Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My heart must be set on something before I'll accomplish it

June 18, 1987

Thinking and more thinking about life career. I seem to always want to please those around me - Doctor  for my Dad but I dropped out for Cris, (well, actually - my parents pulled me out on the advice of a crooked psychiatrist) Tailor for Halle, Media Artist for Bonita Wahl, High school teacher for Herb Grika. My God, where does it end?

I really must figure out what it is that I personally would like to accomplish in my life. In terms of realistic - not unattainable - but realistic - calculated risks.

Well, first off, I really like the natural sciences. I am interested in chemistry to some extent - like brain and body chemistry - and I am interested in biology - the biology of all things - well, mammals and especially in concern with reproduction and infant and early child life.

I am capable of achieving anything I set my heart after. I am aware of that at least. It's just that I really must have my heart set on something before I'll really accomplish anything. Will becoming a Pediatrician really satisfy my life career? If everyone should die would I still be interested?

Help! Help me! Sue, you must help yourself - you must not let anything sway you to one side or another.

Well, I did let someone sway me: My dad.

My father was a doctor. His specialty was Family Practice. His dad was a doctor, so was his uncle. He was a good and kind man. He loved my mother and me and my siblings more than anything else. He always told us so.

He often told me a story, of when he was in high school. He was confused and in love with my mother, but was unsure if what he was feeling was love (that sounds kind of Asperger's like doesn't it?) Well, anyway, he saw a psychologist, he always said his name, Dr. Kamman
(Thanks Aja, for remembering his name!). This man told my dad that there were only 9 things that were truly important in a relationship.

My dad told me these nine things over and over. Even though he had told the tale to me before, he would trot out the tale at every opportunity. To confirm a relationship was "good", to suggest that a relationship "might not be right", or trying to console a broken heart.

Nine things that you need in order to have a successful relationship...
Companionship: you must enjoy spending time with this person. You must have things in common.
Understanding: You must understand and accept the object of your affection, as they should understand and accept you.
Trust: This is a two-way street. You start with trust and you can only lose it. Once trust is loss, it is very difficult to earn back.
Honesty: Be honest and expect honesty from your partner.
Respect: Respect your partner. You must be of similar "taste".
Loyalty: Be loyal to one another, that is key, no cheating!
Affection: show it! and expect to be shown affection.
Tolerance: You must tolerate some differences from yourself in your partner.
Physical: Attraction and physical affection are vital to a successful relationship.
I suspect now, as an Aspergian, that my dad was one too. He probably was able to navigate life as successfully as he did because of these "rules" and my mother. My father supplied the rules that I used to grow up - at least until I was a teenager, and then again after my bone marrow transplant. I was thirty by then, and ready to listen to him again. 

When I told my dad I was considering returning to pre-med we had a long talk about the state of the medical field. He was greatly discouraging. He said that unless the U.S. reformed the way health care was parceled out, that the medical field was no place to stake your future. My dad would be pleased with the historic Health Care Reform Legislation that was enacted under Obama's Administration.

So, no pre-med for me. That was good. I would have made a crappy doctor. Using his advice, I applied to the University of MN, College of Art Education.

1 comment:

  1. My heart is warmed by Grandpa's words of wisdom. I can hear him telling me them now, I even clearly remember the first time I actually *listened* to this life lesson. I was lucky enough to hear it many more times after that.

    It was Dr. Kamman.