Backseat Driver

BLEARGH. I have a really hard time getting started with these posts. So many things are going on in my head and heart and they all need to be sorted through. But where do you start and what is too much and how do I get through all of it without ending up with a carefully written analytical essay (an expertise with me, the English major) versus an honest flowing journal entry? I guess a good place would be with the current problem and by current I mean the one that has been poking at my poor conscious mind for the past few hours but has probably been making a meal out of my subconscious mind.

I remember when I was younger sitting in my father’s lap while he drove down a slow residential block. My hands would some times be on the steering well, strongly gripping it and supposedly going where I wanted to go. Other times, they’d be in my lap content with letting Dad do all the driving. And it was fine, even fun. But seriously, if I think about this situation now as an adult… things get weird. If I picture myself sitting in an adult’s lap and we both have access to the steering well I’m not sure I would feel completely content– especially if that person were much stronger than me for instance and so even though it would appear from the outside that I was driving the car, it would really be the very strong individual whose lap I’m on. I guess the fact that this would make me completely and totally uncomfortable and anxious shoves me into the Control Freak Compartment of your closest Personality Filing System.

I officially closed my store today. It’s not a permanent thing I promise you. I adore my store. My dream is so crystal clear in my head that it is impossible for me to not make it happen. I completely and totally understand my dream and my plans and what needs to happen. But there are other forces at play in this universe– those strong hands handling the steering wheel for instance. You see, not only do I have quite an issue with relinquishing Control of the things in my life I love, I also am quite the Perfectionist as well. I’m not sure if this is the result of me being an incredibly Proud person or if I am perhaps a Proud person because I have been a Perfectionist all of my life– chicken or the egg you see. Because I can’t get the dream even slightly close to perfect right now, it needs to go on pause.

Right now, those “other hands” seem quite intent on seeing two things happen to me. The first of these, chronologically at least, if for me to return to the world of the full-time working class most probably in some administrative position in some sort of highly professional office. As a way of minor explanation, the only thing in this world that would bring me back to the workforce while my children are not of school age is a dire financial situation. No I haven’t found anything yet, but I haven’t applied either. Yes, there seems to be several opportunities that would completely benefit from my skill set and are offering the financial compensation I am looking for. Yes, childcare has been taken into consideration and I am actually mostly confident that we have found a very good remedy for that. No, I haven’t discussed this with my boss yet. Yes, this has all happened very rapidly and very recently. No, my husband is not at all upset or disappointed but actually expressed a lot of excitement about the idea. So, there’s that.

The second thing is that these hands are also determined to drive me out of the city I grew up in, the city that holds my very large and wonderful support group, and the city I always thought I would want to leave but would never have to leave (for those of you who insist on believing otherwise, that is further proof that I am often quite wrong).  At the same time, these hands seem to not be in a mad rush to do this and seem more focused on making this sort of thing very slow. Every week, I am slapped with another reason that we simply must leave this city. The most recent of these has been facing the educational opportunites for my children dead-on and the outlook is very bleak indeed. And then I get the hand coming at me with a reason we can’t leave tomorrow. The most recent of these has been discovering houses for sale in my master planned community that are asking less than what we paid for ours.

I guess I have this habit that has resulted from my Control Freak/Perfectionist Personality which causes me to completely and totally avoid that which I cannot master. This system hardly ever works at all– except for when dealing with people (then it becomes highly effective). Things just rot and rot and rot and then I really have my work cut out for me. You name it, I’ve avoided it to the point of rot– debt, messes, mail, laundry, projects, my hair (ok not ROT for that one, more like straw), etc. I am always perfectly aware that ignoring it will just not make it go away no matter how incredibly hard I try, but I am forced to try anyways. I can’t help myself! So I am putting on my Tunnel Vision Glasses and slimming down on distractions. This way, I have no choice but to deal with the real issue(s). Really I think this is why I am two different people as far as personal vs professional. When I am working, you will simply not stop me from achieving my ends. There is entirely too much at stake in my mind every time. For some completely psychotic reason, I cannot attach this levity to my personal life. Work is work is work is work. That’s all there is too it. Get me in an office, give me a thousand different things that absolutely positively NEED to get done (in the next two hours even) and I will blow your socks off. Sit me at a desk and tell me to just you know, answer phones and whatever else or something and I just… yeah.

I guess it’s coming down to determining whether or not this whole thing is something that I do indeed need to wrestle control of or if this is the sort of thing that I need to just drop my hands into my lap and enjoy the ride for. I’ve done that before, I can do it again, it is just quite possibly one of the absolute hardest things for me to do.


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