Sunday, November 4, 2007

Unconventional

Throughout my entire life, I have fought the urge to be myself. Several times, I was unfortunately victorious. I was successful by societal standards, thereby earning pats on the back from people I didn't like. What was that about? Whenever I started heading down the path of my real persona, I found myself defending my thoughts and desires to those around me. It never dawned on me that I was talking to the wrong people. Rather, I believed I was wrong. So I retreated from my dreams, time and time again, only to be more and more disappointed in life and who I was not becoming.

I'm experiencing a huge paradigm shift right now. Some acquaintances are teasing me about a mid-life crisis, but I just keep saying it's my Awakening. They don't get it. But this time, I get that I'm telling the wrong people. The few that nod and understand are the ones I'm going to gravitate towards. For the first time, I'm trying to be who I really am. I'm writing and photographing from my humble but cute home office. I know I can do this. It's not going to be the lucrative career I left, but it will be a life of my own making.

My husband is having some of those moments, as well. He has the heavy burden of being financially responsible for us, one made even weightier by following conventional wisdom. A few years back, we bought a house. One that all six of us plus a business fit in. One that we sort of could afford. We were told we would "grow into" the payment. No one told us that meant axing your personal dreams in exchange for the American Dream. Owning (or at least being indebted to a bank for) a home has taught us some lessons. Aside from the many ways to enjoy Top Ramen, we've learned that a house is not a home. We've also come to learn that other's ideas of "owning" a home should not be inflicted upon us. We are selling our American Dream and moving on with our own. We may at some point "own" a house again. Regardless, I'm confident that wherever we live, our home will be filled with joy and laughter.

My children have been given to me by God. Some to be taught, and some to teach. I'm learning daily about my own limitations... they love to remind you about them. The oldest is technically an adult. Her meanderings seem to be a reflection of the funky wisdom I tried to pass on to her. Most parents prepared their kids for the SATs and college. I prepare my kids for life. And this one is living. I am inspired when I see her pursue her dreams, even though they don't align with society's norms. My second child and I are on a time out. We haven't seen or talked to each other since September. I don't think either of us minds that right now. Some parents get it. It doesn't make us bad. She and I are just teaching each other patience. My little ones came after I married my husband, hence the "huge gap" in ages. People actually think we had two kids, and then after ten years, looked at each other and said, "Hey, let's do that again!" No... sorry... It's a second marriage. You'd think folks would be used to divorce by now. We have a tight group of friends in the same family situation: one child from a first marriage and now a growing group of "round two" kids. We don't think it's that weird.

I go to a church that used to only have unconventional teenagers, which isn't that odd. Well... we ran all the boring people off to their newer, whiter congragations and took over. It takes blood, sweat, and tears to do the Lord's work, but it's exciting. My hiatus from volunteering is coming to an end. My husband and I need to think about our commitments to this group of awesome believers. I think once we leave this house, we will be more able to hear what God is asking us to do without the noise of life bogging us down. (And, I swear, Christians actually talk like this.)

I don't know what life is going to look like in the coming months... that used to startle me awake in the middle of the night back when we were living other people's dreams. Now, I'm positive we are finally living, if just in theory.

1 comment:

Linda Shubert said...

Speak at my funeral? I'm hoping to have a wedding first. But first I have to meet the guy.
Maybe my son or daughter. I know, the daughter I'm adopting from a Chinese orphanage when I'm in my mid to late 40's. She can speak.