Today I read The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion in one sitting. That may sound impressive, especially if you know me, but it really isn’t since this is more of an inspirational picture book than the usual “get your life together in 30,000 words” type of book. What it lacks in text, it made up for in power – if I was good at metaphors and knew how to use a tuning fork I’d probably make some comparison here to that effect.
Unfortunately, as with all these books, I mostly just sit around and feel sad afterwards because I know what my raving-mad-dreams are but I’m too much of a coward to make them happen. So, instead of doing any of the dream-related or practical things on my to-do list I ended up hosing the driveway off. “Why are you telling me this?” you may be asking. Or most likely not, because at this point you’ve moved on to doing something more useful with your life than reading this.
Still here? Alright then, I’ll shed some light on the mystery. I tell you this because it establishes that I was in my front yard at the time of day when the young lad next door gets home from school. I had witnessed his parents leaving not too long before and had a moment where I figured he was locked out of the house and would come ask me to keep him company. Now, if you know anything of how terrifying I am, you know this is absurd, but my imagination ran wild. In our imagined conversation he asks me why I don’t have kids. See, today I’ve been thinking a lot about the ectopic pregnancy I had two years ago next month (or this month if you want to be excruciatingly specific), and the fact that my 17-year-old self’s list of things that should be accomplished by the time I’m 27 (in four months) includes having kids. CLEARLY that’s not happening at this point barring some sort-of miracle. ANYWAY, I digress.
“Why don’t you have kids?” the boy asks in my made-up conversation. How do I respond? “Because we aren’t financially in the position to?” “Because I’m scared to?” The first seems like a totally reasonable grown-up explanation. The second is vulnerable but also true. Then I think about the lesson I’d be teaching a child with either of these answers. “You can’t achieve your dreams if you aren’t well off.” “You shouldn’t try something if you know it’ll be hard.” “Fear is an acceptable reason not to try.” These aren’t lessons I want to pass to a child. These aren’t lessons I want to be true for myself, and yet I’ve convinced myself they are acceptable to live daily.
This the point where I’m supposed to have an epiphany, make babies, and follow my dreams probably. But I have a couple hours till my husband gets home so at least one of those things has to wait. But seriously, this is the point I’ve been at for the past four months. (Yikes, has it really been that long since I’ve quit my job?) I know what not to do, and maybe even what TO do, but it’s that middle part that’s got me worried.
If you have any protips about making the leap and surviving the journey (whatever journey you are on), or general wisdom, feel free to comment. Until the next time in my ever prolonged quarter life crisis: have fun, be safe, and make good choices.