What is your answer? Do you have one? I don't. I don't know many people who do. I want to know how a person comes upon this answer. When are we there, at that magical place of knowing what we want to be doing and doing it?
Part of the problem is defining what constitutes being grown up. I struggle with figuring out if it is an age, a state of mind, a position or point in life or something one just decides. I also wonder if any of these thoughts or answers come easily to anyone or if it is something that we all struggle with.
I had one of those out-of-body experiences while dropping my children off at school a few weeks ago. Maybe you have them, too. As I was walking into school, each child holding a hand, I looked down and thought: who the hell are these children, why are they calling me mom, why I am at a school and walking in with them, what is going on? I dropped them off at their classrooms, giving them each a kiss before they disappeared into the doorway, and I walked out of the school in this same frame of mind. I walked over to my minivan, got in and then was questioning if I was old enough to drive, if I remembered how to do this, if I had practiced enough.
As I drove away from the school thoughts were spinning through my head: these were my children, this was their grade school, this is my minivan that I have had for 7 years and I have been a licensed driver for 22 years, and I was driving back to my house where my husband of almost 14 years was in our bed. It was a shocking revelation. This experience happens every once in a while to me. Is it partially because I don't feel "grown-up" ?
I was very focused on becoming a teacher since I was little. I think it was the only thing I ever had in my head to become. I started thinking about special education in high school and went into college knowing that is what I would do. I added psychology as a major to give the option of being a school counselor at a later time. I knew what I wanted.
Once I started teaching, which was hard work, but came very naturally to me, I wanted to focus further. I got my grad. degree in multiethnic education. I taught off and on some more. I was pretty sure I knew what I wanted to do.
I got a job in Nevada teaching severely impaired students and thought, this is it. Now I know, once again, what I want to do. The job I got with this same population in St. Louis was awful. I mean spirit breaking bad. (I'm still trying to puzzle out what went so horribly wrong at that job). So, at this point, I don't know that I ever want to return to the classroom. I now have no idea what I want to do.
Is this an age thing. When you are young an idealistic, you have clearer vision because there is not so much to cloud it? There is little responsibility, moderate expectations, generally no kids, sometimes no significant other to answer to/with. Is this what makes it easier to declare what you are going to do?
How do we find that drive and passion again?
When we decided that I was going to be staying home to run the family full time, one of my goals was to start sewing all the beautiful things I have in my head. I have books and magazines and inspiration journals that I have been dying to dig into. My idea is to make a lot of beautiful items and sell them.
I have not even spent one day in my studio space this school year. I am afraid to cut my cloth, use my beads, make things, try to create. What if it doesn't work? Then those thoughts and dreams were for nothing. I will once again be at a loss of what to do, what I want to do.
Will I ever feel grown up? Will I ever find that elusive niche that is exactly what I want and should be doing? Does anyone? Will it happen when I get older? Maybe when my children get older. I don't know.
Some days these thought weigh on me and some days they don't. Some days the reality of what I have to get done through the day (laundry, cleaning, taking care of kids, fulfilling my volunteer commitments) feels like an anchor that will never allow me to find what I really want to be doing.
I have used psychologists, life coaches, friends, family, energy healers and even a tarot card reader (I adore Charlotte Dodge) to help me decipher the answer(s) I am seeking. They all have said that my creative energy is stuck. I need to create.
I have the answer. I'm reluctant to try it because I do not want to fail. Teaching used to be a great creative outlet. That is gone, at least for now. I have a whole studio filled with beautiful things waiting for me. I'm scared to dive into this next outlet.
Maybe letting go of the fear of failure is how we reach the point of feeling grown up. Perhapse it is when we trust in ourselves and our ability to do what we love, or at least what we are doing, and let go of looking to others for judgement, accolades or approval that we emerge as grown entities. Maybe this is why we feel more invincible as younger people, we don't care what others think. We are egotistical and self-possessed and maybe this is not all bad. Once we get older we become aware that we are not invincible and that ego does not always serve a person well. But, maybe it does.
Today I am going to spend 30 min. in my studio making something. I am going to coax my creative energies to start to flow once again. What I will make, I don't know, and I don't think it matters. I am going to make it with no one and nothing in particular in mind. I will not be afraid of failure and maybe I will catch a glimpse of what I will be when I grow up.
This blog is a stream of conciousness from my head to the keyboard to the screen. There will be talk of random subjects. If you have delicate eyes, proceed with caution. I like to talk about controversial subjects and sex a lot. So, take heed my friends. This is not a blog for debate, but for love and sharing. If your views do not match my own, love to you, but don't bring the rest of us down. That's all I'm saying.