Follow Through: 2; Wimp Out: 0

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been caught in a ‘you never finish anything’ loop for forever. Or so a lot of people in my life have always told me. They’re wrong, of course. I’ve finished a shitload of projects: one novel,12 albums and counting, 2 university degrees, CPA exam….That short list ALONE should allow me to shut up my inner and outer demons by proving that I can and do finish projects.

Or so you’d think.

I know the arguments on this like the back of my hand….Wait, what’s that on the back of my hand? Oh..nothing, never mind (just kidding). Seriously, this particular merry-go-round rarely lets me off. Yes, most of the memories that pop up in my brain include SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED. But there are other family members guilty of throwing this at me over the years, so for once I can say she’s not the only reason for this post. I know these comebacks to my protests of my own follow through because I lend them credibility. I can understand some of my family’s frustrations over my seemingly erratic behavior: they don’t know me. At. All. Problem is, they think they’ve got me figured out to a T.

What happened:

After mucking around too long in the job market being used for my skills without proper recompense, I returned to Uni. I brought up a 1.3 grade point average to a 3.9. I fucking excelled, and I loved being back at school. I suffered a silent death when it came to placements, tho. Interviewed with some very big firms but (pretty sure) I’d been blackballed by the Dean for not fucking him. Suspected it at the time, but no proof so what the fuck was I supposed to do? I did what I always did: I blamed myself. I didn’t interview well, they wanted younger people…many reasons for not ‘making it’ and my family happily joined me in blaming me for all of these reasons and more. Then came the nagging: why would anyone go to Uni and get a degree in accounting without following through and doing the CPA exam? Day after day. This came from my dad, who was dying. So the pressure was double to please him. I did it, too. Spent $2000 I didn’t have on a review course, worked my ass off, and nailed it. I was able to give dad the results before he died. Result: Dad had one last time to feel good about me, I was $2000 worse off financially, and that was it. I never went into accounting, never got a job because of any of my studies, degrees, or certifications. Now, if I’d got my degree and certification years ago BEFORE dad’s death, I would have been very satisfied pursuing a job at a bank or insurance company or some other faceless and soulless cubicle infected realm where I would have sat out the rest of my natural life growing fatter and more republican by the minute. But my dad’s death changed everything for me. I knew I didn’t want an office job anymore. I knew I wanted to release the music and art that was bottled up inside me. The people who choose to see this time as an example in my life when I don’t follow through harangue me because I spent so much time, effort, and money to get my degrees and certification and then let everything drop. I see it as a major epiphany in my life, and I still don’t regret doing it. As a direct result, I DID go into the arts. However, the people who choose to blame me for not following through with my degree still blame me – my artistic endeavors don’t pay the rent. I’m ‘poor’ (their perception, not mine). I never even follow through with my art projects – OBVIOUSLY – because I don’t make any real money at them.

Yes, I came from a family of staunch republicans. Can you tell? Success = money. That’s my family’s full equation for the fucking universe. They don’t count things like happiness, inner fulfillment, or love. And I feel sorry for them. I’m also angry at the way they perceive me. My choice has been to strictly and severely limit my interactions with them. I’m tired of trying to educate them, and tired of being the dog they kick every time the family gets together. And I’m real fucking tired of hearing their shit continue in my head despite their not being in my life. ARGH!!!

It’s days like today that I have to list off my recent accomplishments to myself (and they must be recent because geez! if I haven’t accomplished anything in a while then what the fuck use am I?). So I’m holding onto 2 good follow throughs that were actually really hard for me to do. The first is that I finally got through notifying everyone I nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. I had to contact 15 people, and that’s 14 more than I normally would in any one day. I dithered, I delayed. I almost didn’t finish the list, almost didn’t write to the last 3 people because I thought ‘close enough’ and made excuses about how f***ing busy I was. I even put the last of the list in my trash on my computer but saved it before emptying everything out. And then I came back and wrote to those last 3 people. I actually did it! No cutting corners, no easy skating. I climbed the mountain and came down the other side. The second follow through I still must finish today, but I’ve not dropped it: reporting the suspected domestic abuse I heard. I got stymied on the phone number the police gave me to call, so I trolled the internet for any agency in NL I should report to (so much easier! when I run into too much Dutch I can ask google for a quick translate). I found an agency and emailed them. I’ve got a response back in English with a request to call the person who wrote to me. THAT I can do – I know when they get on the phone I can speak freely to them. I’m waiting a few hours for the place to open up and all the Monday morning crap to get over with before I make the call. But by noon today I’ll have spoken to someone, told them everything I know, and done everything I could do in this situation.

WHOOPEE! I don’t know why I feel better about doing these simple tasks than I do when I think about finishing Uni or my CPA exam. Maybe because Uni and the exam were easy for me to do, and these things were hard to do. I SO wanted to let it go, not follow through at all with both tasks. I’m so happy I’ve stuck with it.


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