And she wonders why I don’t call and tell her things.
Because I know that she will either co-opt my goals and turn them into her own little personal project, or she’ll continue to focus on an aspect of them that is utterly unimportant to me.
Like this part-time job at a preschool I’m trying to get.
Here was my thought process:
- I want children. I might want them sooner than I think.
- But, I haven’t been around them in a while. My baby cousins are all grown up now. I don’t have any chance to be around the little things.
- I need to make sure it’s something I really want. If I can’t handle being around children for a couple hours every day, what makes me think I’ll be able to have one of my own?
- So, I should find a way to spend some time with children and see if I would really like to have some of my own.
- I’ll get a part-time job at a daycare and see how it goes.
That was my reason for applying to the part-time job. The one I’m really interested in getting would like someone to work through the end of the Japanese school year, so I’d get seven months of daily, hands-on experience. And if I didn’t like it at the end of all that? Well, then I’d have my answer.
But the morning I spent with the kiddies was too short, and I was just aching to go back the next day. I’d missed them already, though I barely even knew them.
What’s more, spending time with them and thinking about the kinds of jobs I’ve had in the past (interning at a pregnancy magazine, volunteering for a youth summer camp), and the kinds of jobs I’ve immediately looked for when that sort of time came around (teaching English at elementary schools in Japan, working part-time at a preschool or daycare) – it started to seem quite obvious to me and my fiance that maybe a more permanent position as a child care worker could (and should) be in my future.
All of this sounds kind of fulfilling, right? I enjoyed my time at the daycare. I missed singing and dancing and playing with the kids. I was so happy to see that they knew so many words. I wanted to go back and work there immediately. I considered my past patterns and realized that this might be something I love to do for it’s own sake.
And when I told my mother about the interview? Do you want to know what her reaction was?
“Well, at least you’ll have some extra money coming in.”
My mother couldn’t care less whether or not something was personally fulfilling to me. In fact, she pretty much only cares about whether it will make me money. She did this when she tried to get me to give up an internship I’d gotten myself to pursue one she’d gotten for me that actually paid something; when she and some other members of the Trifecta discouraged me from taking a teaching job back in the States because it didn’t pay enough and I would be living below the poverty line; and just recently, when she’d been harassing me, after I told her I’d joined a play, about finding an agent and getting headshots done and going to casting calls, because “Your sister went to a few casting calls and she’s getting paid for it.”
I really don’t care about money. never have, and I never will. All I want is to have just enough to be comfortable, and to be able to live a happy life. Making sure I’m doing something meaningful, and contributing to society in some way, is so much more important to me than anything else.
So when I tell my mom that I’m interviewing to work at a preschool and she says that it’s great because I’ll have some extra money coming in, I can’t help but feel so at a loss as far as her ever truly understanding what’s important to me as a person.
After I got off the phone with her that night, I just sat at my desk and cried.