Friday, February 23, 2007


I'm slowly realizing that I never adequately prepared myself for this stage of life. I had concrete goals and ambitions for every stage prior to this one, and now I'm just kind of floating. I always had the straightforward goals of getting good grades, getting through college, marrying and having kids. But now that I've at least partially fulfilled all of that, I'm left standing here wondering "what else?" I need some more ambitions, some more ways to define myself. I need to take a few moments to decide exactly who it is I want to be now. I've spent probably too much energy lamenting that I'm no longer a student, when what I need to do is devote that energy to deciding what I do want to be.... as an adult. So here goes.

This doesn't mean that I'm disenchanted with motherhood. It's just that I need to be someone defined beyond just the people who rely on me. I need to be a complete person on my own first, and not define myself through other people, no matter how much I love them. I'll have more to give them that way. I need to live and be and do.... on purpose instead of by default.

I am a mother, still in training.

I want to be an artist, or at least live artistically. But I have dozens of hangups and insecurities and bad habits I have to overcome before that can be something I'm comfortable with.

I want to be well-read, but have a hard time making time (or justifying taking the time) to read, especially things that require immense amounts of mental energy.

I want to be cultured, and take advantage of cultural opportunities, but I have no money to invest in this endeavor, and have found very few other people here with that passion, plus the baby-toting is prohibative.

I want to be constantly learning new things and developing new skills, but again no money and very little time, and difficulty getting books, even how-to books, read.

I want to keep my home clean and comfortable, but somehow it's harder to see clutter or even dirtiness when it's your own belongings, or if you made the mess yourself.

I want to be a sweet and supportive wife, and overcome the fact that being here doing the dental school thing seems to bring out the worst in both of us.

I want my baby to feel safe and happy and loved.... I actually think I may be doing ok on this one.

There are spiritual aspects to this list too, but I think this may not be the place for sharing them.

So that's lots of who I want to be, but very little of who I actually am.

So where do I start?


--jeff * said...

thanks, em.
it's apprecaited to hear from you every once in a while, to see another facet of you. it provides for rich reading and pondering myself.

Katie May said...

Wow! I feel the same way about this and you're getting me thinking that I need to do the same thing myself. Thanks!

Brittany said...

Em, I think we all feel that way sometimes. But seems to me you have already started by having ambitions and wanting more. You will never settle for mediocre. Pick one thing, and find a way to make it happen. Although not always easy, you'll find a way to do it. It's a good reminder to all of us though, instead of just coasting, learning to push ourselves.

samunwritten said...

I must admit to feeling the same way from time to time. However, I feel much less successfull than you appear to me.
Yeah, I've had goals. Some I've fulfilled, but most have fallen through. It's a little disheartening if I think about it too much.
But my newest goal is to do my best not to wish my life away and enjoy something about everyday.
I constantly catch myself thinking, I wish I could just skip this week or this month or this year.
I don't want to be one of those people who looks back at my life and wonders what I did with it. If I don't make a change, I'm afraid I will be one of those people.

hairyshoefairy said...

I've been feeling very similar to this lately. Thank you for expressing it so well. Especially about figuring out who I am independant of my relationship to others and deciding who I want to become.

hairyshoefairy said...

Also, I like the picture.

tracy m said...

Me too. To all of it. Me too.

Standing on that island, trying to figure out what/where/how/who I want to be when I grow up... as the waves of dark blue water lap at my toes.

pepper said...

I'm with you on most all of this...I wish we lived in the same city so we could go get some culture together with these baby boys on our hips.

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