When I grow up I want to be a…

Veterinarian was my first answer. I was 9 years old and had 9 pets. I realized I wasn’t that great at keeping them alive though when my guinea pigs died of sunstroke, one of my budgies got eaten by my cat and another one flew away with her boyfriend. Maybe they found a nice home together.

When my mom brought home a BCIT nursing brochure I set my sights on that. I think I was 10 or 12. Ten years later I failed in my practical skills twice while thriving in the theory and science and singing at people’s bedsides.

Six years after that I graduated with my bachelor in education. My hopes of being a successful international teacher were dashed with a mental health crisis and my short but successful TOC stint ended with pregnancy.

Now my daughter is almost 2 and I am thinking “what now?” Parenting is a life long journey but she is sleeping in her own bed now and my evenings are free and my mind is starting to reach toward other goals. Baby #2? Yes, I want that but I am just starting to relish some of my freedoms again..

Freedom to plant my nose in books and fry my brain with academics?? Hmmm, maybe the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. 10 years of college paper memories still lingers.

I toy with the idea of counselling degree, MDiv… or a math course where I can finally learn how to do quadratic equations.

It’s funny how I spent so long hoping to be a mom and yet it doesn’t fully satisfy. There is always a longing for more. That longing for more is often berated as lack of contentment or ungratefulness. I used to agree but now I would argue that it is a good thing. If I was completely satisfied with motherhood, it would become my everything, my North Star, my obsession. And that is not healthy for me or my daughter. I am grateful to be a mom and I always will be. It is the most demanding and rewarding calling that I know of. I choose now to not work outside of the home because I believe that I am the best person to be with Elaina right now….and I would miss her terribly. But there may come a time, no there will come a time when she is spreading her wings a bit and I will have more time to pursue other callings.

I was at physio yesterday and she said that I get stuck in a certain posture. “Shift your weight back and forth so you don’t get stuck.” A part of me keeps wanting to pick one season of my life and hit the repeat button. (For the younger readers that is a button we would push on a CD player). Tell myself, “get comfortable because this is what you are doing for the rest of your life. You can become an expert and do it perfectly and then life will be easy and relaxing.”

But my soul has way too many dreams to stay in that spot. How do dreams become reality? Sometimes huge steps like stepping on a plane to China or having sex and creating a human (I just wanted to throw the s word in there to raise some eyebrows). Sometimes it is tiny steps like auditing an online bible school course. Or having someone else care for Elaina for a few hours.

I am never going to “arrive” until I die. Until then it is a journey forward with twists and turns that cannot be anticipated. We say these are “uncertain” times with COVID and other world events and they are. We as a global community are being shaken to the core. But the reality is that times are always uncertain. The idea that we know what will happen tomorrow and next week is a facade.

Yes, there are seasons where life is more predictable than others but if anything I think recent crisis are helping me have a more honest perspective of my vulnerabilities, my lack of control. And I am better able to face the more normal but still scary questions of career and further expanding our family.

What do I want to be when I grow up? I might have the answer when I turn 100. Or maybe I will be an old lady with multicolured hair, because I finally won’t have to bleach out the brown, and a mind full of dreams and ambitions asking God “what next Abba?” And like a little child always seeking a new adventure.

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