Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 5

I just started reading the cover story of November's issue of O Magazine and I'm really liking it. It's about becoming the person you were meant to be. That's a heavy question, but it doesn't really have to be. We've been talking about this a lot in my Career Counseling & Development class and this idea that each of our lives has an intrinsic meaning, bestowed upon us by a power greater than ourselves or from something deep within us, is very Logotherapy, Viktor Frankl, based. Frankl is one of the great theorists of psychotherapy and if you ever want to read an inspirational story, I highly recommend his "Man's Search for Meaning" which chronicles his life in a German World War II concentration camp and how he finds his meaning through suffering...that there is meaning in suffering. That's an idea I've latched onto lately, given the current mental health crap I'm working through.

So one of the writers in this issues says, when trying to direct people to finding their authentic selves, "You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren't. You take the action, and the insight follows: You don't think yourself into becoming yourself." Truer words were never spoken...or written, rather. I may not know who exactly I want to be, but I for damn sure have some ideas of who I don't want to be. I don't want to have a job where I have to lie. I lie a lot at work: to owners, customers, suppliers, whomever is asking a question of me that I have been instructed not to honestly answer. Ever work in customer service? Then you've lied too. It's sort of a game because the people I talk to know I'm going to lie to them and they laugh it off as an answer they expected to hear. We all know the rules and for the most part we all follow them; it's called "being polite." Maybe that's it? I'm sick of being polite? Not in the "if you don't have anything good to say, keep your mouth shut," sense (I'm actually a big believer in that phrase), but in ALL the phoniness. I'm sick of having to talk to people I don't like. I'm not just talking about the people on the phone at work, but some of the people I work with, people I know socially, people I don't spend a lot of time with and don't know well. Why all the fakeness? Is that what gets passed along as "polite society"? I can't answer that question because part of me thinks it does. If I go through a fast-food drive through I always say back to the employee that hands me my bag of saturated fat, "You too," when he/she says to me, "Have a nice day!" I don't think that's phony; they wished me a pleasantry and I respond in kind: that's the type of person I want to be and, I guess, am becoming if I'm already saying it. I'm so looking forward to graduating from graduate school because when I'm a mental health counselor it would be unethical for me to lie at work, at least with clients. The truth doesn't have to be brutal and problem-solving doesn't have to be painful and I believe that we carry our own answers around inside of us, sometimes we just need assistance in pulling them out into the open. That's honesty, that's not phony.

On a completely different topic, things are getting better here on my home front. As I said in an earlier post, we seem to be better together on the weekends, when my husband doesn't have to deal with work. We argued a bit this afternoon about who is to blame for wrapping this blanket of misery around our house; he thinking it was entirely me and me thinking he has a large part in it too. Logically I think we both know we both play a role, but blame is so much easier, isn't it? So we sort of got over that without any resolution, and now we can at least acknowledge the fact that we're not really happy as a couple at the moment. We can move on from here. This is just one moment, not my entire life...but sometimes moments can be very very long, can't they? We'll talk more tonight or tomorrow, that's our way. We've become accustomed to these patterns in each other, knowing in the end it will all come out and to some resolution. It always has before and will this time too. If there's one thing I have complete confidence in it's our love and our relationship. It's not always glamorous or perfect or even easy, but it's real and something that we are both committed to. I love him entirely and he loves me completely, so we're a good match that way.

It's Saturday evening and it's time for me to watch my favorite TV program, "As Time Goes By" on PBS. Have an authentic evening.


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