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.

FYBF

35 Comments

  1. Hi Becky, I’m over from FYBF- love this post. It’s never too late to try. And to dream. And sometimes, having babies IS like a calf being ratcheted out!!

    • Hi Gillian, thanks for popping by. I am trying to tell myself it’s never too late to try. I believe that for others, but for some reason it’s hard to believe for myself!
      And I will refrain from mentioning that having a baby could be that bad πŸ˜‰ lol

  2. Oh god becky as I was reading your post I was gaging, I work in insurance. one of my new years resolutions this year was to decide what to do with the rest of my life.
    I too want to be something. anything other than where I’m at now. the trap is set I’ve just got to make sure I don’t get caught. It’s bloody tough.

    • I hope you discover your passion and the path you’re to travel. I look forward to hearing about your journey!

  3. I think a lot of us have to this stage in life where we just have to follow our dreams, we can’t put it up any longer. If you’d like me on your team, Back, I’d be more than happy to help with whatever I can. If you want to run anything by me, please just let me know.

    • I think you’re right. I didn’t realise I would get to a point where I could no longer ignore what I wanted, yet here I am.
      I would love you on my team. So far, there’s not a whole lot going on, but I would love to run things by you. Thanks so much lovely x

  4. I have learned so much about myself through my kids. When you break it down into simple terms for the kids, something seems to click. Meet your challenges head on, and be brave. Maybe do a course to build your confidence? 2012 is your year.

    • Isn’t it amazing what you can discover through such little people.
      Thank you for your words of encouragement. I SO want to be brave. I looked longingly into some courses but it’s not financially viable right now.

  5. What a wonderful post!! I get exactly where you are coming from….My youngest is off to preschool this year and I’d really like to use to time to start following some of my dreams again, instead of just being their mum. I received a letter addressed to Dr Nicole the other day, and I’d almost forgotten that was me!!….Good luck finding your dreams, you are not alone!

    • It’s funny what being a mum does to us, isn’t it? For so long I didn’t do the simply things that I loved and, I didn’t notice but my mental health suffered for it. I hope you have a successful rediscovery of your dreams.
      P.S. My daughter has moved on from a Garbage Girl to a Doctor now!

  6. I have been thinking about this too Becky. I this it is normal and I completely understand everything you are saying. And I too don’t want to go back to Insurance!!! Whilst I am good at it, I don’t enjoy it, plus I haven’t done it for 5 years ;P

    Good luck following your dreams, whatever they may be πŸ™‚

    • Wow – this post has opened my eyes to all of us who have been (or still are) in Insurance! It’s certainly not the kind of environment I want to go to daily, I need more positivity for my mind and mood.
      And 5 years is a long time in the working world, isn’t it? I think that’s what I fear most; will I even know how to do anything!
      Good luck to you, too.

  7. I hope you do follow your dreams – or try at least
    And that Ellie does too
    My little man told me he wanted to have babies and be a mummy the other day – almost broke my heart trying to explain that to him!

    • Thank you for your comment, Ally. I have figured all I can do is try.
      Poor little man, it’s hard when they want to be something that is impossible. At least he can be a daddy, but that doesn’t make it easier to shatter their dreams.

  8. Great post, I went through this exact thing with my first child. I ended up enrolling in a course because I needed another outlet besides being a parent. Kids are sometimes great for inspiring us to achieve things.

    • They are SO good for inspiring us. I love the idea of doing a course and have looked but it’s not going to happen at the moment.
      How did you find parenting and studying?

  9. Hi Becky, My everyday job is Life Insurance (amongst other things) but I dream of a job that doesn’t smother my creativity so much. Good on you. I loved reading this post. Very inspiring.

    • The world of Insurance is quite drab and depressing, isn’t it? I hope you find a job you can do which allows you to create and live and breathe. Thanks for popping by x

  10. Oh how I know how you feel, I’m 38 this year and, having spent the last 9 and a half years taking care of children at home, it is paralyzing to think of going back out to work and incredibly daunting to start something from home and yet try we must. Just remember, the fear is always worse than the reality.

    • Love that ‘the fear is always worse than the reality’. I am going to need that.
      I’ve only been out of the work force 4 and a bit years and I feel so behind the times.
      I hope getting back to work is good for you and not too terrifying.

  11. I feel this post. I could almost have written the same concerns and fears. But I do believe it’s never too late. It can’t be. If is is, then I’m closer to “too late” than you since I’m much older. I remember seeing my mum go back to study at 50 and start a brand new career. It’s possible. It’s just a matter of breaking through the fear and lack of confidence, two things I need to face myself this year. I don’t want to hid my next milestone birthday and feel like I’m the same person at the same place I was at the previous milestone. I know for me, the biggest thing is feeling I had to lock in a decision about what I wanted to be very young. I didn’t explore options; didn’t realise I could. I think it’s great that you are encouraging your daughter to explore. I want to do the same for mine, while I concurrently become a better role model at breaking through my own inhibitions.

    • I like the way you think. It can never be too late.
      My mum is studying at 50 and starting a whole new life, somehow, i don’t doubt her abilities the way I doubt my own.
      Thank you so much for this positive comment. I hope 2012 is one where you can follow your dreams and overcome your fears x

  12. I swear you and I wrote almost the same post this week! I hear you, I really do. I think the most wonderful thing is know that we’re not alone in our dreams and we can make them happen. Great post! πŸ˜€

    • Hey Kel, off to check out your post. I agree, it’s great to know we’re not alone. I am amazed just how many others are putting their hands up and saying “Me too!”. It makes me feel like there’s still hope.

  13. 30 is not old. It is said people have 5 careers in a lifetime. You have plenty of time. Love this post. It reminds me when my son wanted to be a Pilot Dentist. I’m not sure if that was a dentist for Pilots or a Pilot who flew around fixing peoples teeth but it sounded like a pretty good job.
    I came via FYBF. I’ll be back for a visit soon!

    • I go between thinking and feeling like from now life is really only just starting to a crippling fear of getting old. I am in a crazy place!
      I LOVE the sound of a Pilot Dentist. How creative our little people are. Thanks for visiting!

  14. Oh goodness, I feel like you could have written this from inside my head, except, as I’m exactly a decade older than you, put “before I’m 40” in place of “before I’m 30” πŸ™ I too want 2012 to be the year that I try – to sell some of my writing, to build up a consultancy in the fields I love, to model for my daughters that if you want something, you need to pursue it.

    • Hi Kathy, I think 2012 will be the year for both of us. All of these comments, all of you who are feeling the same way, has made me feel stronger. More able and capable. Knowing I’m not alone makes me feel like I can face these fears.
      I hope to hear about your journey towards your dream this year!

  15. Sounds like you’re exactly where I was at the end of last year. Also wanting to write (children’s books) and feeling a little unfulfilled on maternity leave. So I went on a writing for children course last year and then subsequently started my blog and signed up to a writing challenge. Perhaps if you booked a course or something it would give you the impetus you need to start writing? I’m the biggest procrastinator too, but so far it’s working for me. Good luck! x

    • I would love to do a course, however, right now it’s not really possible.
      What kind of writing challenge did you do? I signed up for NaNoWriMo last November and I failed dismally. Looking forward to this year and doing better than last.
      Thanks for your comment.

  16. Hey Becky,
    I’ve featured this post on Digital Parents this week πŸ™‚
    xxx

    • Wow, thank you Ames! I really appreciate that x

  17. I go through a crisis like this about once a month. I’ve achieved a few things I’d thought when I was younger, but many more things have fallen by the wayside. I haven’t given up though. I’m still dreaming and still trying to figure out how to make those dreams happen.

  18. I completely understand where you’re coming from Becky. My daughter is starting school next year too and I have to go back to the workforce but to where? I followed my dream over 5 years ago and quit a cushy job in Government PR to become an apprentice chef. Nine months later I was joyously pregnant and left after my first trimester to become a happy SAHM.

    But now being a chef isn’t the dream. I’d love to stay at home and pursue a course in food writing except I’ll have to wait my turn.

    Mr Di-licious is pursuing his dream of becoming a lawyer. Having studied part-time for the past 7 years, he resigned from his job yesterday (effective end of March)and will be finishing his courses by the end of this year in order to be admitted to practice in February. We’re fortunate that we have family support behind us to make it possible.

    We have some lean years ahead (why I need to go back to some work next year) but it will pay off and [hopefully] we will enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Heck, we may even buy a house one of these days! Right now I don’t care what I do work-wise, but I do know that when the time is right, I will get my turn again to pursue my dreams.

    We’re both 40. Its never to late to decide what you want to do and follow your dreams. A supportive family can make all the difference.

    Di x

  19. Oh Becky, I could just hit him for making you not believe in yourself. You are SOOOO talented. The few things that you ever let me read, I just wanted you to finish it!!! (especially Cain!!)

    You CAN do this!!! You have a bucket load of talent, listen to those of us who belive in you, forget the ones that pull you down!!

    Just start writing a little bit each day… Let me read it – I love reading your writing!!

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