Wednesday, February 25, 2009

World of Opportunity

My family visited my college for a basketball game a couple of weeks ago. It was a beautiful day filled with excitement and nostalgia. Watching 18 year old kids pass me on the way to the gym, I was struck by the fact that these kids were born the year that I graduated. Except for a bunch of gray hairs, I looked a lot like I did back in my undergrad days as I walked the campus. With 4 kids following me, I proudly wore my college sweatshirt as I pointed out favorite study spots and hangouts. So where has all the time gone?

I'm a wife, mother, homemaker, occasional poet and aspiring writer. But what do I really want to be when I grow up? According to my college adviser, I should have figured this whole life/career path out when I was 18. I envy those kids who seem to have a clear idea of what they want to do with the rest of their lives. As an 18 year old, I think I still had a lot of self-assessment to go through before I committed to a particular path. Loving literature, I chose to be an English major. It may not have been a career motivated decision, but it felt right to me.

I look at my 12 year old son. He is only 6 years away from being 18 and those career questions. I wonder how this kid can be ready to make this decision when he can get all flustered about what sport to play with his friends or what pair of pants to wear. Should we really be expected to be mature enough to decide on a path at an age filled with peer pressure, school anxiety and budding adult maturity?

Now I'm definitely at a "mature" age of 40 and should be able to make this decision. What do I want to be when I grow up? For 12 years, I have readily and happily taken on the role of caretaker and homemaker for my family. I didn't officially put my search for a life/career path on hold. I think life just took over and the time flew by. At this point in my life, I feel ready to tackle that big life decision. I have learned a lot about myself over the past 12 years. With maturity, I can make a more directed and definitive decision about where best to utilize my talents, interests and strengths. I'm in the early stages of this self-discovery. Maybe I'll give myself career brainstorming moments during some of my more tedious tasks, like sorting laundry or organizing toys. I may not be 18 anymore, but I'm ready emotionally and spiritually to take on the task of discovering where I will shine in this world. I always joke that I introduce myself to other parents as so and so's mom. Maybe it's time to make a name for myself : )

9 comments:

Lois Lane II said...

I don't think we ever settle on "what I want to be when I grow up." I mean, I even have my "dream job," really, but I still want to do more. I want to be a published novelist, I want to write for Christian magazines, I want to be a wonderful mother, and, and...lol!! It never stops, but I think that's good. I think that's a sign that we continue to grow and mature and excel.

A Closet Writer said...

I can totally relate to what you were writing about! I agree with Lois Lane. I don't think we'll ever be able to be settled with the question, "when I grow up". I hope we never do. The fact that we continue to ask ourselves that quesiton is a sign that we are still evolving and wanting to always do more. When we stop asking ourselves that question is when we give up on life and don't care what happens to us.

rightonmom said...

Life is definitely one big playground of self discovery! I'm on my second career, but deep down I know its just yet another step toward fulfilling my life's purpose. I love how you've let it unfold for you. Won't it be excitng to see where it leads?!

LuAnn said...

I still don't know. I do enjoy this job I have but will Ido it forever. Follow your heart and know the Lord will take you on the right path.

Tabitha Blue/Fresh Mommy said...

It's easy to let life go by without realizing it... but I will say, as a mom, you're leaving a legacy!! You've chosen so much without realizing it, and making a name through your children is awesome!!


:)
~Tabitha~

freshmommyblog.com

Andrea said...

Love this post...it's never too late to rediscover yourself and walk down a new path. So exciting!! Glad to be following your journey! :)

RiverPoet said...

Imagine this...I started college at 40! Now I'm in grad school. It's never, ever too late to be what you might have been, as they say.

Peace - D

CDB said...

You are definitely not alone in this discovery.. I'm just about 7 years behind you. I started out as a Psychology, then an English major and finally, film. Then, wound up in business and now.. SAHM. You never know where the paths will take you. I'm trying to be open to new opportunities for myself, but sometimes it's hard to know what I'm intended to do.

Now I know why they say blogging is cheaper than therapy!!

Jenners said...

I totally relate to this. I had a vague idea I wanted to be a writer or journalist so I "studied" that in college and worked for 15 years doing editing and various somewhat related things but I didn't really like it. Then I had my son and have been staying at home for the past 4 years and I've been thinking A LOT about this as I feel when I do "reenter" the workforce, I would like it to be on my terms. Ideally, I would love something creative I could do and still be at home when my son gets home from school but still be able to contribute financially to the household. I have about another year until I have to really do something about this so I need to start laying the groundwork now I think. I've come across writing sites and blogging has been good at getting my creative juices flowing again but I'm scared to make the leap and actually try to write to get published or earn money for it. I don't think I'm quite ready yet.