At dinner the other night, the question came up “are you doing what you always wanted to do?”
Then I answered, “no, I wanted to be a nurse…”
I’ve thought about it and I want to change my answer…
When I was 8, I wanted to be a Barbie. When I was 13, I wanted to be a teacher. When I was 18, I wanted to be a nurse.
At 20, I wanted to be a mommy.
At 21, I became an office manager/accounting/bossypants person.
At 35, I became a single mommy. I also became my true self.
At 41, I became her Mrs.
I realized that things in my life made me take different roads, to change who I was, so I could adapt to a situation. I learned early in life to always be pleasing. To always accommodate whatever someone else wanted. It defined me for my teenage years and my early and middle adult years. I don’t think I actually ever did anything FOR ME, until I hit about 40.
Let me tell you, it’s been empowering and uplifting. It’s been terrifying and at times aggravating. I find it easy to slip back into accommodation mode to avoid conflict, to make others happy. And to be honest, I feel yucky when I do it.
I can look back at significant moments in my life when I reached a fork in the road and took the road that I felt I was supposed to take, rather than the road that my instincts told me to take. Eventually, each time I took the road that I wasn’t 100% about, it blew up in my face. Most times, spectacularly. Only thing that I could do at that moment was pick myself up and dust off.
As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to trust my instincts. The last time I didn’t trust them, it cost me dearly and I still feel from the fact that instead of trusting my “gut”, I kept it to myself…and it blew up.
I’ve spent a lot of time not talking, not blogging, not journaling, just being alone in my head, trying to figure shit out and heal. And re-learning what I’ve spent years practicing…to just listen to my instincts.
At 20, they told me I could handle being a mommy. They were blessedly right.
At 21, they told me to take an office job that has led me to a career filled with people and experiences I wouldn’t trade.
At 35, it led me to independence and a new found strength. It also led me to my coming out and eventually my wife.
No, I’m not a Barbie, or a teacher, or a nurse. But I’m the best me I can be. Loud, bawdy, quiet and shy. I’m all of that and more.
Soon, it will lead me to finally do something I have dreamed of since I was 12, I will become a writer, hopefully a published one. It is the most terrifying thing ever, but it’s my dream and I plan to do what I always wanted to do…I don’t know what I want to say, but surely, I have plenty to say, right?
Then the next time I’m asked if I am doing what I wanted to do, I can say without any hesitation “yes I am!”