The thing is, when I was a teenager, there were maybe 4 or 5 things that I was certain of. These things and hopes brought me so much joy, especially at a time when everything around me felt like it was caving in. 1. College. I so badly wanted to go to a college in New England. Experience the seasons. Spend my weekends in Boston with friends and do my homework in eclectic coffee shops. 2. Travel. I longed for the open road, the open sky, to see the world and experience life and not live inside of my suburban bubble. 3. French. For some reason, I adore the French language and have wanted to learn it to fluency. Around here so many have said that it will serve for nothing, because I should be learning Spanish. But I don't care. Never have. Never will care. 4. 1900's-40's. I love everything about this era, and for a long time it was a huge part of my life. I dressed in old styles, fixed my hair in such ways... I even learned how to do finger waves! I only watched classic movies (my favorite movie was "Some Like It Hot" when I was two!) and knew the names of all the major stars. My dad, sis, and I used to play a game where we'd quote a movie and then guess which movie it was. I was very good at it! 5. Family. I always wanted a family. I dreamed of having the husband, kids, house with white picket fence... very 1950's "American Dream".
These brought me so much joy. But as so many know, life happens and many times the dreams are pushed aside or trashed completely. I didn't go to college. I haven't traveled. I started learning French, but didn't keep up with it. I haven't watched a classic movie in ages, don't wear the clothes, don't listen to the music, although I always pine for it. But family... I have a wonderful, supportive husband and a glowing, growing, happy and perfect little boy. These days, they are the source of my joy.
It may be horrible to say this... because society puts pressure on us wives and moms to seek perfection and bliss and that if our kids are healthy then we should be happy and nothing else should matter... but that joy is not enough. I'm immersed in it only at night and on the weekends, and during that time I love it. I bathe in it. My weekends are always wonderful. But for 9-10 hours a day, 5 days a week, I'm sitting in front of a computer in a windowless office, drafting reports and dealing with policy nonsense. I really enjoy my coworkers and I've certainly had worse jobs. But this is not what I want to do with my life. So for 50 hours a week I'm reminded that the decisions I made after high school (whether or not I was pressured into them) have led me to completely lose myself and to forget who I really am and who I wanted to be.
In college I would have majored in English, or Literature, or Creative Writing, or some kind of History. Now I'm back in school, but I'm studying for a degree in a field I absolutely hate. Accounting and finance and later a CPA? That's about as dull as it comes, for me anyway. Many people are passionate about this field and that's great. I'm not. I've tried, and I told myself that maybe I'll just do it because I'm good at it and my free time will be used for passions. I even convinced myself that writing was a "false passion", that I don't really like it. For almost a year I've lied to myself. Today I realized how gross of a lie it really was. Maybe at this time I'm not that great at writing... but it's because I haven't practiced. I don't practice. I always want to, but I get distracted or discouraged and give up. I feel like I don't have the words to say so instead of finding them, I just ignore it entirely. Writing is painful. This is painful. It's so much easier to turn on the TV and catch up on Family Guy. Or spend hours on Facebook or Pinterest, pinning inspiration quotes to an "Inspiration Board".
I have started to take steps in the right direction for certain aspirations. I booked a vacation. Although it is to a place we've already been to, it doesn't matter. It is travel. It is my little family getting on a plane and escaping to paradise for a short week. It is that feeling of wind and sun and nature and beauty, of time together and a new experience. I know it will fuel our hearts for more travel.
I also need to force myself to write. Even though I am really pressed for time because of work, school, dinners, play times, bath times, exercise, etc., even if I just commit 30 minutes to it, every day, then I know some change will be made. It doesn't matter what kind of writing it is... I just. Need. To. Do. It.
Maybe I'll start watching old movies again, and buying old timey inspired clothes. Actually styling my hair in the morning. This may seem silly, but it really was a huge part of my identity for a long time. I love costuming, and these old Hollywood eras are my inspiration.
Maybe I'll stop settling... instead, just accepting that my current job is providing a good income for now, but it does not need to be my career. I am so grateful to have this job, really... I am blessed beyond measure. But it is okay that I don't want to do it forever. I want to be creative. Artistic. I used to create things out of nothing all the time. Now I find it so difficult to think of a blog post, or what to make for dinner. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to write words that can be felt in hearts and souls. I already have a story that I am destined to write. But it's not time. I need to read more, write more, love more, experience more. I'm done waiting for tomorrow... today is the day that I will finally change.
So... I'm off to pick up some groceries and my sweet little boy. And maybe even to Starbucks for a yummy sugary treat... because honestly... this was really hard to write and I deserve it.