Thursday, April 20, 2006

identity crisis

I had a five minute conversation with my friend Kiwi today that blows any previous counseling I've ever had out of the water. Kiwi (in addition to being from New Zealand) is a process worker and christ are those process workers brilliant! They really know their stuff.

Anyway, Kiwi's about to head off to Australia for the conference SK's going to (big process work convention) and today she came up to visit me in my office today for a bit before she left. She used to be *SK's* friend Kiwi, but I've co-opted her since SK's been away and we've been chatting more and more and it's nice. She's awesome and making new friends is fun.

So brilliant Kiwi stopped in and asked how I was feeling at a time when I was still feeling a little down about the ridiculous conversation I had with CB last night. Fucking CB... Anyway, Kiwi asked a couple of questions and then just *nailed* something so hard it almost made me shriek. I was describing my relationship w/ CB, b/c she'd asked what I miss. I talked a lot about what I miss, then started talking about CB's drinking and how confusing and complicated it was to be the partner of a drunk. After I went on for awhile, Kiwi said, "I think *you* were a bit of a drunk in that relationship. I think you got addicted to her. To her need, to her drunkeness, to all of it." She also said a few other things that would take too long to explain. Just know, the impact was immediate and intense. True. So true. She said, "What you're describing doesn't sound like love. Maybe you were in love with the house and the yard and the woodstove, but it sounds to me like she treated you like shit and I wouldn't call that love."

I started thinking about what that means for me -- how it's almost easier to be treated like shit, how I come to expect it somehow. I have a crazy family, crazy parents, crazy stepparents. I've spent a lot of time acclimating myself to being treated kinda shitty. I almost don't know what to do in the absence of shittiness. And that's pretty disappointing.

Then comes birdlady. I had a meeting with her and it was fine, relatively, but I realized as she started talking about my summer work for her (when I've been secretly thinking I really didn't want to work for her or ever see her again at the end of this semester) -- I realized that I've been hugely resisting the end of school and the beginning of my professional career. It's a lame fucking cop-out! I'm 31 years old, I can't stay a kid forever. Yet I've just accepted a new position at my totally cushy, kid's job (the job I've had for the past FIVE YEARS) and I've been actually thinking I'd decline a legal job offer. Am i CRAZY? My friends are falling all over themselves to secure jobs and, instead, I've got somebody falling all over herself to hire me and I'm actually thinking about DECLINING? Sorry for all the caps, I'm just feeling really enthusiastic.

So. Identity crisis. I don't wanna grow up. But I have to grow up. I was chatting w/ my land-person about it today (while the baby sucked on *her* pinkie this time... I guess sucking on pinkies is the only thing that keeps it quiet when it's not asleep or sucking on nipples) -- and she asked, with a kind of confused frown. "so what did you think you wanted to do when you went to law school?" Like... be a lawyer? And I think I don't wanna be a lawyer anymore? Why? Because I'm too much of a baby to step up and give up my cush, kid's job where I get to keep dressing like a bum and doing nothing for 8 hours and still getting paid. So I see the occasional dead junkie and sometimes fear for my life? It's still a cush job!

I guess this is the end of an era. Oh well.


Blogger Rufus said...

Girl.... I'm not gay, but straight.... but it doesn't really matter. I've had a few girlfriends in my day and even I knew not to confuse old ones with the new.... In your terms: don't you go talking to CB when you're after a new one (SK). Let CB's calls go to voice mail. Stop meeting with her. All you're doing it convincing her that she still has a chance with you.... And is that the story you want to be selling????????? Of course not. But here you are letting CB know that if she only calls enough, if she only grovels enough, if she only makes herself desperate enough... she'll get what she wants.

It's crystal clear.

CB is going to ruin your relationship with SK and then won't you be proud and happy!

Wise up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6:16 PM  
Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

rufus, you're hilarious. yes. crystal clear. you're probably right, though i like to pretend it's more complicated than that. anybody else want to chime in?

7:07 PM  
Blogger ashley said...

this is pretty random, but I love when people say things that are, uh- enlightening? Like everyone in good nature will pour out the cliches and oh everythings ok crap- not becuase they're being phony, but just bc thats all they can say; every once in awhile someone says something that just clicks and makes you stop and think- yes! exactly, that makes sense. And understanding is one idea closer :)

9:54 PM  
Anonymous KA said...

Whenever I need something to help me get off my ass and feel inspired to try to make an impact in this world, I listen to Democracy Now. There is nothing like Amy Goodman in her deadpan voice presenting the horrifying news of the day to get me mad as hell and over my insecurities.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous KA said...

Hot Damn- I just noticed that Amy Goodman will be speaking in Portland tomorrow.

Portland, OR
Saturday, April 22 2006, 1:30 pm

NFCB Community Radio Conference
The Hilton Portland and Executive Tower: Grand Ballroom
Tickets Available at the Door on Saturday April, 22. No Advance Tickets Sold.
Ticket Price: $5-20 Sliding Scale
For more information:

The Hilton Portland
921 SouthWest 6th Ave
Portland, OR

11:00 AM  
Blogger skyscraper said...

wow, poet,

i'm struck by the honesty and your fearlessness in disclosing very personal issues. i've been wanting to write something about my personal psychology and insecurities, but it takes the guts that i don't have. plus, my blog has gotten too populated for that.

however, i like reading yours. i can relate to many, many things - about mothers and lack of motherly love and this incredible desire for some strong, beautiful woman to mother you, and to hold you next to her bosom.

oh, i can so relate.

i'll definitely be back to read more! ;)

i'm about to start law school, so those stories of yours are really appreciated, too!

7:21 AM  

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