What I want to be

(…when I grow up? I’m not sure I am growing up. Growing, sure. The direction remains to be seen.)

I haven’t had time to read this article in its entirety, but I’ve skimmed it, and this passage hit home:

Feeling like we need to be “practical” and “reasonable” is often a limiting belief. Of course we do need to worry about some realities of life; but most times our limits are just created by rules we’ve been playing by our whole lives. And we never stop to think it might be good to change them. It’s ok to stretch our desires into the “fun” and “exciting” instead of the practical, extend beyond the safe boundaries of where we’ve been living, and know we can dream bigger for ourselves than we’ve been allowing ourselves to.

This has been the hardest battle of my life. It’s why I quit music. It’s why I never seriously pursued art. It’s why, when I went back to college for an additional degree, I veered towards tech writing instead of creative writing.

And it’s just not working for me. I want to be more creative. And not just for fun in my free time.

So I’m making a list. Things I want to do and see and be. The do and see parts are easy. The be part’s been a challenge. I have to shoot down this voice in my head first, the one asking what purpose my desires serve.

What’s it do?

What’s it for?

What good is it?

It makes me happy, damn it. That’s what it is for.

  • I want to feel I am an artist. Not just a crafter, a hobbyist. I want to draw. Paint. Make jewelry that is as much art as accessory.
  • I want to cook well. I don’t need to be a chef, but I would like to be good enough to create my own recipes.
  • I want to write about topics that matter to me. I want to finish writing a book. Any of them. I want to get paid for blogging. I want to publish somewhere respectable. I want to be thought of as a writer again.
  • I want to speak several languages, even just a little bit. Not because I’m going to the country in which they are spoken, or for a job, but to understand the people who speak it better. As I’m learning from Anya, how we word something reflects how we think.
  • I want to feel and be fit. I want to jog. I want to practice more advanced yoga poses. I want to meditate daily. I want to make time for my health.
  • I want to be a good mother, a good friend. I want my kids to remember me as fun, loving, patient. Not as a grumpy person who worked all the time. I want friends. A life outside of this office.
  • I think I’d like to be a librarian. I’ve been kicking this idea around since I was 20 years old, and I keep coming back to it.

I haven’t quite figured out how I’m supposed to fit all that into my already full days. Maybe it will happen when Kai starts school. Maybe when R gets another job. Or perhaps I have to shift things around a bit in my current schedule. And perhaps…they just won’t happen. But I like to think I can pull at least one of them off.  I’d feel better about myself if I could.

And the really hard part is justifying this stuff in my mind without attaching price tags to everything. How much I would spend on art supplies. How much I could make from the things I would create. How much school would cost. How much my time is worth, and how much money I am losing by taking time away from freelancing to do these things.

Life is about more than paying the bills.


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