Wide World

This article, from a favorite NY Times Blog, Motherlode, moved me to tears.

I am on a precipice, between doing what I want all the time and full-time parenthood, between youth and maturity, between changing the world and being someone’s world.

I read this article of a young woman who travels the world and settles down in Nepal, building a loving, healthy orphanage and school there, as a parent. I realized that as I was reading. There was a time when I’d read about young women like her, who travel and change lives, and feel inspired, jealous, and everything in between. I wanted to be that girl.

And now I read it and think, without planning to think it, “What inspiring parents who raise a daughter who can go and do. I hope I have the courage to give my children the confidence and values so they too will go out and make a huge difference in the world, whether in this community or across the world.” But only if it is truly what they want. I don’t want them to live my dreams for me.

I mourn a little bit for the me who will not, at least for a long time, travel the world and save the children and live all of these idealistic dreams.

At the same time, I smile because I am growing up and moving on. As hard as it is, as much as I hate growing up and seeing the truth about the world and about people, it is time.

Funny when it hits me.



2 thoughts on “Wide World

  1. Ah, identity. We get comfortable defining ourselves certain ways, and then stuff happens (either by choice, or by circumstance) that messes with our definitions of ourselves. I’m almost 48 years old, and I no longer know how to define myself. I always defined myself by the work I did — as an “artist”, an “actor”, “director”, “educator”. For a long time, I was a “student”. Now? Am I a “retail clerk”? A “soap wrapper?” “Catering staff?”
    Having our identities shaken can be uncomfortable and disillusioning and frustrating, but I find when I relax a bit, it can also be freeing.

    You are about to experience a major life transition. Everything will feel like it’s changing. Here’s a quote I read a few months ago, that I wrote on a little piece of paper and put on the wall above our desk — “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be” (Lao Tsu).
    “letting go” is the hard part (at least, for me it is).
    Onward we go!

  2. In college, my favorite professor asked us to answer two questions. First: why do you do what you do? Then, after that was answered: what is it that you do?
    This was huge for me – I realized I didn’t really know what I was doing then, but I was a bundle of vague ideals and titles of what I wanted to be.
    I really like the Lao Tsu quote. It is going on my Wall of Things I Like.
    I miss you and hope you are well, be you artist, soap wrapper, or anything in between.

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