May 8, 2013
Today is my niece’s 1st birthday! Happy birthday, M!!! Although I haven’t met you in person, yet, I am proud to be your auntie and look forward to our first introduction this summer. I’m going to make it south no matter what. Life is too precious to waste!
I am really grateful for a book I’m reading titled What Should I Do with My Life? by Po Bronson. The publication date is 2002 so there are a few minor points that are outdated. Who would’ve have though 10 years could make such a difference? But the core message is still valid: finding your calling in life isn’t always a neat, linear path and that’s okay.
I find Bronson’s book refreshing in a world that overemphasizes the monetary aspects of a career rather than the true purpose of a person’s life (which may, by the way, be ever evolving). There are so many stories in his book that I identify with, and so many nuggets of wisdom to encourage me along my road. One woman asks herself not “What can I do next?” or “What will make me happy?” but “To what can I devote my life?”
For me, I have relinquished the fantasy that there should be ONE career in my life, that if I fail to find contentment in my current career path that it is over for me. I am not doomed to misery and suffering. The biggest hurdle I face at the moment is FORGIVING MYSELF FOR THE MISTAKES I MADE.
I made decisions based on what other people wanted rather than what I knew I needed. I let criticism prohibit me from taking the actions I felt were right. I made compromises, only to discover 10 years later that I’ve proven I can do “it” but I’ve only proven it to others, not myself.
I am proud of the work I’ve done. I’m proud I stuck to a path. I overcame my tendency to run to the next thing in hopes for instantaneous happiness. Now it is time for me to take what I’ve learned and translate it into something that works for me. I followed the path I did thinking it would be stable and lucrative. It has turned out to be somewhat stable overall but not lucrative.
To answer the woman’s question – To what can I devote my life?”– is simple. I didn’t need a full second to think of the answer. My children are my life, my devotion. Not every mother feels that way, but I do. I don’t want a lucrative career with accolades and fancy rewards; I want to be a mother. Now, if being a mother was a lucrative career I wouldn’t turn down the money!
We live in a day and age, however, where being a stay-at-home mom isn’t always an option. So, the next step for me is to figure out how to take what I’ve done in my career to this point and transform it into something that uses my creativity. I’m scared that I won’t be able to do it, that I’ll end up selling out to a job that pays significantly more just because I don’t know how to get by in this world without money or affordable health insurance. There are some sacrifices that aren’t worth it no matter how much you want to follow your dream. I’m envious of those who have figured out how to do it.
So, while I may still be searching I won’t give up looking, even if there is no destination in mind.