestingly, she asked me “what are your two most important values?” It’s a good question I had never really considered. My answer? As contradictory as they seem: independence and dependence. In other words, independence in the form of self-sufficiency and self-reliance, and dependence in the sense that love and friendship is so much about taking a leap of faith and trusting and relying on someone else. And so I find myself full of these kinds of opposing thoughts and feelings. Like I believe John and I have something very special, but I don’t walk around everyday declaring with full certainty that we will be together forever. We have a strong and I would say very balanced partnership, but I have always maintained my own bank account in addition to our joint account (he opts not to have his own account). Life is full of the unexpected and as much as I think I can rely on people I love, I only ever know myself the best. It’s funny. When I say these things, I feel a bit of paranoia, a la my parents, but you know what? Things can change, just. like. that. I value flexibility and versatility, because I want to survive change. I want to be adaptable.
My maternal grandmother lived a life of luxury as a child– she had the finest things, then one day, their home was bombed and just like that, her comfortable, secure life vanished. I look at my mother, and I see how much she depends on my father. He manages so many things– finances, health insurance, rental properties, travel, transportation… and I wonder what she will do when he passes. It’s a scary thing to see, really. Anyway, it’s yet another contradiction I have. I develop my skills to be versatile and then I criticize myself for not being an expert/specialist.
I know, the book I’m reading says to just stop. To stop beating myself up. That’s the answer. I’m ok with myself most of the time. I just have a fear of stagnation. At the end of my session, the therapist said… well, it looks like you have to have plans because your self-worth is tied closely with the things you cross off your list. So have that list, make a plan for things you want to get done, but just be sure to “enjoy your day.” Blah, blah, blah, but enjoy your day. I mean, I don’t necessarily think that I DON’T enjoy my day (that’s why I’m a dabbler in the first place), but I suppose I can see what she’s saying.
My conclusion (yes, I’m finally getting to it)? I’m going to just continue doing activities that I want to do, and just try not to demand becoming an expert at them. I’m doing them for the sake of just doing them, and whatever progress I make, so be it. So I’m going back to scouting out my activities… Session 3 is this week. We’ll see how it shows.
In other news, last week I attended volunteer orientation for a theater near my work– it’s a small theater but way more prestigious and cutting-edge than the one near home where I’ve been volunteering. In fact, TheatreWorks is doing a New Works Festival this summer with staged readings of new plays and pieces in development. Orientation was a huge disappointment, because I always go into these things thinking they are wonderful opportunities to meet new people with similar passions, but invariably the volunteers turn out to be the worst people– grouchy blue-hairs who are so SLOW, they have a billion questions, AND they’re really cranky/particular/anal/inflexible!! In the entire auditorium, I was like the only person in the 20-40 demographic. Ugh. Then again, I guess retirees do comprise the majority of volunteers. I dunno. Oh well, guess it’s just for intellectual stimulation, not for social interaction. Shrug.