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Gratitude #2 - family

I actually live across the country from my family since I'm in love with Wisconsin. However, I feel grateful to my parents who, I realized yesterday, are my champions.

I was reading a creativity book that was talking about a man with a dream, and his wife who was willing to mortgage the house to support him in it. I thought, "That's well and good. My ex (and my ex before him, and even my ex before HIM) imploded with jealousy the moment I had any success." And then I realized...who says it has to be your love interest being supportive?

Before I quit my day job, I traveled to visit my parents and explain to them what I was doing and why. I did understand that they were raised in a time of "You work for a company, you retire, you get a pension and a health plan." Even though I was able to explain that my day job benefits were eroding, my takehome pay was next to nothing, and I was on a fast track for an ulcer, I could tell it was with great trepidation that each of them gave me their blessing.

And they'd never even heard of M/M...for me to have to tell them what it was, and that I wrote it, and that I planned to earn my livelihood writing it because I didn't seem able to write anything else? And to have them reluctantly say, "Well, okay...and your old room is still here for you...."

Yeah, that might not sound like the biggest vote of confidence, but I have no doubt their insides were screaming OMG, NO HEALTH INSURANCE, NO SECURITY, NO PENSION...WHAT IF YOU FAIL AND YOU'RE HOMELESS? AND WHY'D YOU BOTHER GOING TO GRAD SCHOOL ANYWAY? But neither one of them said it. Neither one said I was a sick freak going straight to hell for writing gay books, either. Actually, they were both proud of me. Somewhat baffled, but proud. And for that, I am grateful!



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Amanda Corlies
Nov. 27th, 2011 04:56 pm (UTC)
I gotta tell you, Jordan, I love these last two posts. It's making me look at things in a different light. For instance, my family and I had a very similar conversation after grad school, to which there was much the same non-reaction, keeping their mouths firmly shut. But, I never considered how this could be their way of supporting me. It makes me feel grateful, too. Thanks for that.
Nov. 27th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
Given all the ways people can actively sabotage you, withholding criticism is actually kind of a gift!
Nov. 27th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
Yay for your parents!
Nov. 27th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
I think parents can be easy to take for granted if they're still young and in good health.
Amanda Corlies
Nov. 27th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)
No kidding! It really is so easy to take them for granted, and also to forget that they are from a whole different generation. Sometimes, when we throw things at them, they don't even know how to process it, much less how to respond. It's really good to remember to put ourselves in their shoes sometimes. :D
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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