Just now, outside my office window, a six year old boy flew by, followed by his younger brother. A few seconds later, from the opposite direction, a woman pushing a stroller with a two year old boy in it stopped, and called to the kids who had just run by. Three boys, maybe 2 years apart, tops. [I should also probably add here that the eldest didn’t actually have superhuman powers of flight. Mind you, they have run by (always from the same direction) three times now, so maybe they DO…]
All this is just what started my brain on the track that follows. I don’t think I actually have anything insightful to say about raising three boys close together in age. Rather:
When I think about the future, I get all nervous and fill up with excuses. Like with kids.
I’ve never wanted kids. Sure, there’s been the odd time in the last couple of years, where I’ve seen a cute baby and thought about how neat it might be to keep one of those all to myself, but I know perfectly well that I could deal with that craving simply by babysitting a friend’s child for a day or two. Oh, I’d definitely be over it. Just imagining spending that much time exclusively with a little critter … I’m already over it.
Since I’ve always just sort of known this about myself, it’s hard to explain why I nevertheless get a weird, clenchy feeling in my stomach. It’s not uncertainty. I don’t think it has anything to do with the pressures society puts on us to settle down with 2.5 rugrats and a golden retriever – I’ve never felt the pull of societal acceptability as strongly as some. I’m actually pondering it now, and the only conclusion I can come up with is that I just, in general, feel like I need my life to start going somewhere, right about NOW. And seeing all these women my own age with their kiddies and hubbies and seven-seater minivans kind of forces me to think about how it is not going.
This is probably the train of thought which sneakily attacks most people who are working a dead end job they don’t much enjoy. I keep trying to think of careers that I want, and while I can come up with some, they are far too easy to poke holes in, and talk myself away from.
Initiating a subtle segue…
The truth is, I have realized in the last few months that I know full well what I want to do: I want to write. (or act, but I’m trying to at least feign a connection to reality, here). Therefore, I have started trying to work out ways that I can do that without becoming one of the impoverished panhandlers you meet on the street corner. I look really bad in a mumu…
And the conclusion is: Media Production. Nothing specific just now, and I don’t know how else to describe it. But really, what better way to combine my love of imagery, creating and the desire to eventually work from home? Cue my parents patting themselves on the back here, since they told me I should consider this kind of course about three years ago.
For some reason, I have spent most of my young adult life convinced that I should someday have a Masters degree, maybe even a PhD. But when I really think about it – sure I want to help people, or the environment, and raise awareness of deforestation, fishing all the fish from the sea, and the dangers of moral ambiguity in politics (wait…what?), but why do I have to have a degree in Environmental Studies to do this? Somewhere down the line, I got to the point where I recognized that who my twelve year old self saw as Perfect Future Me isn’t actually who I want to be anymore (or maybe ever?). I realized that I don’t really need dozens of accolades, my face on the pamphlet for some World Summit, or three high-brow letters following my name on my business card. What i need is to be happy.
Wow, major revelation, right? But seriously. I can make a difference with Art; the great thing about it is that not only will I be making a difference in the world, I will be making a difference in myself too. Namely, proving to my ever-doubtful, less than confident inner Me “Hey yo! You can totally do this!”
So maybe it’s time to get real. Time to tell Me, Aged Twelve that she didn’t know shit about the world back then and she ought to keep her yet-to-be-grown-into nose out of Me, Aged Twenty-Five’s business. I’ve got a life to live here.
I’ll play myself in.
(PS: Anyone who can identify the song from which I pulled the title (without an assist from Google) gets a muffin. And I make good muffins. Ask anyone.)
This is Greenwater Lake at sunset – but for the
sake of pertaining to this post, we’ll say it’s sunRISE!