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When I was 12 years old I went on a business trip with my dad to San Diego. I remember it well, we stayed in a nice hotel downtown called the Horton Grand. It was charming with white bird cages that had live, brightly colored chirping birds in them. One morning we set out on our way, the weather was beautiful and my dad had planned for us to go to the zoo. But he wouldn't tell me that, he teased and tortured me with suspense about our destination until I couldn't stand it anymore. With a little attitude, and fierce determination I turned around and stomped off down the street. Sure I wouldn't last a block, my dad kept walking, expecting me to rejoin him any minute. But I didn't, and with prepubescent irrational self-confidence, I found my way back to the hotel and patiently watched the birds in the lobby.
Meanwhile my dad flagged down a police officer, feeling horrible for losing his daughter in a large city. Eventually he returned to the hotel and found me there, shocked that I had found my way back so easily, but relieved that I was okay.
Aside from my fickle spite, my dad had only himself to blame. Not for his teasing, which was innocent enough, but for the way he raised me. He raised me to be confident and determined. He taught me I could do what I wanted when I set my mind to it. Throw in a touch of spontaneity and stubbornness and he had created an independent girl, albeit a little feisty.
To this day I still consider myself to be determined and strong-willed. It is only when someone else's feelings are a factor that I hesitate to accomplish whatever task I've set forth for myself. On Thursday when I decided to leave I became set on the idea. It wasn't until I was packing that I thought carefully of how hurt Pete would be to discover his family gone for the weekend. In spite of that, feeling committed to my decision I threw some food in a cooler and we got outta Dodge.
As with most of my goals, it wasn't without it's obstacles. I had to jump through some hoops that were out of my comfort zone in order to make it happen. I had to make some tough phone calls to cancel other plans, drive through a blizzard and put chains on my tires. But it was worth all my efforts and I found satisfaction in my ability to act of my own accord. In fact, once Pete found out we were leaving he did nothing to try to stop me, likely because he knew better.
One of Pete's redeeming qualities is that he has ambition. This was one of the things that drew me to him when we dated. He had a plan, and he worked hard to execute his plan. Like me, once he sets his mind to something he follows through. And more than once it has been his efforts that have helped me to accomplish my own goals.
So I guess this is why I stay. I know that once Pete sets his mind to recovery he will figure it out and conquer. And since he has loyally stood by and given me his best effort to see through my own wild ideas, I feel like I can muster the forgiveness and patience to stand by while he works his way through this, so long as he is willing to do so. With a little attitude and fierce determination I know he can do just that. He will have to jump through some hoops and overcome some obstacles that will likely be outside his comfort zone and test his commitment. But I have confidence he is capable.
So with that, I'll let go of my fears and dig deep for that prepubescent girl who took no thought for worst case scenarios or what-ifs. And that's the best I can do for hope today.