Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Resolution

Ever since I was young, I wanted to change the world. Put my stamp on it, mark my place in it, so everyone would know that I was here. That I lived. I remember at 15-years-old sitting at the foot of my parents bed, like I did every night before bed, and telling them that I was going to be somebody someday. I didn't mean that I would be famous, but that I would be somebody that people would remember. I was thoroughly convinced that God had straight-laced plan laid out for me and that I only had to discover it. It became my mission, my mantra: Find out what it is you are meant to do in this life. I wanted a single answer, a grand one, one that would change countless lives for the better. I took several aptitude tests in school and in college and found them irritating and constricting. Why did I have to be one kind of person? Why did I have to fit inside a box so the computer could tell me what job was best suited for my personality? I actually failed these aptitude tests. The results were always inconclusive. "You do not fit in our box" the computers told me and I was left feeling confident that I was so unique that even a computer could't pinpoint me and yet I was also frustrated because I was no closer to finding out my purpose in life.
I graduated with my Associate's Degree before I graduated from high school, which left me in a unique position. I would enter college as a sophomore and I had no time to dabble in electives to figure out where I belonged in this world. I chose a safe career, a practical one for a mom because I'd always assumed I would be a mother, which I am. Teaching was safe. You get out of school when your kids gets out. You get the holidays off. You get summer! Those are all the "perks" that everyone who is not a teacher will tell you. What they do not know is that it is a full-time job, very stressful, and let's face it, we are working with everybody else's children for 8 hours a day and then our work is still not finished. There is always more planning and for an English teacher, mountains of written work to grade always. The thing is, I don't know that it was my passion. I never liked to waste time and I was eager to begin my college career and get out of there and onto the real world as quickly as possible.  I found out teaching was hard, but that was okay. I had always liked a challenge. I loved the kids that I worked for, but I didn't love the job itself.
When I quit teaching to stay home and raise my kids, I had a personal crisis. Becoming a mother was something I had always planned on doing, but I didn't plan on how it would make me feel. I felt love like I never knew I could and I began to worry like I never thought possible. I also began to doubt my place in this world and wonder if this, being a mother, was all I was ever destined to be. It sounds harsh, even ungrateful, but that is how I've felt and it's something I still struggle with today. I felt I had never found my path in life and what I do feel for sure is the passing of time and watching everyone else's lives go on around me. Sometimes I feel like maybe God isn't hearing my prayers. I still feel like that more often that I'd like to admit. It is my biggest struggle even now. I have invested so much of my life and myself into finding out who I am and where I belong and what path is the best one for me that I have let it consume me and tear me down. Enter in depression, the cherry on top, the piece de resistance that makes this conundrum more dramatic than it should be.  I perceive that God is not answering my prayers, but I have faith enough to know that He is, just in ways that I am not ready to see yet.
Looking back on my life, I realize that a lot of the choices I made in life were to make other people around me happy. I realize now that I have lived too long trying to get others to like me or be proud of me and in doing that I lost a sense of self. I am not so naive as to not have considered that perhaps I am already on the path that God wants me to be on and maybe I am. Why can't I see that?  I am smart enough to know that I do not want to sentence myself to a long life of being a wanderer and life-long obsession with catching hold of that perfect rainbow and consequently missing out on what is happening in the now. The life I live now is very anti-climatic in comparison to what I had imagined for myself. I was going to be digging the pyramids of Egypt and discovering new treasures--I was going to be the first person to survive going through a black hole in space--I was going to be that top notch lawyer that helped those who couldn't help themselves and to put "bad guys" in their place. The list goes on and on. It's ridiculous because none of those things would ever replace my kids or my husband and the love that we have. Maybe at the age of 29 I am finally realizing that those dreams are not what will bring me happiness in life.  Maybe, no, I know, that I already have everything I need to be happy. And so my task now is to accept that and to let go of this notion that there is one particular path in this life for me and that I must find it. I am not going to fit into a box, so I am going to stop trying to do that. I am going to trust that I am where I am needed most right now and work to not let the world tell me otherwise. I'm still going to continue doing the things I love to do because I think we all need to do that, but I won't let those things come before my more important things, which aren't things at all, but little people actually and one big kid who I call husband.

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