Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why do I do it?

“Why do you do it, if you hate it so much?”

This was the question posed by J during my recent, not so unpredictable freak out over an organization I run.

“Because I CARE.” I say fiercefully and am reminded of how many times those exact words have been uttered to me…

Years ago… High School Rome(eo) asked me why I stayed in an after school activity (in an effort not to offend others, even though everyone I went to high school with knows exactly what I am talking about) when it continued to make me miserable.
“ Because I have to… I made a commitment. I have to. I can’t quit.” I would say, tears running down my face, sobbing into the wee hours. I cried into Rome(eo), letting him soothe me as only he could do, accepting my decision, as he always did…
Years later the Ex asked me why I didn’t change my major to something more substantial. I did. For a semester. For him, I changed it all- changed everything about me from my appearance (no curly hair) to my major- no more theatre (despite the major freaking scholarship that brought me to my school in the first place). I left the classroom, in the middle of class, sobbing in the first week of school. I called my family first, then the head of the department I had left. I told me to get in to see him NOW. I went in and cried. And cried. (it’s what I do). I cried for what seemed like an hour until finally Dr. Amazing asked me what I wanted. I said I didn’t know… I wanted what was best for us… not what was best for me. He pointed that out. He made me see that I needed to do what I wanted… and I did. And even though I knew I was a disappointment every day we were together, I was happy, knowing I had made the choice for me.

Every choice J has helped me make has been just that- a help. He offers advice and always lets me know that choice. Is. Mine. I think he knows I need to make it. Me. Not anyone else and, whatever I decide, can’t be a disappointment.

My whole life I have feared disappointing others more than anything else. I would/ will never do anything willingly that disappoint my family. I have always desperately tried to please my partner. Rome(eo) was everything I had dreamed of. He was my best friend, an athlete and the guy that all of the girls loved. I would have done whatever he wanted. I adored every moment we shared. He continues to be a friend to this day. He came to my wedding… we’re that kind of people.

I next tried desperately to avoid being a disappointment to the Ex. I was me. Outlandish and entertaining. I loved it. I was myself all of the time- laughing our way through the relationship… until it wasn’t okay anymore… Suddenly, I was a disappointment… I was embarrassing when I made outrageous comments, jokes… when the laughter turned to me, rather than him. I wanted to change… I wanted him. I was so caught up in love that I would have sacrificed whatever part of me I needed to. My family had already gone by the waste side- a fact that brings tears to my eyes to admit… I know it never would have worked. When you have a back ground like mine- a brother who will need me forever- I need someone who loves them as much as I do. Who is as passionate about loving them as I am… He wasn’t. Plus… I wasn’t me anymore.

So, after marrying a man who puts up with all my craziness (and believe me- there is a TON of it) I find myself asking again why do I do things that drive me crazy…
Because, there are things that people do… Because we care. Because we want to as a person. And even when they suck- when it blows to be the person caring SO much about others… it’s hard. It’s hard not to get bitter. It’s hard not to want to walk away, because, you can. But now… so many years later, people question why I am doing something… and I have an answer: Because I care. Because I have to. Because other people… people who don’t know me and don’t weigh on my emotions… need me and I need them back.

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posted by Kellie @ 6:57 PM |

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