I still wonder what I’m going to be when I grow up, what is going to define me? Of course, once I sit with this question and unpack it I realize that there is never one destination. I’m never going to arrive at just one thing and say, YES, this is it! I’m an astronaut!
I think this idea of moving and changing and being open to the change is especially true for moms. Moms, I have so much empathy for us. We get pregnant, some of us working for years at being so, we go through the battle of labor, we claw through the monotony and utter exhaustion of toddlerhood, we arrive at elementary school and meet new mommy friends. We then realize we have a bit more time to ourselves. Some of us go back to work. Others volunteer like they are on a mission to Mars. We all continue to pour our hearts and attention into our family. We start to think about our kids getting into college. We remember our husbands are still walking in the door after dinner and lying next to us in bed when we are too tired to have a conversation. Who is that man over there? And during all this time, we have been growing older and moving on this electric, horizontal tram like in an airport. Where are we going? No one spot. Many of us gave up careers and forget the dusty resume. What are we today?
I have thought these things, shouted these things in retaliation to my husband and his thriving career and keep coming back to sitting and just being. Reminds me of my favorite Cat Stevens song that I used to listen to on repeat my senior year in college.
“Oh I’m on my way, I know I am
Somewhere not so far from here
All I know is all I feel right now
I feel the power growing in my hair.
Oh life is like a maze of doors
And they all open from the side you’re on”
I try to meditate every day. I pray and the answer I keep getting is just be. What does that even look like? I think it’s getting comfortable with not having a definition or an answer to “What do you do?” I think, for me, it’s being open. OPEN. Ahhhh, no really. I’ve been more open the more my body and mind have aged and I feel strongly that this is also what is meant to happen. I am open to sitting down and doing a puzzle in a quiet room. I am open to doing a girls’ weekend or having a hard conversation. I am open to traveling and being in a larger-sized jean. I am open to politics and injustice and new recipes and fostering cats and drinking aloe juice and not pestering my body with meat. And painting.
Cat fostering definitely is happening.
I always told myself that when I really made it in the world I’d shop at Whole Foods and I’d take a watercolor class. A few years ago, I did it. Crazy. I then started an oil painting class and what makes this a huge feat for me is that I was always told I was not a painter. I could be an artist and appreciate art, but the painters were another, more elete group of people that I would never belong. Psht!
I love my painting classes. My teacher tells me I’m really good at skies. I want to paint one of everything I see and have a whole room of blank canvas. I opened myself up to selling a few months and ago and now my sheep painting is in someone’s home! What?!
Recently, I was asked to teach a Mommy & Me class at my art studio. Uh. Me? Ok. Moving through this new experience and being open to it makes me feel….like a grown up. The idea that I can say and do what I really, really like to do is real freedom. I’m in this lane for now and next year I may move to another lane, but I feel like more of myself all the time.