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    « Let me just put my head down here for a sec... | Main | Reads & Recommends, Urbana-ish Edition »

    January 15, 2013

    When I grow up

    Just so you know, I am still "looking into" this bakery cafe playroom thing and I continue to tell more real life people that I am "looking into" it and that's how you know I am still not in posession of my right mind. FYI. 

    One thing I realized at Urbana was that if I'd gone as a student I would have FUH-REAKED OUT. I didn't have a husband or kids or a mortgage, no responsibilities, just a totally blank (VERY BLANK) future infinitely before me, like a Personal Antarctica or something. I really had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up (still don't, actually) and the myriad possibilities at Urbana, plus the constant invitation to devote a year or two or ten to missions, plus the pressure I would put on my own self to be what Urbana thought I should be (THREEEEEEEEEEE!!!) I would have self-combusted. I had an excellent time, but I'm glad I experienced it as an adult with a husband and three kids and a mortgage and, therefore, way fewer options. This is a GOOD thing. 

    But still, you wonder what you want to be when you grow up. 

    The last several years I have tried very very hard to think of myself as a Mother. I mean, I AM a mother and I am very happy with my SAHM status, but "just being a mom" has never EVER felt like The Only Thing I'm Supposed To Do. It's one reason why I stopped reading a lot of blogs where the author was a religious SAH homeschooling mom-of-many, because there was a way I felt like that was the RIGHT way to do the mom thing, and clearly THAT was not going to happen at Chez Cheung. Like that was the way to make the most of your vocation, you know? And I hope you know I am not disparaging those mothers. I stand in awe of them, I bow down, I salute them. The gifts they have are not my gifts.

    (Can you even IMAGINE if I tried homeschooling Jack? We would need two padded cells within a week.)

    Then again, I've never been the mom who is itching to get back to work or the career, I've never aimed for anything, I am very much an Introspective Slacker, which is obvs how I got into this blogging thing. So it's kind of a weird place to be in, to feel like There Is More To Me Than Being Mom and But Nothing Else Sounds Good/Seems Right. 

    Honestly, a Bakery/Cafe/Playspace does not at ALL sound like The Thing I Am Supposed To Do. I know absolutely NOOOOOOTHING about running a business. Pretty much the only thing I know I'd be good at is 1) cleaning and 2) making sure our business has a social media presence. FPC informs me that that's important, but it doesn't feel like quite the right skillset, you know? 

    I thought I was supposed to be a writer. 

    I thought I was supposed to teach English overseas. 

    I thought maybe I should "just be a Mom". 

    I thought I was maybe supposed to create a lovely home and support my husband's career. 

    I thought I might work for a politician. 

    I definitely thought I would travel. 

    I suppose the right answer is that we do a lot of things in our lives, that everything has a season, that I can't be everything I'm supposed to be in one year, that I'm not even really SUPPOSED to DO anything. I can do all of that, I can do some or none of it. Though that's the stumbling block for a Three: if she isn't DOING anything (and doing it well), she's pointless, a waste of space, not valued, unloved.

    I have an Urbana/prayer/Three/value post in the works. It's hard going, but I'll get it out eventually. What is the thing that I DO? What is the thing that I AM? The end of that post will tell you that right now I'm somehow - miraculously, even - okay with the absence of an answer. 

    Or, rather, I am just beginning to comprehend the actual truthful answer. 

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    Comments

    That is something I struggle with a lot too- what am I supposed to DO? I still haven't found any kind of answer.

    I was at a coffee shop last year studying to take the GRE (again!) and was sitting near a table of what I assume were SPU students. They were all earnestly talking about their future jobs and callings and what God wants them to do. It was all very serious and I wanted to go hug them and tell them that it would be okay. And that they might not have the answer for a while, or it could be one answer for one part of their lives and a totally different one later.

    I have a master's degree and had a successful career and the husband and the kids and I'm STILL starting over at 35. Back in school again with no clue what God has planned for me next. And I find that's true about most of the over 30s in my classes- we're just sort of along for the ride, while the 20 somethings have everything planned out.

    All to say, you're not alone in not knowing what to be when you grow up, but that's okay. I think people who don't have it figured out have the ability to hear more clearly when God surprises them with a very different calling than they ever imagined.

    I think this is something that not just SAHM's face. I am a working mom. I love my job on most days, however I still find myself struggling with what the "right" thing for me is. Should I try to stay at home with my baby or look for another, more challenging career or go back to writing, which I did for a time and find myself missing? There are so many questions in life that I don't feel I have the answers to. So I just keep going day by day, hoping one day the answer to what I'm really "supposed" to be doing will just hit me. This is unlikely I'm sure. Maybe there are no clear answers out there, and like you said we're meant to do many different things in our lives, not just one "right" thing. I hope this is the case. I would love to have seasons of different things I will "do" in my life. We shall see... Oh, by the way here's a link to my latest blog post if anyone wants to check it out! http://www.kelsisandefur.blogspot.com/2013/01/i-may-have-slight-problem.html

    I'm trying to embrace being a wife. I get distracted sometimes and think I am missing out on some wild and exciting life. I THINK I may be getting more confident though, in my belief that actually I am happiest just being a wife, and leading this really 'small', 'mediocre' life. And I used to only feel comfortable in this life if I kind of dissed those who WERE doing things that are wild and exciting (aka being trendy, extroverted,single,glamorous) but I am hopeful that I am making progress. Just getting that we are all different. Or something. I don't know if I am a three, b/c I haven't done the enneagram stuff, but I relate to a lot of the stuff you write about putting pressure on yourself and all that and I love how it appears you're pretty ok with it, like recognize a behaviour isn't in your best interest, and kind of work on it. It's pretty awesome.

    You don't have to know anything about running a business. I started up a business with two of my friends, (a small one, to be sure, that we can mostly do while the kids are in school or in bed), and so far we have turned a profit. The two of them put in alot of labor making crafts for craft fairs. I do all the computer stuff. With our combined talent sets, we are making it work. Perhaps what you need is a partner or two. You've already mentioned someone who is interested.

    However, I was wondering, are you sure that 1)Cleaning is one of your strengths? J/K!!!

    Great post! I struggle with this on the flip side. Just went back to work after having baby #2. Wish I could see into the future to see if I'm making the right decision.

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