Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stay Or Go?

I'm reading a novel called The Weird Sisters.  It's not fantastic, but it's good enough.

One of the sisters is Rose. S has a problem. Her fiancĂ© likes to travel. He doesn't like to stay in one place for long.  Rose, on the other hand, is attached to her hometown.  She wants to stay there and work at the local university.  Her dream job has recently been offered to her.

The problem is her fiancĂ© has been given a dream opportunity in the UK.   He wants her with him.  She wants him to come back to America.

How's that going to resolve itself?

I have no idea.

I just finished reading a scene where Rose's mom encouraged her to move to England to be with her man.

It was interesting to me, because it's the opposite of my situation.

In 2008 I wanted to move to Australia. My dad was very upset about this and pushed us to stay.

It wasn't just Australia that was a problem.

Before Australia came into the picture, Tim and I casually mentioned that one day we'd like to spend several months or a year in another country.

My dad got visibly agitated. There was some not-really stifled anger.

There were also times that Tim looked at job opportunities within the United States but not Texas.

My dad was not happy about those things either.

He wants us in Fort Worth.

Although maybe Dallas would be okay.

My sisters are there.

My parents don't complain about that.

I'm trying to understand Rose's mother's motivation.

I guess her reaction kind of surprised me.  I expected her to be more neutral. Follow your heart, dear.  What do YOU think is right?  I'll support you either way. 

Do you choose love or your career?

Rose's mom wants Rose to choose her love.

What if it's the wrong love, but it was the right career?

Is it right for Rose's mom to push Rose in a certain direction. Does she know something I don't know?

Is Rose clinging to a life that's not healthy?

Or maybe Rose is intolerable, and her mother wants her far away.

As for my dad....

Why does he want us in the DFW area?

I do know that he loves having our family living close together.

I think he loves us being together, which IS quite lovely. We make a nice team. Sometimes.

Yeah.  We're awful at times.  But other times, we're like a superstar family.  Someone could easily make a sitcom about us...or one of those primetime soap operas.

But I also think my dad likes the IDEA of us being together.

It's kind of like my massive collection of Aussie books. I might not like all of them individually. I'm just proud of my collection. I wish more people could come into my office so I could show it off.

I think my dad likes to show us off, not as individuals, but as a grand collective.

The other day my dad talked to me about a conversation he had with a bride's father. He was critical of the father over something. My dad said if the man didn't watch out, his daughter might move away.

The conversation unnerved me. Is this what my dad thought? That us staying here proved he had succeeded as a father.

I think so.

It's not true, though.

If anything, my dad's persistence on us staying made me want to leave even more. It made me want to run far far away. 

We ended up staying for Jack.

He's VERY close to his cousins, and other relatives.  He loves Texas.

It seemed wicked to tear him away from that.

That's not to say we wouldn't have left if an opportunity had fallen in our lap. We might have.

But it felt wrong to actively pursue it. 

Maybe I felt that way because of my own childhood.

My dad changed jobs multiple times for various reasons.

This meant we left our house, neighborhood, friends, etc. behind six times.  

I stopped living in the same town as my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins when I was less than a year old.

Does my dad regret that?

Does he not want it for his own grandchildren?

Is that behind his desire for us to stay?

Maybe.

Although I can't remember him ever expressing that regret.

Actually, I don't think he's expressed regret even when arguing against us moving away.

So really.

I think it's just about my dad fulfilling his dream of having his children, in-laws, and grandchildren geographically close to him.

Unfortunately, it clashed with my dream of living in Australia.

Fortunately for my dad, Jack shared his dream, and I gave more priority to my child's wishes than my own.  

When I'm angry at my dad, I'm pissed off that he won.

But mostly I'm fine with it.

I like our life here.

I'm happy that we stayed.

I don't have many regrets that we stayed.

I do feel, though, that if we took the other path; If we moved to Australia, I'd have no regrets there either.

I think I'd be as happy there as I am here.

Maybe happier.

Or maybe I'd be a little less happier.

Oh!

I would have had to give up my cats.

I forgot about that.

So it wasn't just Jack that made us stay.

It was the cats too.

Lately, I've been thinking about karma.

I often think about it teaching lessons to people who have been unfair to me.

I try to remind myself, though, that I should imagine how it might teach ME a lesson. I personally think I'm an incredibly decent person, but the universe might feel otherwise. 

The other day I thought about my dad not wanting us to move. I thought about how I've often declared to myself that I'll be much less controlling with Jack; at least in that regard.  I'll encourage him to move where he wants to move. If I feel clingy, we'll move to where he is. We won't make him stay where we want to live.

But maybe karma will someday show me I'm wrong.

Maybe one day I'll be attached to both my town AND Jack and his family. Maybe I won't want to lose either one; and I'll fight to keep both. Then I'll look back at my dad and think, oh, now I get it. 

Or maybe I won't.

I'm betting that I won't.

But we shall see......