Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Are We There Yet?

It was shocking really.

One of my best friends randomly met a college buddy. It was especially odd because I have moved out-of-state four times since college, and now live far enough away that my girlfriend has never met anyone else from my home state. In fact, that is why she mentioned meeting Sam at all.

Imagine the surprise when the only two people she knows from the whole state, know each other. What are the odds?

My girlfriend has gotten to know Sam better over the last few months. Therefore, she asked what I was like 20 years ago back in school. I have completely lost contact since college, so Sam asked about me now.

Intriguing isn’t it. Having two important people in my life – who knew me during different periods of my life – describe ME to each other. Narcissistic most definitely. But my ears were burning to hear more.

I would describe myself as being brought up in a small, rural part of mid-America. I learned wholesome values about family, hard work, and relating to people. Not much about fine arts, culture, fashion or style. We didn’t have much money. We didn’t go anywhere or have many things. That was OK. We were a content family. I had a happy childhood. I nearly stayed “there.” Then, half way through college something clicked for me. I was ready to move on. That is when I met Sam.

I agree with Sam. I was unusually self-driven. Mostly determined to make something of myself and have some money in the bank so I could do things my parents never did, like travel abroad.

I was a crazy, hard worker. Supported myself 100% from the day I left home for college. I held down 3 jobs at the same time to do it. NEVER went on a Spring Break trip, rushed a sorority, or even lived in the dorms, because my budget didn’t allow for it.

No leg up. No real anchor or direction, let alone a head start on life. I was an average student who started completely from scratch. Yet, I desperately wanted to know more about the world and understood that the only resource I could tap to do that was ME.

Paraphrasing, Sam described me as being uncomfortably driven and pretty much obnoxiously aggressive when it came to preparing for my future. That is fair. Looking back, I see now my actions and thought processes were over-the-top.

But it worked for me. I went places. I did things. I met interesting people.

Fast forward 15 years.

My best friend described me today. I am a stay-at-home mom who hasn’t worked professionally for over 8 years. Still chronically over scheduled managing my family and completely absorbed in the lives of my two wonderful children. Any free time is filled with various volunteer activities. That is the snapshot my life. Fair enough.

Sam was shocked….and so was I. Actually took the air right out of me. To be honest, it squashed my spirit. How did I get from there to here?
Is this it for me? All the hard work and all the years investing in my future, and I have nothing to show for it. I have left no mark on the vapor of those 15 years of my adult life.

I know. I know. Mothering is vital. Most important and meaningful job I will ever have. I will never regret the memories of being home with my children. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I hear you, and get it. Feel the same way too. Deeply and passionately feel it. In fact, I am very happy as a SAHM. Love it! TRULY! Honestly, I aspire to no more.

Ah Haaaa!!!! There it is -- the most shocking part.
Did you miss it? Let me say it again.
I aspire to no more.

Shocking! Did I just go back “there?”
Is this the last, best description of me?

Are we there yet?


Anonymous said...

Very nice and intriging. We lived exacttly two blocks from eachother, you made something of yourself living good. I wish I could have done a third of what you have done congtrates and keep up the blog it's great to hear about people you grew up around.

OHmommy said...

You should blog. This was great.

Indy said...

Great post T. I don't think you are there yet. I think you are there for now. You are so ambitious. Your friend Sam would be shocked with everything you do as a SAHM. I don't know how you do it and maintain the energy level that you do. You will do something else with your life when your life shifts and your family doesn't need you in the same way. I can't wait to see what you will do next. I love this post and have thought the same thing a million times since I have stayed home. Who knows what is next? I could see you as a CEO, founder of a mult-million dollar company, the best apple pie baker ever or even the matriarch of your family. Whatever you do, I can't wait to watch.

Kelbabe said...

As I said today, you still put everything you have into everything you do. You are amazing! I think in a way, you're "there" but just on a different path. You still have many years to get "there" if you still decide to. I know that anything you put your mind to doing, you accomplish.

MIT Mommy said...

Beautiful. I'm just lucky that I get to participate in your life even though you don't blog.