Go fly

Gather around everyone! I brought everyone a box of the world-famous Voodoo Donuts. Hailing from Portland, these donuts have set up shop in Los Angeles too. I warn you these donuts are a lot larger than pictured. They’re all at least the size of my hand.

The other day I received two phone calls at work. One was from a former volunteer who left last year sharing that he was going to finish nursing school this month. That volunteer was a career changer coming from music production and the entertainment industry. The second was from a current volunteer thanking me for writing her a letter of recommendation for medical school. She just received acceptance from one of her top three choices. I get so excited when I hear life updates from my current and former volunteers and interns. They have no idea how much their news lifts my spirits.

I’m really excited about the new opportunities we created in our department; we partnered with a few local job and work-source centers and act as a worksite for these recipients. Depending on the program, they could either intern for as little as 100 hours or as long as 10 months between (10 to 30 hours per week) and they receive a stipend from their sponsor work-source center. I look forward to outcomes as people graduate from their program.

My work life contrasts with my home life. I see my husband pulling teeth to get his brothers to become more independent. My husband is pushing BIL #1 to get a better-paying job — maybe put his vocational certificate to use. My husband even paid for the courses (a big no-no in parenting an adult child 101). BIL #2…well…he has never worked a job in his life because he’s been babied all his life — that’s another long story. I was hoping I could take him to volunteer to help prep for the annual Holiday Giving at my work, but he left for the weekend. I tell my husband I find it ironic that I assist people from all walks of life and abilities in professional development for a living but I can’t help my BILs….well mainly because my BILs can’t help themselves. It’s an incredibly demoralizing feeling. I have to always remind myself that the people who are volunteering or interning were motivated in the first place — they went through the work of applying to the program so I should not compare them to my BILs.

The other day, I told BIL #1 about a housing opportunity he may be eligible for. I learned about the opportunity from my sister and pitched it to him. It took me several days to figure out how to approach it because I did not want to come off as “go on and fly now, bye!” I saw it as “Imagine this: you get your own apartment with a proper kitchen and a space to park your car. Plus you pay just as much as the rent you pay for a room here at my house. Isn’t that awesome?” The response BIL #1 seemed a little lukewarm and he said “he’ll look into it.” Well, I encouraged him to apply, the worst thing they’ll tell him is “no” and whatever the reason (i.e. not eligible, no space, etc.). The best thing they’ll tell him is “yes” and they’ll take him in.

I realized the hard way my in-laws are coming from a culture of enabling and co-dependence. My husband reflected that if he never met me, he would have still stayed in San Diego with his parents and his siblings. He would have never gone back to school and had a career as an aerospace engineer. In an alternate life, he would have worked whatever job to contribute to the family. I understand he wants to open these same opportunities to his brothers, but as long as they continue to see us as the head providers I think at most their efforts in personal and professional development will be at most superficial. I just hope I am very wrong. Please prove me wrong.

I chuckle that I am researching articles and books on how to parent an adult child instead of parenting a toddler.

Currently reading:

Orhan’s Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian (from the library)

Finished reading:

Watchmen by Alan Moore (borrowed from the library)


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Eat, Play, Live - my personal blog Buoyancy Blog Project - a blog about resilience

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