The future

It still feels weird to be moving forward with my future.

The professor I mentioned the other day enthusiastically agreed to write me a letter of recommendation, so yay for that. I already have my professional references lined up, too.

I went yesterday to buy an iPad for taking notes in class, since I’ll most likely be attending Texas Woman’s University in person. Even Amy (who usually hates everything Apple) said the deal I found was good. She also stops me from making stupid financial choices so I don’t feel too guilty.

I only feel a little bit of guilt because I have a Microsoft Surface that she gave me, which would do the same thing. It would require me to get used to the Windows OS again after strictly being on Mac OS for 6 years, but I did it before and I’m sure I could again.

Chloe’s name and gender marker change might both be official sooner than we thought, which is exciting news. But she and Dylan are both actively looking for jobs now too, which will really help me a lot.

Suddenly I had a weird realization today, though: I could potentially still go ahead with my previous plans to get a condo in the Oak Lawn neighborhood of Dallas. Not any time soon but maybe once I finish grad school and am working as a therapist.

Therapists can actually make pretty good money. I’m so used to setting my sights low, especially because we struggled so much for so many years in Michigan and then I was on disability. I got really accustomed to believing that was all I’d ever be able to do.

And I feel so deeply conflicted about all of this. Part of the bond between me and J was built on shared struggle. I mean, he finally reached a point in his last job where we weren’t struggling anymore, so I guess it wouldn’t be disloyal to his memory if I reached a comparable or even greater level of success on my own.

But at the same time, it does feel a little strange to imagine myself being financially successful without him. I wish I could have been financially successful while he was still alive, just because it would have made his life so much easier. He spent so many years—decades, actually—buried under the weight of supporting our family.

He did such a great and valiant job working so hard for us and I know we’re all grateful to him for it. And he knew about and fully supported my plans to go to grad school to become a therapist, so it’s not as if I would be doing anything differently if I became successful.

But on some level, I feel like I’m holding myself back because I don’t want it to be like I could only be successful after his death.

It’s all really complicated, I guess.

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