slow growing

On Monday my parents were in town and I met them for breakfast. This meeting had two purposes: one, coincidentally, for each of the main themes or what-have-you of this blog. They brought me my bike (which was temporarily lost by the airline that flew me and it home from France a few weeks ago), and they agreed to get me (using their frequent flyer miles) plane tickets to India in the fall. I’ve got some stuff to say about both these things (mostly the second), and in the course of that will probably get to some of the less easily articulated themes of this blog (blah blah blah odyssey blah blah growing up blah choices priorities youth blah).

Part One:

I biked all over Provence for a week with my dad and my brother and some other people. It had its ups and downs (quite literally of course). I’m sure I will post some pictures eventually, including a great one of me and my bike completely surrounded by red poppies. I came away from the trip much less afraid of Portland’s hills (hey I was like climbin’ freakin’ Alps, man) and in pretty good shape, all enthusiastic about biking to Multnomah Falls and biking to the top of Mount Tabor every week or every day or something… so of course the airline lost my luggage.

So I rode a lot of buses and walked a whole lot too. Once I tried to borrow my boyfriend Andrew’s bike, but the 2 or 3 miles ride from his house to mine was enough to demonstrate very convincingly that bike fit actually matters a helluva lot and there is a lot more to it than standover height.

So after breakfast on Monday my parents drove me and my still-boxed bike to my former place of work, that is, the bike e-commerce business that my dad co-owns and runs, and there I put my bike back together, all by my happy self, and then I got on and rode it home in my boots and a sundress and oh the bliss of that first pedal stroke. The joy and efficiency. It was beautiful.

I should say “once and future place of work,” which leads me to…

Part Two:

I am going to India in the fall! With my boyfriend, whose praises I will resist singing except to say that he’s awesome and I am really excited that we’ll be traveling together!

…My parents are a little less thrilled. They’re worried about my safety, about money, about my joblessness and laziness and lack of ambition and other things. At breakfast we talked about a lot. I was pretty sure I had the money thing under control, and my slow but steady theatre work is beginning (very very slowly, but it’s happening) to generate some actual income. I felt okay with my figurative wandering. Remember those posts about that happy center I’ve found this spring? That stuff justified, for me, the fact that I kinda look like a slacker right now.

For awhile I was going to look for a job after I got back from Europe. Then I was busy with the play I was stage managing through March. Then I was going to France and figured finding a job that would give me that time off would be impossible or nearly so, so I thought I’d look after I got back from France. Then the kind folks at a certain large regional theatre in Portland offered to pay me some money for the same stuff I’ve gladly done for them twice before at their yearly summer playwrights’ festival, and I certainly couldn’t say no. And besides I was beginning to make tentative, hopeful, lovely plans with Andrew while we read through guidebooks to India together. Who would hire me when I already knew I’d need two weeks off in July and I might skip out entirely come autumn?

My dad. At the job I happily quit last fall before I left for Europe, swearing I wouldn’t work there again. The job I happily quit the summer before that… and the summer before that.

There are some compromises I am not willing to make (giving up travel, giving up theatre) and so I’ll make some other compromises instead (working at V__).

But I wanted to bike to Ashland with Andrew and we had vague plans to go backpacking and he was out of a job until July anyway, so when I broached the subject with Dad I asked him if I could wait to start until July, but oh by the way I need two weeks off in mid-July… he said, “start when that’s over.”

And for a couple weeks Andrew and I slept late and made food and wandered the city a bit and watched movies and hung out and cuddled my cat and didn’t plan our trip to Ashland or go backpacking, and on Monday when I asked my parents for tickets to India, they said, “why aren’t you working? What are you accomplishing now? How will you afford it? Shouldn’t you be writing plays or devoting yourself totally to theatre if that’s what you want to do, instead of taking off for months at a time? How come you don’t write in your blog anymore?” and, because sometimes they are right about things, when we got to V__ I asked my old boss, “can I work here again?” and he said “when can you start?” (I start tomorrow, 8AM.)

And now I am writing this blog entry.

Because I have failed to be productive for myself–because I have failed to establish my own productive routine–so I must submit to a routine made for me, at least in part. Next time, maybe, I will get it right. My parents aren’t right about everything and I know that some of the things I value aren’t what they value, and vice versa. But until I can tell them exactly what it is that I value, and until they’re not paying my health insurance and my cell phone bill, I gotta respect what they have to say (and I do).

It’s a tricky thing to wrap my head about–because of my lingering dependence on them, I don’t have the freedom to bum around Portland all summer… instead, I get to go to India. You know? I must be kind of an adult or something, at least a little bit, because despite their vague disapproval, they got me tickets anyway.

One Response to “slow growing”

  1. Diana Says:

    Oh, we only pay the cell phone so we know we can call you when we want to… and I pay the health insurance for MY peace of mind, not yours. And because I love you.

    Mom

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