Tuesday, October 20, 2009


. . .and then the day came when the risk to remain tight inside a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

I'm at a crossroads.

Over the last few months, I have assumed a temporary position at work. A position that made me nervous, that I originally questioned my skills at. Since taking the position, I have found that I am more able and capable than I thought. I've been pushed in new directions and learned a lot of things, and quickly. Some days I find it thrilling, to learn new things about myself and my abilities that I haven't known. I feel pride, satisfaction, ownership in a good thing. I feel that I am making a difference in this world.

And then I have a day like today.

Actually, my day started last night, when I had trouble falling asleep. I tossed and turned before finally falling asleep an hour later. I awoke at three this morning, with my hand in vomit. Yes, vomit. Gabi, my sweet dog, had thrown up on the bed. Thrown up, more specifically, on me. In typical form, Gabi was just fine. I was the one who spent twenty minutes in the bathroom, first trying to figure out if i could have possibly thrown up myself and not known it. Once I ruled that out, then it was on to cleaning up myself, and the mess.

When my alarm went off, I realized I had slept through three snoozes and had about ten minutes to get ready for work.

My printer and email were down at work; I had new students starting; the floors were not clean; my plans were fuzzy and my head hurt and my nose was running and I was feeling like crap. The day turned unseasonably warm and I was sweating, the kids were sweating, the teachers were sweating. By the time I left work to take my daughter to an appointment, I was thoroughly on my way to a terrible, horrible, no-good, VERY bad day.

Once home, I took some ibuprofen for my head and buried myself under the covers. The thoughts and pain from Sunday's visit with my son came back as I lay there, trying to figure out what in the hell I was doing. What was I doing in bed? What was I doing as a mother? As a wife? As a person? What the hell was I doing with my life?

I've become painfully aware in the last month that I am an extremely passive person. Almost everything that exists in my life has come into place by accident. Things happen TO me; I don't make conscious choices to make them happen. I stumbled into motherhood; I stumbled into my current position. And I've been trying to figure out when and how I'm going to stop stumbling.

It is critical to me to make a difference in this world. It is also critical to me to be a good mother to my children. Trying to find a balance between those two leaves me feeling as though I walk an unending tightrope, and that I never fulfill either role to the best of my ability. So what to do? Actively pursue the opportunity to stay in the position I'm in? Or step back into the old, comfortable zone and recommit my energy to my family? Do I take this chance to further my education, my career, both, or neither? What DO I want?

When I opened up my email today and read the quote above by Anais Nin, it struck me heavily. At some point, stepping into my light has got to become less scary the staying out of it. At some point, I have to be willing to become what I'm supposed to be. As Nelson Mandela once said, it is not our darkness that frightens us; it is the thought of become more brilliant than our wildest dreams. I want to come into my own. I want to blossom and be brilliant and be whoever it is that I'm meant to be. The problem is that I still haven't figured it out yet. In the words of Bono--who sang it so beautifully at the concert I attended Sunday night--I still haven't found what I'm looking for. And sometimes I wonder if I ever will.

So if you've seen it, could you send it over this way?

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