Friday, April 26, 2013

I Am Enough

At the ripe old age of 47, I've spent several years telling the same running joke. The line is, "I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up!" Even though I say it in a playful way, there is actually much truth behind the statement.

The first real job I ever really wanted was that of writer--something I decided when I was twelve. I love to lose myself in a good book, and I thought it would be great to evoke the same sort of feelings in others. (I have always had some rather daydreaming/escapist tendencies.) In some respects, I do see myself as a writer even though it is not something I earn a living at.

In college, I got a BA in psychology, thinking I wanted to be a counselor and help people deal with their problems. That plan fell by the wayside after I had children and decided I wanted to raise them full time. Getting divorced put a big kink in the professional parent role, although I have to admit the jobs I took at the point were ones that allowed me to continue to put my kids first. I ended up as a daycare teacher. It paid the bills but with very little money left over and almost no professional credibility. Ironically I did get offered management positions several times (which I declined because I did not want the added stress for not much extra pay). At one point I even managed to get a temporary teaching certification which allowed me to be the lead teacher in a Georgia Pre K classroom, but as I knew I didn't want to be a teacher forever I did not finish the requirements to get my permanent certification.

At present, I am blessed to be able to work part time. When I first made the decision, I thought I would have time to actually focus on writing. However, even though I often have great ideas my ADD tendencies make it difficult to sit around and focus on any one major project. At times, I am extremely frustrated with myself and my lack of ambition. I even try to figure out what it is that drives me--what it is I am passionate about, but no one thing really stands out to me.

As I pondered this subject yet again this morning, something profound came to me. In this society, we are taught it is important to have goals and to be something. Usually being something requires you to define yourself in some way. For example, I am a writer or a teacher or a business person, etc. Absolutely nothing I know of in this world is something I feel I want to pursue for the rest of my life. There are times I do want to be a writer. There are times I want to be a teacher. There are times I want to be in business for myself. There are others professions I am attracted to as well. If I am to perfectly honest with myself, however, I do not wish to limit myself to any one of these things. The thought that occurred to me as I drove my youngest son to school was, maybe it is not necessary to be so focused on defining myself. Maybe I need to stop looking at things the world deems as necessary and just allow myself to be--whatever that is in any given moment.

The very act of defining who you are creates automatic limitation. Somewhere deep in my heart, I know I am  an unlimited and powerful being. I do not wish to be in a box--even a box of my own choosing and design.

The reason living in the state of now is such a powerful place to be is because you are in the moment, choosing from one second to the next what makes you happy. It is not something you have to think about. It is something you feel, and feelings are where the magic happens.

I choose not to designate myself as writer or teacher or business woman or anything else. I am all those things and more. I do not need to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I am, and that is enough.

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