I had a dream. Well truthfully I’ve had many many dreams, but let’s start with this one; home ownership. I had a dream to own my own home and just shy of two years ago we made this dream come true when we bought our little house. It was very very run down and in need of a lot of TLC but it was ours. And over these two years we fixed up our little house and made it nice. But as it seems to go with my dreams, home ownership was not all that I expected it to be. In fact it comes with a pile of responsibilities and problems that renting gets you out of. Nonetheless I am glad to have achieved this dream and maybe someday will enjoy home ownership again. Right now however I cannot resist the deeply embedded nomadic tendency I apparently have. I am restless and in great need of change. I need to fullfil a different dream.
When I became a mother I made a decision. Perhaps not even an entirely conscious one, but a firm one. My sole purpose now is to raise my kids and any job I have to do to support them is fine because my purpose is to live for them. It is easy to feel this way when you have a tiny, completely dependent human being that lived inside your body, in your arms. I couldn’t imagine a more important job than keeping each one of my kids safe and loved. I still can’t. But somewhere along the way this devotion caused me to lose, well myself, and what kind of a role model can I possibly be if I have denied who I am? Like most parents I want my children to grow up an live what they love. I want to them to find and make their own happiness. This in my opinion is success. I realized though that despite wanting this for them I sure wasn’t showing them how to do it. In making my decision of sacrifice I had unwittingly taken away one of the most vital components of motherhood from my children; role model. Sure I modelled being a hard worker and caring person, but I also modelled complacency and mediocrity. I didn’t do this through the type of work I did, I’ve had some good jobs with great coworkers, including the rewarding work I do now as a health care worker. No it was more of what I didn’t do. I gave up. I didn’t pursue the things I love to do, or even try to make a career out of them. I didn’t show drive and determination to “have it all” in family and career. No instead I settled.
Now before I get some hate mail from this, I’m not trying to put anyone out there down that has done what I have and put aside their dreams to make a living to support their families. Some dreams are harder to achieve than others, and some dreams, even if pursue do not come to fruition. For instance, the chances of me becoming an astronaut now at 36 with no related experience or physical aptitude for it, are slim to none (good thing this wasn’t my dream). There can be elements of your dreams though that can be pursued either in a related career or hobby. Which is what brings us back to me. I had long given up on being a professional writer, thinking that ship to hard to board let along the fact that it sailed. I half heartedly put in scant effort to blogging as a small consolation prize, but in the huge ocean of blogs, it seemed almost pointless. I had given up. And then, serendipity.
My husband was laid off from his job as an editor, and although we were fortunate enough to have his employment insurance for a brief time to keep us going along with my job, we both knew that it was time for a change. The small town in which we had bought our little house is a former mining town that is still struggling to find it’s footing again, so jobs are scarce. We knew we could not stay here. So I told him to look at this as a second chance. A fresh start or do over if you will. I told him to think of what he really wanted to do if he could do anything. And he did. The funny part is that I took my own advice. In finding his next step, I found mine. As it turned out the path I had started 16 years ago in university was the one I should have stayed on all along. I found a way to use my love of writing, even my love of photography in a career. So I am going back to school to get my master’s in Anthropology, and if I can even be the least bit lucky, I will get the chance to work on documentaries. In the very least I can use my writing for an academic career.
SO we are selling our house, trading one dream for another, and moving so that we can go back to school. An adventure of sorts. I hope that even though this will mean some sacrifices, that it will also mean that my kids will have the courage, drive and desire to pursue what they love. After all they are my life, but it’s ok to live for myself as well as them.