Things that we keep.
As we grow older (and older, and older and older….) there sets in a type of stream line effect where only the real deep seeded talents and joys are kept close to us, while the rest of our hobbies and interests get erased within busy bee life, somewhere lost between the grocery shopping, birthdays, family dinners, and TV time. Suddenly, we are no longer doing what we love and are passionate about, we’re doing what we can to keep our heads above water which is called “survival” not “development”.
I was having a conversation last night with Mr. Baker about our dreams for the future and I surprised even myself by changing the outcome of my once thought out destiny by laying out a simple, average lifestyle that any normal, regular person could have. Roy was speechless. Who was this woman in front of him that was POO-POOing the idea of opening a school in Africa, and in its place welcoming in PTA meetings, soccer games, and nights sat in front of the telly? I literally couldn’t see how the person I’ve moulded myself into being for the last 30 years could work in this new style of life I was about to embark upon. (sorry about the preposition there…).
What actually caused me to have that “step back” moment was the sheer look of horror on Roy’s face when I told him how I saw things versus how I wanted things to be. This wasn’t the woman that he fell in love with, not even close. This was a Stepford alien who had entered its perfect insanity into my brain, and lodged itself there so deeply that even I didn’t know it was breeding normalcy, complacency, and boredom. ICKY!!! GROODY! BOR-ING!!! Upon realizing that I was scaring Roy as much as I was scaring myself made me have a good think about what was it that I really wanted to do, what have I always wanted to do, and how could I get all of these things to actually work in conjunction with the CL of today.
And then I reflected on a few immediate perks to being me that I want to survive as long as I do.
CELLO: I have played this sexy beast of a string instrument since I was the wee age of 9 years old. Having dumped viciously violin, piano, drums, trumpet, and the clarinet, suddenly I met my match, my partner, my soul mate in the cello. And through thick and thin, years of not practicing which made my fabulous teacher drink herself years into old age, and periods of practicing so much that my fingers would bleed, and doors all over house would be barricaded closed to block out the repetitiveness of a difficult (mostly out of tune/beat) passage, I managed to keep this friend close to my heart where I continue to play and am continually reminded of how good it makes me feel to play. Music is a huge part of my life, and although I bitch and moan about practicing and rehearsal times, the connection and sensation of playing music well is a perfectly individual moment. This I will keep.
TRAVEL: Why can’t I strap on my baby (..ies) bijorn on my front, my travel rucsac on the back, and go go go go once I have chitlens? Why is it that I suddenly feel like because I’m enroute to being a more “settled” person (I’m trying to stay away from the persona of being settled and be more on the path to one day, possibly, thinking about maybe being more stable) I will have to give up what I want to do more than anything because it’s: too hard, too expensive, too disruptive, too hippie, too dirty, too foreign…yadda-yadda. I can sit here and make excuses about everything all the time, because EVERYTHING is hard and expensive. Kids, they’re no different. Granted, I do think staying in one school/location is important for children, but summer vacations along with home exchanging did a world of good for me while I was growing up, and was “affordable”. I have been traveling internationally with my parents since I was 8. I would be lying if I said that seeing what I have, experiencing what I have, hasn’t made me feel a bit like an outcast because “this here” didn’t make as much sense to me once I had seen more than most. But I also like that oddity in me, always have really, and I would like to share the experiences that I love MOST with my (future) husband and children. What better way to live one’s life? Travel I will fight tooth and nail to keep.
WRITING/ACADEMICS/TEACHING: I am and always will be a student. There is not one thing that defines me more than this. I still base my year schedule as starting in September and ending in June with “Summer” in its own special category of joy and happiness. I’ve been either a student in school or a teacher in school for my entire life, and to think that this current job or lifestyle is going to magically erase that is just plain ol’ crazy talk. I NEED TO LEARN THINGS! I need to sit in the front row of a class that I have studied for, and discuss topics with my peers and lecturer, write papers on esoteric ideas that no one really cares about anymore, and perform on tests as though I had written them up myself. THIS IS WHAT I LOVE. And to be going down a different route because A) it makes money B) looks good on a resume C) seems “right”, all detract from me…what about me? I want more than a cubicle, pushing paper, crunching numbers, and being a worker bee. I NEED discussions, debates, knowledge, insight, experience, freedom, and truth. Maybe all not in that order, but all on the list, none-the-less. This I do not want to let go, and the hard road to get here might just make it all the more appealing.
In the order of my life, here is what I want to do – write a book, pass the GRE (son of a bitch!), get married, go get my doctorate, pump out a tiny, teach, write more books, birth more tinnies, TRAVEL. Done and dun. I could do that, right? That doesn’t seem to hard….right?… STAY FOCUSED! Yes, I can do it, and if I want to let’s start night this second. I’m writing as we speak/read/whatever this is, so step one is already in the works (HURRAY!)
It’s Friday people, let’s not forget that today seems like a good day for the start of the rest of our lives. You with me? HELLLLLOOOOOOO, I asked; ARE YOU WITH MEEEEEEEE???