Sometimes I can get stuck in my own head, daydreaming about where I could have ended up, or another life I could have lived. What if I went away to school? What if I was brave enough to study abroad? What if I got that MFA in Creative Writing I really wanted? What if I followed that calling to run off with the Peace Corps? When I’m done wandering down that road that never leads to this life I love, I start to wander down the road of real what-ifs? What if we have another baby? What if we decided we are done with just two? What if I became a doula? What if I focused more on yoga instead of running? What if I left my flexible job for one that was more fulfilling? What if I wrote more? What if I could find a way to stay home? What if we moved to Utah?
I’d love to be..
- a mother who raises children who grow up without wounds from my parenting choices
- a mother who raises children who are comfortable in their skin and a desire to explore life
- a writer
- a really fast marathon runner
- a Boston Qualifier
- a yogi who practices every single day
- a teacher of yoga
- a career woman who has an inspiring profession
- a career woman who educates the world on health
- a student studying nutrition and holistic health
- a stay at home mom
- a wife who greets her husband at the door every day with a smile, a kiss, and a well prepared meal
- a provider for my family
- someone with a clean and organized house
- a gardener with a huge vegetable garden
- a handyman who can build all the furniture I wish I could buy
- a world traveler who lives out of a backpack (for at least the summer)
- a volunteer at my boys’ school
- well-read (and the stack of t0-read books would slowly disappear)
- found meditating every single day
- a doula who gently guides moms and babies in childbirth
- a really good friend who never forgets a birthday or an important date
- someone who always remembers to send a card or a thank you
My list doesn’t stop there. All of these things are a part of who I am, the things that I love, and the things that I value. I want them all. Choosing one over another always has consequences in life. Putting a check next to one box makes another thing on the list impossible. Today I have chosen family over wandering around the world. I have chosen a less inspired career to focus on other things. I choose running over yoga on most days. I choose reading over a clean house. I choose parenting my boys with a full heart over everything else. I may not greet my husband at the door with dinner, but I do greet him with a smile and a kiss. I don’t know where I would end up had I chose another path. Had I packed up my bags when I was young and left, had I saved the world instead of having a family, where would I be today?
I’ll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore. ~Cheryl Strayed
There’s nothing to do but respect that that sister life was not meant for us. That life was not my life to live. This life is my life, and I’m going to live it with a full heart. I’m going to honor all the things that I love. I don’t know the final outcome of my life. I don’t know what things will get checked off my dream list. I do know I’ve been give exactly what I need right now.
I suppose this is what I meant when I wrote what I did, sweet pea, about how it is we cannot possibly know what will manifest in our lives. We live and have experiences and leave people we love and get left by them. People we thought would be with us forever aren’t and people we didn’t know would come into our lives do. Our work here is to keep faith with that, to put it in a box and wait. To trust that someday we will know what it means, so that when the ordinary miraculous is revealed to us we will be there…grateful for the smallest things. ~Cheryl Strayed