Tuesday, August 26, 2014

dreams are for the young

Do you ever have the feeling that you really missed your chance to do a certain thing in your life? Not necessarily a regret... just a wistfulness that comes from hindsight? I used to feel that way about becoming an Olympic gymnast (p.s.- I never would have been good enough for that. It just looked fun.), but I digress.

I've said before that one of the hardest parts about being an atheist is knowing that this life is all there is. There are no second chances, do-overs, or next-time-arounds. That makes it harder when the wistfulness comes around. And I've been feeling an extra-large helping of the wistfulness lately.

C and I are actively trying to have a baby now, and that comes with its own set of emotional baggage. Hopes for the future, anxiety over what our life will look like, the constant reminder that I am a grown-up (seriously, when did that happen?). Most of all, it brings sharply into focus the fact that there will be these tiny people who depend on me. Tiny people who will need to be fed, clothed, and cared for. These tiny people are beginning to create a mental rift for me.

On one hand, I'm a mom and a grown-up. The day care and the grocery store and FedLoan don't care if I like my job; they just want to get paid. This is not the time in my life for me to chase after fantasies; I have responsibilities. Dreams are for the young, and that time in my life has passed.

On the other hand, if I'm going to be gone from my child(ren) for 45 hours a week, I want it to be worth it. I don't want to face day after day of drudgery. I want to love what I do, both for me and as an example for my child(ren).

What do I want to do? I want to be a doula. We all know that I'm obsessed with pregnancy, birth, and babies. I think it would be absolutely amazing to support women through that experience.

So what's holding me back from pursuing this seriously? Let me count the ways:

  1. More training = more $$ -- I know, I know. Takes money to make money. I just don't really HAVE money right now.
  2. Being self-employed -- I've never really considered myself brave enough to deal with the ups and downs of being self-employed. I like having an employer, having benefits, knowing that I'm going to get a stable paycheck...
  3. Crazy hours -- babies don't care if it's 3pm or 2am, so it's definitely not steady work-hours. If it were just me (or just me and C), this wouldn't really be a problem. However, C and I don't have family nearby, and not too many childcare facilities are willing to do a 20-minute-notice drop-in arrangement, so that aspect would be SUPER challenging with children.
  4. Dreams are for the young -- I really feel like I've passed the time in my life for self-exploration and -actualization. Back to all those responsibilities above. Besides, how many times can I change my career without being a dilettante? (hint: it's less than the number of career changes that I've had thus far.)
So that's where I'm at today. Lamenting the loss of the I-do-what-I-want time in my life. I'm still dreaming though. Dreaming that one day, somehow, this may be possible.

1 comment:

  1. This can still be a someday dream or goal! Maybe when your kids are older or you're retired from your day job?