Yesterday I went and spoke to Mr. Casual Friday again. I thanked him for his advice about passion earlier this week and told him while I’d said I would put faith in him being correct, I realized the next day that I didn’t have to – I know he’s right. I know passion is enough. I’ve never had that in a job, but I did have it when I volunteered as a domestic violence advocate. MCF is a former police officer, so I find it likely he understands how significant that type of volunteering was for me. I told him it changed my life, which is true.
As usual, I went back a second time to see him yesterday. I couldn’t resist saying goodbye and seeing him just once more before four days off from work and being away from him. He is a Jehovah’s Witness, so I know he doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Regardless, I asked about his plans for the long weekend and he admitted he’d be working. I let him know I hope he doesn’t work too hard, which he brushed off casually. I assured him most would think he works too hard, but I know he believes in what he does which makes it admirable. He also mentioned making sure work doesn’t interfere with his home time, something he’s brought up occasionally in the past as well. He shared that his wife likes to sleep in and he likes to get up early, so problem solved.
I’m not sure if his intention is to gently offer marriage advice or if he is just opening up about his personal life a bit to me. Either way we do occasionally discuss the importance and mechanics of work-life balance. It’s comfortable with him. He makes me feel comfortable being me; he soothes the significant and varied fears I carry all day everyday. Just before I left I told him, “I know you don’t need anything, but if there ever is anything I can do for you, I hope you will let me know.” He took that in for a moment before responding, “I will.” and went on to mention my trajectory and the likelihood that at some point he will do so. I hope that happens. I didn’t have to courage to say the last part of my rehearsed offer, “nothing would please me more.” I’m trying so hard to be honest with him, but I just couldn’t scrape together any more courage in such a short span of time.
Although I didn’t say it, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he knows anyway. We reached a new understanding this week of a shared a drive to serve others. I did my best to make it clear to him the significance of the positive impact he has had on me and I’ve admitted to a desire to serve at the very core of my being. I have no doubt my investigator turned manager mentor can put two and two together to make four. I thanked him. I want so deeply to do more, to have more to offer in return, but at this time I simply don’t. He in turn thanked me, saying I didn’t have to come back down there and tell him all of this about the impact his advice had on me. I insisted it was the very least I could do and pointed out that by using thanking me as a diversion from my expression of gratitude he was only compounding the difficulty because, as we have previously acknowledged, we are both hesitant to accept recognition.
I have long struggled to understand the connection I have with MCF. Perhaps it is these core similarities such as the desire to serve others, to eschew acknowledgement of ourselves and instead focus attention on others, integrity, commitment. I’m beginning to see that, as difficult as its been for me to understand him, we actually have a great deal in common. Perhaps the reason he is so deserving of my trust is because we are not so different from one another as I once presumed.
Now, if I could just get over this: