petting the growling dog

At lunch today, I spilled a fair amount of my guts out to someone I barely know. I hadn’t even meant to sit with him, but I said hello to him as I was leaving the library for the dining hall, and there he was, gaunt and peaceful and so very friendly. So I broke my own informal rule – don’t eat with strangers – and see what happened.

It figures that he’s a professor of psychology. Expertly rephrasing just what I said, with a liberal dose of, “It sounds like you’re …” Look, a little free therapy over $5.50 all you can eat buffet. Life is grand.

Mostly I talked about my parents, and what I think they expect from me. This issue keeps resurfacing: do they think I’m not living to my full potential just because I’m not rushing off to grad school? Why do I keep measuring myself with their higher-ed ruler? Why can’t I let go of what I think they think of me?

The professor referred to “petting the growling dog” in relation to me bringing up the topic of grad school whenever conversations with my parents turn to The Future Of Me. I bring it up, it’s true; I thought it was because I was trying to head off that particular topic before it got out of my control, or before it irritated me. Now I have to practice saying, “I would like not to have the grad school discussion for the next two years, while I enjoy my new career.” Stop petting the growling dog.

And now, the good things about being home:

  • Mish’s talk of deep-fried cream cheese wontons today turned into ordering out for Chinese food tonight. I love delivered food.
  • The library is not only still standing, it’s perking along nicely. I missed it.
  • The newly-installed Mac OS X is gorgeous, and I have DSL again!
  • Lily and I are going to hang out and watch movies tomorrow night. She’s even making dinner; I just have to bring the kettle corn. Now where’s that blasted kettle …
  • It was fifty degrees today, and sunny. I appreciate the weather here again.
  • Chad and Zen missed me. A lot. The laundry and litterbox missed me just as much, apparently.

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I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.