backyard crowing


major decision

mom and i had a long conversation over the phone last night, and it involved mostly this sort of thing:

me: I thought you would be relieved I wanted to switch to a more marketable major.
her: Well, the thing is--journalism (in my eyes) is no more marketable than english, because...

What does she want me to major in, math? I shudder to think. When will she be satisfied? dangit.

journalism, she seems to think, is just a phase for me. first it was french, then rtf, now journalism. earth to mom, people change majors ALL THE TIME.

she's living vicariously in that she wants me to not pick journalism, but she's not directing me where she would have gone. she mentioned that i am the quiet and reflective sort, that i don't enjoy the hustle and bustle, that i might not enjoy working in a newsroom. this, i admit, is true. but then she digressed and said, "but hey, i guess that's what i do, maybe it's unavoidable." so now she's comparing me to her! she thinks we are one in the same! no wonder we argue so! we are too alike to like each other sometimes, but i am sure as hell not her, and in many ways i don't want to be. i'm appalled that she would...oh god don't let me become my mother.

69% of people in america who graduate with a degree in journalism are placed in jobs related to their major within their first year of graduation. the avg. (mean or median, i can't remember which) annual income of a reporter is 30K. of course, there are the barbara walters and walter cronkites, but that's a different story, one that i probably won't live.

mom is concerned that most people in journalism took it throughout high school and jr. high, and that i'm behind already. i'm not going to let a lack of experience such as that discourage me. i have every right to be there, just because my only background is one year of high school journalism doesn't mean i can't 'make it.'

she made me cry on the phone again last night--this is the third or so phone call in a row she has managed such a feat. she said, "you're never going to call me again, are you?", and then, "no, i know you will." i didn't answer her, i was too busy trying to contain myself. i don't understand that woman. how can she be two people at once? what is her problem?

and at the end of our conversation, she said 'i love you', as she usually does, and i returned the favor. i meant those three words that evening, but with only half a heart. today as i was walking home, though, i began to think about the few times when she and i have been in an argument, and have parted ways, and i didn't return her the favor. sometimes i am too angry with her to tell her i love her, or at least i think i am. because honestly, why tell someone you love them when you're in the process--that very moment--of doing the exact opposite? i suppose the reason for such a lie is this idea that maybe, just maybe, she'll drive off and get into a wreck and die, and the last thing we did was argue, and i didn't tell her i loved her. it's the whole 'don't let the sun set upon an argument' theory. where then, is the honesty? when does a person get to screw up their life, to be that wreck, that beautiful, tragic, piece of artwork? if i'm not honest, who am i?

she knew when i was crying. parents always know if their kid is crying on the other side of the phone. i hope i'm no different with my children someday.

my parents have to accept my major decision, whatever that might be.

- Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2006


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