Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Repetition, Recognition, and Limitations

Part of being a cancer patient, especially with a lot of recurrence, you get sort of used to doing things again, and again, and again, and again. Tests, exams, blood work, doctor appointments, arguing w/ the insurance company, surgeries, radiation, hearing bad news, hearing decent news, hearing hopeful news, repeating said news to family, figuring out the best way to repeat news to friends. Stop. Repeat.

Maybe that's why repeating other life events just seems... natural... to me now. I'm repeating the Bar exam, I'm repeating my job search... I've been comparing my life to limbo a lot, but now that I think about it... it's a lot more like repeat. Now I'm sure it can't stay like this... but for right now, I'm getting to so everything again.

While I started Bar prep classes again yesterday... its actually the job interview I had yesterday that sort of set off this particular post. I wasn't planning on applying for any jobs right now. My classes are at night, the Bar is at the end of February. Obviously, I'm going to spend most every waking minute cramming. So the idea of working isn't particularly high on my list of objectives right now. But then a friend of mine said someone told him about a position working for a congressman, and he wanted to pass my resume along, and it just sounded really cool. And so, I took on my 7th ( I think) interview.

I mean it had it's downfalls... no pay... a year long commitment... really bad pay. But it was a step in the door for something I would be interested in doing. So I went to the interview, she liked me, said I was way overqualified for the job, then asked if I really thought I could juggle studying for the bar and working full time. A recent lawyer herself... I had to be honest... as much as I wanted the job it meant risking another failure, and she understood completely. I would basically be a glorified secretary for a year... it was a step forward but a massive leap back. She also knew that it would be a buffer position for me. Something I would just want to do to fill in until I got my license. She basically said all the things I've considered when looking for in between jobs. And once we got that out in the air, we just chatted like new friends comparing our lives and just... talking.

Mom, in her ever supportive role, reacted by telling me how she worked full time, while raising me, pulling 16 credits, and a 3.8 GPA and still found time to study somewhere in between. I hate, hate, hate, hate, when she compares her life to mine. I appreciate that it was hard for her... I was there... There's about 50 million perfectly true responses I could make to her but choose not to. And even now, it sounds a little too contemptuous to write out. So I'm just going to say I know it was hard for her... but it was a significantly different situation. She went on to even be like, "I wonder if I was a good mother then," and "I wonder how we kept it together then." My response was, " I wasn't a heathen wild teenager." Which basically meant I took care of myself, the house, and kept things working. It wasn't particularly hard... sort of just came naturally to be very prudent and responsible because I could easily see things going all to hell if I wasn't. A remarkably common theme when looking at how I've dealt with the whole cancer bit.

Sorry, I'm sort of pointlessly rambling here. Basically I just don't think she ever looked at the things I was doing to keep things going. Just like now she doesn't look at what I'm dealing with; she only knows how to see what she's doing or has done.

So... I don't want to say I didn't get the job. I think if I had committed she would have taken me in a heartbeat... But I was honest. I was actually honest about what I thought my limitations were. A first for me. And so we agreed that come March, when I'm done w/ the Bar, I'm to give her a call and see if anything is open.

I think for the first time in my life I am afraid to see where my limitations actually are. I've spent a lot of time pushing myself to the limits. Taking on too much work. Trying to do too much in life. And it's been absolutely fantastic. But I'm afraid that right now, if I push it and cross the line... I'll be stuck here forever. This is new to me. Even before cancer, I tried to push what I could handle (of course in a responsible and prudent over-achiever manner... not a crazy partier sense). Threats to my physical life sort of magnified that attitude. But now... its my long-term life that's threatened.

Am I growing up? Am I just growing tired? Is this just a phase? I don't know... but I know its what I need to do.

1 comment:

Daria said...

I'm so glad you are re-writing the bar exam ...