I Want to BE Something
This post has been swirling around my head for weeks now. Then, Zoey from Good Googs wrote a post in the same vein but certainly much better than I would so I figured I’d scrap it. Until we watched Bondi Vet with Ellie and I, again, felt the need to share.
Last week, Ellie watched the garbage truck come and empty our bin. She came to me afterwards and told me she wanted to be a Garbage Girl. Soon after her declaration, Ellie changed her mind. She came to me and said “I don’t want to be a Garbage Girl anymore, I want to be a mummy. Like you.”
Since then she has spoken of it often. When I started talking about the music class I was signing her up to she exclaimed “But, I just want to be a mummy!” and I had to explain that she could still do other things for fun, it didn’t mean her dream had changed if she went dancing, or did singing or learnt music. I went on to tell her that even if she wanted to be a mummy she could have other dreams, too. She was having none of that.
She had some pretty lofty ideals, telling me that her children would never be naughty, that she would get children who didn’t fight and so on.
Her single mindedness and positivity about what she wanted added to something I have been struggling with since the start of the year. I’ve always had dreams. Dreams of being a writer. Of selling some photographs. As a youngster I had the passion, the drive and I believed in my ability until I was discouraged by someone I trusted.
I let go of those dreams. Or, at least, I tried. They’re still here, though and I struggle with that fact. With fear and with the belief that I could never, ever do what I so desperately want to.
With my children becoming more and more independent and Ellie only a year out from starting school I am starting to wonder where my life will go. I know, I do, that if I want it to go my way I have to work on it. I have to believe.
I don’t want to go back to Insurance. I don’t want to get to 60 and regret not even trying. And I don’t want to fail.
I want to BE something. I see others living, working, experiencing what I want and I know they’ve worked for it (well, most of them…) and I am so completely mad at myself for letting this happen.
I want 2012 to be the year I TRY. The year I get my act together, but I don’t know how. I don’t know where to start and I am practically crippled with fear. Every time I set aside time to write I find every possible way to procrastinate. And if that doesn’t work I start to clean. Desperate times and all that.
I am trying to teach my children they should follow their dreams, to work hard for what they want, how can they believe me if I don’t take a deep breath and give it a go myself? I don’t want to give into the chest crushing anxiety and teach my children that we should flee if we’re scared.
Tuesday night we watched Bondi Vet with Ellie, in hind sight my love of Dr Chris might have needed to take a back seat and we maybe should have turned it off, but she enjoyed it (mostly) and she was mainly doing some ‘diary’ work on the iPad, so wasn’t giving it her full attention. At one point, a cow was having trouble giving birth, so Dr Chris came to the rescue. Once the calf had been pulled out Ellie asked “Why did she eat that?”, thinking the cow had swallowed the calf. Which gave me a little giggle for a moment.
I told her that the cow was having a baby and James, helpfully, added that if she wanted to be a mummy she would have to ‘have’ babies too. Now, I’m being told “I don’t want to be a mummy because, remember the cow?”. I have explained that what she saw isn’t how people have babies, really. Especially the part where they’re ratcheting the calf out…
I know that at 4, Ellie’s dreams could change a thousand times over but there’s also a chance that they won’t. I don’t want her to start her journey being led by fear. I want her to feel that fear and be strong enough to challenge it. Something I was never able to do myself. I do not want to pass this weakness on and cause my children regrets.
So, we’re back to Ellie wanting to be a Garbage Girl, because it seems we’re in a stage of needing to know what we want to be. She’s quite dejected, though and I am trying to gently talk to her, trying to explain that sometimes what we want to do is scary but worth it. Trying to let her know that, at four, she doesn’t have to choose and stick to a career path – there’s plenty of time for that. Now’s the time for growing, exploring and finding out what she loves, discovering where her passions lie.
No, my little girl should not be so worried about what she will be. The person who SHOULD be taking this seriously is me; at 28, just under 4 months until my 29th birthday and I have yet to do a single thing I promised myself I would. Practically 30 and not even close.
And, now, what I do with my dreams isn’t just about me and what I want. It isn’t simply about fulfilling that part of me which yearns to be published. It is also about modeling to my children that you can, even if you’re almost thirty, even if you’ve left it so long, even if you’re scared.