|Here's my tombstone in case anyone was wondering.|
My mom would say it's in poor taste to allow elements of my life that should remain private for the benefit of those who have offended me to make their way into this blog. Unfortunately for her as well as for those who may have offended me, my mother is not the author of this blog. The author of the blog is, instead, 22-year-old big girl, otherwise known as a legal adult, who is allowed to make decisions without consulting her mother, much less following the advice her mother might give her.
Part of this issue with my mother is that she (my mom) lost her own mom at the age of fifteen (my mom was fifteen, not the mom she lost). She didn't have the benefit of her mom's advice. She therefore feels all the more compelled to push her sage wisdom, acquired through years of doing things her own way without following the advice of anyone, and learning from the consequences and successes, onto me. The only real cognitive dissonance I'm feeling in this scenario is that, from what I've been told of my mom as a young teen, older teen, and young adult, she didn't listen to her mom's advice all that much while her mom was here to give it. Evidence leads to the point of view that she was not suddenly going to have become a hell of a lot more receptive to the advice of her own mother or of any other adult. My mother liked to do things her own way and to learn by trial and error.
In that regard, I am a bit of my mother's child. I will ask for advice at times, and will even take the advice if it comes from a reliable source and the advice seems sane and sound and I've pretty much exhausted all other options that won't land me dead or in jail. Mostly, though, I figure things out for myself. The school of hard knocks probably has a higher success rate than does any other school in the nation.
I do listen to advice at times. I have a few sources who have consistently steered me in a good direction and who are not especially pushy in giving the advice. It is to these people that I turn in times of turmoil. Medical school is not an especially great place to learn by trial and error, as the error may result either in harm to a patient (someday . . . right now, thinking about harming a patient is about the closest anyone will allow me to do) or in irrevocable damage to my own reputation or relationships with others who control my future. I cannot afford to be consistently at odds with administration even if I'm right and they're wrong (which is, admittedly, not usually the case, but it has happened that way at least once). I need to learn to play nicely with those in charge of my program. I already play relatively nicely with my peers, though my lack of tolerance for the slower learning curves of some of those around me has a tendency to make me less than popular with some of said peers if I don't watch my words carefully.
I've found it a good practice to run potential courses of both dialogue and action by individuals a bit older and wiser than I before actually saying or doing things when I have the luxury of time. One of my human sounding boards - one of the wisest and most reliable -- is temporarily unavailable to me because sometimes real life gets in the way of advising fans who have become friends. I may need to wing it a bit and try hard not to say or do anything that will screw up my professional or, for that matter , personal life, though I haven't done too horribly on my own from a personal standpoint. I'm not pregnant, incarcerated, or doing anything that is likely to result in my becoming pregnant or incarcerated in the immediate future. The solidity of my continued education and professional life is more at stake. I can do this on my own, though. I'm 22, and 22 is the new 30. For the most part, I'll keep my mouth shut except when a response is clearly expected, and I'll think something like, "What would Billie Jean King say or do?" when I'm in a situation when I must say or do something. It helps that I will leave for Canada to complete a portion of my education there in about six weeks. I'll still be accountable for my words and actions while I'm in Canada, but the distance will, I suspect, act as a bit of a buffer. As long as I don't orchestrate some act of anarchy against the system in which I will be working and studying there, the fallout probably will not follow me back here. I think I can accomplish that for the nearly three months that I will be there.
In terms of allowing things that should remain private to creep into the annals of my blog . . . What would YOU do if a person sent back to you all of the Christmas gifts you gave to her family in December, including one relatively substantial gift to a Godchild that cannot be returned to the store from which it was purchased because the store has a thirty-day limit on returns? Would you hold a garage sale, which I can't exactly do, as my community is gated, and garage, yard, and estate sales are forbidden within the complex? Would you donate all the returned gifts to the United Way, or to the local Mormon missionaries, or perhaps to the Scientologists? Would you write the person who sent back the gifts off your Christmas card list forever? Would you go scour your own home to find any articles she may have given to you in the past (there wouldn't be many, but I think she gave me a box of paper clips last summer; she didn't give me a Christmas gift this year; she did make a quilt for me several years ago; am I obligated to return it? I REALLY like the quilt, but if holding onto it would be even more of a breach of etiquette than those I have apparently already committed, I don't need the etiquette police at my door) and return them to her in tit-for-tat fashion? Would you consider yourself fired as a Godparent, or wait for official word? Who has to OK firings of Godparents - just the parents, or must the baptismal officiant or maybe even the archbishop OK the deal? Could this even involve the Vatican and the Pope in some fashion? And what form would the official firing take -- an amended copy of the baptismal certificate with your name crossed off and someone else's written in its place? A picture of you (or me in this case) with 666 superimposed upon my forehead, unless it's already there and it's just I who cannot see it?
And it's early in this game. The mother of my Godchildren is just one of many whom I may have offended with my most recent blog. I may be dealing with far more rancor than just that of a disgruntled mother of Godchildren. Only God really knows just how many people I offended in my previous blog in which I noted the absence of communication from relatives of the side of the family that typically acknowledges my existence. It appears that, with one known exception, I am dead to these people.