Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"can't" just isn't in my vocabulary

I can help someone who's considering suicide find a way to stay alive another day.

I can write a paper of any length analyzing pretty much any aspect of literary theory, at an average rate of a page per hour, without a problem.

I can lead a group of volunteers, ranging from 19 to 48 years old, to build a street outreach program from the ground up, charging bravely into the night to find and reach kids living on the streets.

I can manage meetings, make executive decisions, delegate responsibilities, and balance infinitely conflicting schedules, all with grace and composure.

And yet, I must admit, there are some very important relationships in my life which I'm not able to fix. This is what I do for a living--I build connections with people, manage conflict, understand emotions...and here I have failed time and time again with two of the most important people in my world. I'm too close to it, too personally invested in the conflict, to be able to reach through the screaming and the fighting and the crying to find some grain of hope.

I'm trying to sort this out in my mind. I know that our expectations of what a parent-adult child relationship should be are different. At the same time, I'm not sure how to reconcile these two divergent ideals. I'm not able to fix it on my own, and it's hard to tell whether they're willing to meet me halfway.

All I know is that something's gotta give. It seems that things have been this way for a long time now, with brief interludes of outward peace and no change in the foreseeable future. If I don't do something to at least try to reach some sort of peace with the situation I fear that this will always be a source of contention and pain in my life. It's too important for me to let it go.

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