- Family and Parenting
When You Know You Are "There"
Where is "There"?
I wonder if anyone asked me where I would be in 5 or 10 years when I was younger. I wonder if they did, if I could conceptualize what they were saying. I don't know what it seems like to become 50 years old. I only know what it feels like to be 30 years old now, because I am.
If someone had asked me, I probably wouldn't have guessed where I am now. I probably would have said I would have been a lifeguard on a beach or an administrator for the FDA. Surprisingly to me now in hindsight, one of those options takes seemingly no effort and the other would have taken an entirely focused effort.
Today, I am 30 years old with a five year old son. I am a legally single parent, with loads of support from my family and community. I have a puppy and an awesome boyfriend. Both my parents are still alive. I just went to four colleges and just earned two careers with some great side opportunities. I am a clinician for a mental health school and a financial advisor for the oldest financial institution in America. None of this I would have ever guessed.
So, now that I am "here", where is "there"? Do I want to stay in Upstate NY? Do I want my own home here? Do I want a duplex or apartments to rent out? Do I want to get married? Have more kids? Work forever? Work today? Hopefully I decide by the end of this hubpage!
Now concerning my loved one, everytime I ask him when we will get married, move in together and have children he says "I'm not there yet"....until this epiphany I took it personally....
I've heard the wisest soul is the one who proclaims they don't know. This is so true. When I was younger I thought I knew everything. Sometimes I wonder if I actually did, but I do know for certain that after 30 years in this world, I do NOT know everything. I know a very limited number of things, such as recipes, relationships, and how-to's and even all of that is all in question.
I depend on my friends, or these particular unique human beings I have found all over the world whom ignite my heart with wild love, splendor and creativity. I depend on them to get to know me and be able to see the picture inside the frame-since generally, I do not see the entire forest as a tree. And sometimes that fact or the ignorance of it can create the sensation within me to burn down the entire damn forest, especially since I can't see it.
I depend on prayer and meditation. Sometimes I even forget about these magical little tools unless I have my rock star angel friends to remind me of them! And once I do, and utilize them, the temperature goes down, the forest climate is back to perfect and I am able to scroll through Earth as a right sized, lovable, loving human being. Without it I am hell on wheels.
I have been told to close my eyes and rest my hand above my left side of my chest and to feel, observe and respect my heartbeat. Also to acknowledge that one day that beat will stop. Typically that morbid sense of urgency and seriousness can allow me to make the right deicisons. And well, if I do not, God willing the next day that little heartbeat will allow me to choose again.
Who Are You
Everyone is different, which makes the entire journey of life somewhat difficult and completely worth it. In the children's book by Neale Donald Welsch, Little Star, God tells the little light how the entire light is not the entire light without it's own little light. As far out and eclectic that sounds, it's true. We are all necessary for the whole. We are each so different yet so the same.
So the name of the game (life) is essentially finding out who I am, perhaps in relation to others, and making choices to get where or be who I want to be. At least as this is my case. A spoiled brat who missed her dad and made awful decisions until the point of death (times three) and then finally submitted to who and what I was and where I was and decided to change who and what I was and where I was.
Today I am 30 years old, a single mom in a semi-dysfunctional relationship with a semi-dysfunctional family, full of love, energy and God- who decides to do a mediocrely basic day each day, filled with work, gym, family, meals and church, yet somehow it turns out so magical and so fulfilling everyday. Versus the insatiable highs, lows and drunks that I would chase without my typical schedule I have now.
Who am I? I am joy.
Where Do You Want To Be?
If you could pick anywhere in the world, where would you Be?
Usually I am not the hippie sort (sorry, hippies!). Currently I am wearing rib high tight skirt and stockings with a tight white collared shirt getting ready to throw on my tight black blazer and high heels (could you have guessed?) and getting ready to go to my office an hour away from home to sign some contracts. I am a financial advisor (by trade, and a clinician during the day). I work hard. I went to school after high school for ten years. I like a spotless house, dog, child, and boyfriend. I like everything tight and preferably black, white or gold.
However, more than anything I like to be barefoot. I don't know if it's symbolic of how much I adore being able to live on this planet and in this world or if my big, boney feet are just more comfortable that way. But you can be assured that during most of college, state exams, and often during work if deemed appropriate, I am without shoes. Not in the 'get dirty' sense. I feel as though time and education has evolved us enough to be able to do such freeing actions while remaining respectable, respectful and clean. Equally, we have had enough time, education and experience to be able to evolve onto such a plane of living that the essence of freedom (and perhaps the action of taking our shoes off) is an essential requirement.
So, my best advice on finding your 'where' and your 'you' is, go barefoot. Wear sunscreen. And, smile.
I guess the surprise I have found in my life is whenever I think I'm not somewhere yet, I'm already there because I am thinking about it. The above photo is of Baan Dada's Childrens Home in Thailand. I began working with them viz AmeriCorps over ten years ago and this February I will not only be traveling there, but I will be taking my five year old son to experience their culture. There is a good chance at which point that if we travel barefoot we may not remain clean :)
I have also realized that whoever I want to be, I already am. Perhaps I just have to go through a super painful process, structure and practice to actually produce it in actual time- but I am already it. And If I do not know who I am then I better get out the pen and paper or talk to someone.
As the Cheshire Cat told Alice in Alice in Wonderland, "Are you going left or right, my dear" and Alice replied, "I don't know" and the Cheshire Cat said, "Well then it doesn't really matter then does it"
If you want to wander aimlessly in this magnificent world, that is fine. Be sure that there are gusts and energies in this world that will pick you up in it's current, for you are not more powerful than the whole. And you can never deny what already is. However if you have your specific idea, you are exactly that or on your way to getting there/becoming it. However, do not discouraged-remain flexible. You may become a model, and a car crash may have you model from a wheelchair. You may become rich, in friends or food or art. You may have a big family, that are all adopted with more issues than you have on your own.
Remember, it is all OK and very much unraveling as it should.
We Are There
After years of hearing my fearful, older boyfriend tell me that he wasn't 'there yet', knowing that we were 'there' before we even met in this world, I finally had all the above as an epiphany. Then one day the words came to me, "oh, honey, we are there".
Perhaps we don't live together, but we spend most nights together. We may not be married, but we essentially 'own' each other, as ones do when they are married. We may not have a biological child together, but we raise mine together and my son calls him 'daddy'-we have also taken great care of many children in the community together. Even as a clinician, I am only as good as I am because of this man that has stood next to me for so long.
So, here we are. We are there.