For the past couple of years (yes, it has been nearly 2 years since I last promised myself that I would once again write obsessively) I haven't missed blogging much. Either I've been too busy, I haven't cared much about writing, or some combination of the two. Recently I have found myself thinking, "I need to write about this" or "someone needs to bring this to light" or "everyone needs to know about this thing or the other". I have these thoughts on a daily basis now and my only block is that I'm not sure what to write about first. While it is true that I started this blog to keep friends and family up on the day to day of our super fun life, I currently have the desire to begin writing about a wide variety of topics. I've pondered starting a new more sophisticated and grown up blog focused on issues I find myself passionate about, but I've come to a more mommy-like conclusion. Every thought I have and decision I make is colored with my being mother to two future adults that are just as thoughtful (and I mean we are SO FULL OF THOUGHTS) as I. Consciously or not, I always think of them when I am thinking about anything. Every issue that I want to tackle will one day affect them whether it be a perpetuation of situation, the blessing of no longer having to deal with something negative, or being able to embrace something that is currently impossible. Decidedly, growing up awesome (the action and the blog) includes being thoughtful about the world around us as well as cherishing the world we have created in our home. Without further adieu, my first real blog post in a while. It may be a little different from what we're used to, but give it time. You might just like what you read.
The tale of Robert Johnson, the Mississippi blues musician that supposedly sold his soul to the devil for a magically tuned guitar, on Radiolab recently got me thinking. I'll be staying away from Satan, but one magical moment where I am given such a specific and grand (not to mention, marketable and money making) talent that it would be insane to deny it would be amazing. Here I am, thirty (ah-hem) something and I am paralyzed by too much choice (maybe I'm kidding myself, maybe it is actually no choice at all and I have nothing to give)…see there it goes again. There are so many possibilities that I choose none while coincidentally convincing myself that I don't have what it takes to achieve much of anything. You must understand me the way I currently understand myself: I'm a dreamer with roots in reality, an idealist that knows everything is relative, and an optimist that constantly tells herself to "get real" as if it is an ideal to aspire to. However, I am also a "do-er". I do a lot, but I get down on myself for not doing it ALL. See, I had that magical realization years ago. When Alex and I moved from Los Angeles to New Orleans I became a master of the domestic arts. I cooked, cleaned, sewed, painted, did laundry, decorated, budgeted, obsessed over details, planned parties, and I worked part time at a non-profit on my own schedule. I created a world unto myself of Alice in Wonderland proportion. Calm down feminists! It was my choice and my calling. (I'll soon cover the misconception the current feminist lens creates that staying home is lower in worth or is not to be as respected as working outside of the home. I feel this is a misunderstanding of the feminist movement altogether. Honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of specific interest group classifications..more on that later, too.) The addition of children to my bliss just made it better, a little more scattered but better. I've added several different artistic expressions and interesting skills through out the years from photography to working part time as a cheese monger. I've become a classic "Jack of all trades". I do each thing well enough to get occasionally noticed and some mild applause, but I never become a master. I know I do things that come easily to me and I get extremely frustrated when I find myself at a level that becomes challenging (read this article to understand just how I think I may have developed this tendency). I'm overly cautious of an endeavor that will take too much time to achieve. The economy of time is very important to me. I can't even imagine beginning an endeavor that will take me away from my family too much, missing years of their lives to go back to school or taking a job that will put them in daycare for most of their waking hours terrifies me. So I've thrust myself into the service industry workforce to collect cash in as few hours as possible (honestly waiting tables in this country is only a few steps above panhandling, and maybe only one step above those guys on the street corner that wash your windows without asking then expect money…check back when I break down how servers in this country get paid and who they pay…most of you will be surprised) yet I'm still missing out. The addition of this money making scheme has destroyed the precarious balance I had found. We are fed a constant stream of "follow your passion", "do what makes you happy", "find a way to turn your bliss into a career" and it just doesn't always turn out that way. Sometimes you have to put your nose to the grindstone and choose something to get by. Wow, that's bleak! Unfortunately, what I must do has worn on what I love to do. I am torn between two worlds just so I can make a buck to hopefully give our kids a fair chance to make it in this world. A recent interview on the subject of poverty really struck a cord with me. While we are able to feed and clothes ourselves, I find that it is the need to have what society expects us to have (like soccer, dance lessons, current fashions, etc.) that led me to "go back to work". With my equilibrium disturbed I am tired all of the time. It is hard to choose happiness and patience every morning. I feel like we rush everywhere we go. It is all passing so quickly in front of my eyes that I miss details that I really wish I hadn't. As you have probably realized at this point, I am slap in the middle of a crossroads and I don't know which way to turn. I'm pulled in every single direction. I know my financial responsibilities, but I truly wish I could abandon them for my passion…which simply is experience. Feeling, being, creating. But it all takes money, doesn't it? I hope very soon, to find the balance between bowing to the capitalist system and bucking it (just enough) for a truly transcendent life. There is a book that I need to pick up and read Average Is Over by economist Tyler Cowen. In an NPR interview there is talk of a (I think I've got this right) bohemian revolution where people are happier with less. Strangely, in a piece that disturbed me for the most part, this gave me hope. Now I think we are caught in a place that does not value simplicity. We equate simple living with simple mindedness and lower worth (I am unwillingly part of that "we" that thinks this as much as I try not to). He also talked about the chances for upward mobility and self education being greater in his predicted future. Take a listen and let me know what you think. Change sometimes takes becoming fed up with your current situation and boy am I close to that. I want to find myself again, even if that person is different than I've ever imagined her. To be full of unbridled dreams again would be nice. A fire for something specific would be exciting. A little magic couldn't hurt.