I've been spending countless hours trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. It's a funny quest, despite its seriousness. It's been on my mind most of the time in the last year and a half or so. Questions like who am I really, and what do I really love, what do I really want to do, what do I really believe, and countless sub-questions that all have something to do with those main questions have been, at times, plaguing me. I've been on a quest of unknowing to know.

All the while, I've been trying to come up with something that, in addition to being fulfilling, is also financially sustaining in order to have a more comfortable life in terms of finances for not only the future of Jake and me, but also for our girls. Being a parent changes everything in the financial outlook. Before having kids, being a teacher and musician were completely comfortable ideas, but being on the other side with the mountain of educational debt and the molehill of income, it complicates things a bit.

Sometimes, it's easy to answer all of my pressing questions, but then I realize the answers to those questions in terms of careers are not something society values much with money, though humanity would tumble to pieces without them. And then my idealist feels disappointed that I'm thinking about money instead of fulfilling the dreams of my inner self, but my realist says, "Let's be reasonable. You also need security." Oh, and it also says, "Snap out of it, Magnolia needs a diaper change." A realist keeps it real after all.

I actually applied for a few teaching jobs for the fall. It's been such a relief to hear that I didn't get one, and I don't mind that I haven't heard from the other yet, and it's my dream teaching job at this point. I haven't even followed up yet! This is so unlike me. But a REALLY BIG part of me knows that all of these sweet moments of watching my little babies grow up are so fleeting. I can work for the rest of my life, but I can't rewind time, and me being home with my girls is our normal. I've had to work really hard at embracing stay-at-home-motherhood. It was so hard for me to wrap my mind around its importance (about my importance in doing it) for a long time.

I've really spent so much time trying to figure out what to do when this phase of my life is over, that I feel like I've missed out on living in this moment, being present for four-year-old Cora and one-year-old Magnolia. Getting a job feels like the practical thing to do in terms of finances, but everything on my insides is saying, "NO!" What I'm learning now because I'm finally embracing my role will be worth more to me and my life than any monetary gain. That's the other amazing thing about motherhood, it has the power to teach you more than anything else you can experience. Like patience...and how to remove melted blue crayon from a load of clothes that have gone through the dryer.

What I really want to talk about are definitions. In constantly facing the above questions, I've had a hard time claiming these things that make me tick. Here's an example I love to write, but find it difficult to call myself a writer because I'm not publishing anything. I feel a little dead inside when I'm not creating, but am hesitant to call myself an artist because I have nothing in a gallery. The list goes on, and one of  the shocking discoveries is that I'm trying to define myself by monetary value. I'm not paid for my writing, it has no value. I'm not paid for my works of art, they have no value. I contribute nothing to see the pattern. I know I'm not alone in this. How do we shift the perception - the understanding of how we define ourselves. If I was brave enough to claim "writer" or "artist," what would happen. If I felt my worth from the inside, would I ever question the immense value of this time with my girls? Would I lose the fear of creating for no one, the apprehension that blocks my mind when I think of writing something nobody cares about or that it would be written off by the people I hold most dear? And in losing the fear and gaining the freedom to just be, would I exceed every expectation I have for myself?
A voice keeps saying, "Let go. Let go. Let go.... Don't live your life based on the expectations of others."

1 comment:

  1. I find you amazing with your writing, you are very good at expressing yourself, I have met you once at my cousins house and found you all so comfortable to be with. I find way too many girls your age more worried about their bra size than life and then there is girls like you that make me proud to be a women. You do what is in your heart and raising your family is a great honor you wear well. Anne



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