What Does Life Have In Store For You?
Do you ever wonder what life has in store for you? You think you have everything laid out: the direction you might go in, what you’re going to do and you even make plans.
This last week was one of those kinds of weeks. The kind where you wonder what life really has in store for you. And what, exactly, are we all striving for?
Some things started happening regarding my working life and I’ll admit: I’ve been a little bewildered and hurt by it. My heart was already looking out the door, but…when stuff started happening all in a row and things started tumbling together to make one big cloud about to burst with rain, you know you gotta make some decisions.
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll know that I’m a clark: I’m sensitive, creative and I often wonder what it is that I’m really supposed to do with my life. You’d think, ah yeah, that kid (which I’m not so much anymore), she knows her stuff. She teaches. She studies. She goes to school.
On the surface, I look the part of the girl who’s got it together…maybe. (You didn’t see how I was dressed like a militia girl, looking like she was ready to race dogs in the Yukon Territory the other day when it was so cold out. I just needed a pair of mukluks and they would have entered me in the Iditarod just for my looks. Laugh if you will: I live in the South.)
I’ve been wondering what to do with myself since I developed the ability to wonder.
It’s one of my life’s great struggles.
Below the surface, I yearn to be free. The kind of free that doesn’t have someone watching the clock to make sure I keep a schedule. The kind of free where I’m not accountable to anyone but myself (and maybe my loved ones). The kind of free where you make the shots and you live life on your own terms.
Humans Are Supposed to Be Free
So often I think, yes. Life wants this for all of us.
I’ve always thought that life is supposed to carry with it the whole spectrum of emotion: happiness, sadness, frustration, elation, joy, peace, even anger. When these emotions hold each other in balance, life can be an adventure that pushes us to where we never thought we’d go.
Without anger, how would we know to act when we see an injustice?
Without happiness, how will we appreciate it when we feel sadness?
Without love, how will our lonely hearts be filled?
But when one emotion dominates – frustration – you know that life’s lemons are urging you to make the proverbial lemonade, as I alluded to in my last post.
If you’re reading this, maybe you want to be a writer. I’ve dedicated a chunk of my life to this endeavor since 2011…and even before that if you count all the short stories, journal entries, grants and papers I wrote before that.
Before that it was art. Hundreds of images created in a quirky southwest style? Check.
Before that it was teaching. Because I wanted to make a difference.
Ring, Ring. Autonomy is Calling.
That urge to be autonomous just keeps pulling my hair, making my head turn at every corner. And the journey to autonomy is happening so slowly, that my friend Molasses is winning the race.
I know this all seems abstract, but bear with me, I’m getting to the point. Before I do that, let me tell you a story.
It’s the story of a 17 year old girl, the middle child of thirteen siblings. She met a military guy; they married. By the time she was 18, she had her first child. She went on to have four more, adopt another and help care for countless other children. You’d think she would have opened a day care center. Never having worked, she decided to go out to a nice resort hotel, and apply to be a waitress. She was 40 years old. She wanted her kids to go to good schools. She worked her way up, eventually even being entrusted with the responsibilities to cater to two different presidents of the United States. The owners of this hotel resort took notice and invited her into their home to help care for them as they aged.
Five years later, when she was 55, she started a business for the very first time, using her contacts from the owners of the hotel. She opened a nursing home in her home. I was only 9 at the time, because I was that child that my mother adopted. She wanted to send me to good schools. She worked extremely hard to send me to private schools. To this day she says she never regrets it.
And wouldn’t you know, she’s had a learning disability this whole time? My mother, who understands people better than they understand themselves, figured out a way to educate herself – not through college – and with only a high school education, still managed to create a business that helped support her family. Eventually, it grew enough that she has 10 employees and have two of her children work there with her. When her husband – my dad – retired, he went to work as the office manager for the business.
They still, even in their mid 70s, are working and maintaining this business. They are also approaching 57 years of marriage. They’re a little like oil and water, those two, but there still is a lot of love.
Do you think that when my mom was 40 years old that she knew she’d eventually open a business? She always liked the elderly but she was much more likely to work with children?
That wasn’t in the cards for her. I don’t know if she was passionate about caring for elderly folks until she really got started with helping to care for them. It’s definitely not glamorous work.
She was also able to care for her father before he passed away. Over the years, she’s been able to take in friends and other family members and nurse them until they either got better or until they returned to the earth.
I relate this story because I sort of wonder if something like this might happen to me. I have been bound and determined to be a creative. But what if the creative part is supposed to be a by-product of what I’m really here for?
If I knew that, I would probably be doing something very different with this post.
Is It Really Passion?
So many people talk about passion. Loving what they do. Never working again a day in their lives as long as they’re doing what they love.
Maybe it’s not about that. Maybe it’s more about answering the call for what you’re good at. Then, little by little, you build something that you can be proud of. Like a business that helps people learn to better themselves somehow. This is noble, yes?
However, over the past few weeks, I’ve really been working on this question. I created a vision board, and I’ve been doing a guided meditation to help a person understand their destiny. It’s the kind of thing where you really just work to clear the mind so that messages can get through.
I’m still not sure. Sometimes any message I get really does feel like I’m reading Gaelic and all I’m thinking, oooh, look at all the pretty shapes!
But there is a seed that is coming through. I know it’s teaching, and I know it involves writing. But what if it’s different than even I think? What if it involves going out on my own to do what I need and want to do?
So, going with that, I was over at a site called MicroMentor that, if you need business advice, it will pair you up with a volunteer mentor. I just met someone who lives across the country who has a successful business who is willing to mentor me.
I have a feeling that this is just what I needed. I will say LOUDLY AND CLEARLY that I’m a little dense when it comes to business. When I need to sell myself – that is, my Spanish knowledge in tutoring – my voice starts to get really small and my eyes look at the floor and you can barely hear me whisper….
But, I’m amping up my tutoring website, I’m going to do a lot of soul-searching and the whole business of this day job just might translate into a dream job.
So, I’m grateful for garbled cosmic messages, micro-mentors, my Spanish knowledge and the power of technology…to bring friends and community together. I’m grateful for knowing how to speak Spanish and my willingness to teach others.
I know this: whatever my life entails, I know writing and speaking Spanish are going to be a part of it. I should go write a Spanish article over at that other site, huh?