First it was school, and now it is motherhood.
I realized tonight that I was hiding, not taking chances or moving forward in my life AGAIN because of fear. For many years I had used school to hide behind, getting one degree after another so as to not have to face or grapple with the real questions in life (e.g. Who am I? Where do I fit in in this life ? How can I bring value to my community? How can I leave the world a better place? What was I created to do?) These are big questions and they scare me. A lot.
See the world will give you head pats and every sign of encouragement when you run along established paths of life because it is comforting and comfortable for everyone when the status quo is reinforced. But they are not inside my head. They do not feel or experience the caged bird of my heart screaming for meaning and realness, defined only by my own soul. When someone starts to listen to their own beat, it is unsettling because suddenly they are unpredictable and uncontrollable. Their decision to forge a unique path also inspires fear because it suggests there is something bigger, better, DEEPER, that is beyond the status quo keeper’s ken. No one likes to be left out.
I have always been one to stay on the conventional path, not so much in fear of others (although maybe some of that with my parents and maybe church members) but mostly in fear of myself. Am I enough to follow the path my heart is yearning for? The answer has always been a resounding NO….I was confident in my utter lack of confidence in my abilities to pursue the things that I most desire.
So instead I pursued the things that society admired that were luckily (genetics and being born to the right parents) within my reach; degrees. But to pursue outward things (whether money, status etc.) is SO empty.so so so empty. And you are only delaying and ignoring the drumbeat of your heart.
Now motherhood by most accounts is considered a rather noble pursuit. And I would never have it disparaged but I must say that it can become an all-consuming sport if you let it….or you want it to be. I mean you can make your child the center of your universe and make them the meaning of your life when they were never meant to be that. ( what a horrible burden and pressure on your child!) It has become my most noblest (and latest) excuse for not pursuing the thing I am supposed to do. Even if I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing, it is important that I pull on my big girl panties and grapple with the question head on.
Life is short and while I think I am doing important and absolutely essential work by devoting most of my waking hours to tending to my two small children….this is also true: there are many hours in a day that I waste; internet surfing without edification for example. I cannot keep on making my children the excuse as to why I’m not living my most meaningful life. It is not fair to them (as it truly is just an excuse since I know I waste time) and it is not good for them (as children learn best from example, if I am not facing my fears and going after my dreams, how can I expect them to find inspiration from me?) I know I can care for my children and take steps towards my dreams. For awhile I fooled myself and others by suggesting that I did not have the time to do both. But, I only ever lacked the courage.