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2002-10-10 - 10:16 p.m.

A lot of stuff I wrote in my last entry was stuff I learned at a "Conflict Resolution" course. Well, a lot of it was common sense, but it was reiterated there nonetheless. One of the exercises we did was in mediation, where we were told simply to listen, to repeat what the person/ people were saying back to them, but not to offer your own take on it, nor to give advice.

I think I learned a lot from that course. The quote in my last entry about guys always wanting to fix things, that was me. If someone said they were sad, I tried to make them happy, if someone was angry I tried to calm them down.

I'm learning fast. I was talking to Annie this evening and I told her that I'd been thinking about such things. I told her that in the past I'd told Jane that whenever Annie was upset my instinct was to try to make her happy, but that I realised it wasn't always about fixing it. It's about being there to ride out the wave. Tonight I was saying to Annie "it's okay to be sad" and reiterating that there was nothing abnormal about how she was feeling. Not trying so much to make her happy but letting her know that I'm always there for her when she isn't. I told her that the thing to change wasn't getting depressed, it was how she reacted to it. Because what she falls back on every time she feels that way is not something that can be relied on. It's like building a fortress on quicksand.

I remember a conversation I had with Cindy once where she asked me if I liked my job, and I said, kinda yeah but it's not and never will be something I'm passionate about. But that doesn't bother me because it pays well and it facilitates my ability to do things I am passionate about. I said that helping people, counselling my friends, was something I was passionate about. And that I kinda liked the idea of psychology and philosophy. She told me that if that was the case I should do that, I should be a psychologist if that was what I was passionate about.

I'm still not sure if she's right. I think I'm going pretty well where I am. I never said I *didn't* like my job, but I know I'll never be passionate about my job because people are my passion. It never occured to me to try to combine the two. I wonder why- I mean, I'm a scientist, psychology is a science, why did I never consider such a path?

I don't know. I am pretty secure at the moment. I am paid well, I'm getting a lot more involved with my job than I used to, I like the people (gee, funny that that would matter to me), and I still have time to do what I'm passionate about. I still have time to write diary entries on why "Ziggy Stardust" is up there with "Sgt Peppers", I still have time to conduct music polls, I still have time to play my piano and listen to my CDs and write, and above all I still have time for the people I love. It doesn't matter which part I am paid for, it all evens out.

Professional musicians, "rock stars" get to combine their passion and their career, but they still have to turn up for obligatory interviews, causes they might not believe in and dodgy lifestyle shows. It's not all roses (well I missed the segment but I'm sure there might have been the odd daffodil and maybe a garden gnome ;). They all say it, and we scoff- who wouldn't want to do what they're doing?- but it's not all plain sailing. I may live a fairly sheltered life but I'm thankful I haven't lost any friends to suicides and drug overdoses.

I'd hate to be a scientist whose hobby was reading science magazines and cultivating moulds. I'm glad mine involve music and literature, and most importantly love and friendship.


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