My brother has a few photographs that are from my grammar school days, probably taken myself during some field trip. They’re a handful of pictures, clearly taken in the 80’s, all kids, gathered to do something, faces I recognize, but for most of them, I can’t think of names. I’m terrible with names.
I can’t put any identities to them. When I look at them, I felt this sort of sense of loss, because I can’t believe I’ve forgotten people I’ve spent years of my life with. As a geeky type in school, I promised myself I would only remember the fun and forget about whatever I had a bad time with, but I don’t remember school being that bad.
I think this is a testament to how easily I can accidentally erase people from my life, and in a way, I don’t like it.
I was thinking about making this entry into a gripe list of the reasons I haven’t gotten along with my father’s current wife over the years, but it isn’t just a childish thing to do in such a public place, it just isn’t necessary.
I got in a row with her that ended up with a simple conclusion: I have never once been clear about my goals, tastes, or ambitions around my father and his wife, and I’m really not sure why. They know this blog exists, but I don’t think they read it. They aren’t aware of the music it attaches to, and they don’t know about all the little competitions, or that I won one recently, because they’re not following along and I didn’t tell them. Since she has no idea about my tastes or my political libertarian centerist leanings, my father’s wife really doesn’t know when she’s rubbing me the wrong way, because I ignore whatever jabs me and carry on with whatever I was up to doing. It’s created a vicious cycle of self-duplicating coldness: I feel like I’ve been treated without understanding and respect from the beginning, which leads her to think of me as selfish and disrespectful in return, it’s very easy to see how these sorts of things well up and stick around.
In the void that should represent my goals and desires, an overactive imagination has decided that I’m a leeching couchsurfer with no life, a final straw that could’ve ended up a lot uglier than it did.
There is no easy solution, however. I can’t get my father’s wife to be interested in micromusic any more than she can convert my religion or politics; and I have nothing to prove to her or to anyone when it comes to my value as a person in any sort of culture I participate in. If she doesn’t accept my customer service work as a career, there really isn’t much to talk about. This blog is the document that shows how I learned to like the cards life dealt me, and the only person that really matters to is me.
The single event that sparked this row is equally trivial.
I don’t see this issue as clearing itself up anytime soon.