Monday, May 17, 2010

Sill waiting on that instruction manual

Ok, this is going to be rudimentary at best until I get this figured out...but here it goes...some background on WTH am I doing?

I have been spending most of my adult life (& truthfully, many of my formative years) trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with myself. I am now in my mid-30s, a wife & mother, & I still have no idea. I'm discovering that the further I get in life, the less defined things become.

As a child, there are specific rules. This is what is ok, that is not. This is what you do, this is what you don't do. Things are pretty well mapped out for you through school, church, activities, etc. Oddly though, as the level of responsibility increases - fending for one's self - eating, roof over head, choosing relationships, rearing children - the specificity of direction seems to dramatically decrease. I realized this most pointedly when my son was born. I had no idea what to do with him, having no experience in any form with a baby. Nurses said I had to feed him, change him, etc, but no one told me *how* to do any of those things, or even offered any help. I'm no dummy & I know I can figure it out, but anyone who has ever tried to "wing it" with changing a diaper on a newborn or breastfeeding will know it's not as straightforward as it might sound...especially when you're exhausted, emotionally wound-up, & perhaps a little afraid.

After some reflection (I do this a lot, but results vary), I realized that most of my life feels this way. I don't know what to do with myself. I'm not fulfilled in my career. I never meant to have a "career." I expected to stay at home - do the wife/mother thing. For a number of reasons, that didn't happen. But now that "career" is in the "plan" it would be nice if it were somewhat on purpose, perhaps even a little satisfying. I'm good at most things I do (if I continue to really do badly at something, I'll quit doing it) & I learn quickly. So, I have fallen into several jobs that I do well, but don't enjoy. I've never been one of those people who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. I've never had an answer to that question...& as I got older, became horribly jealous of those who did...and a little annoyed at myself for not being able to figure it out.

So, now that I have children, I honestly don't have the energy to muddle through a job that is mentally, physically, & emotionally draining. That just makes me grumpy & no one in my house benefits when I'm grumpy. Nor do they like it much. Besides, I want to set a different example for my kids.

We are going through a lot of change right now - kids starting school, etc, and I feel a very strong need to figure out WTH I'm supposed to be doing with myself. I believe everyone has a purpose. I know mine is to help people. Beyond that, I'm stumped...for a number of reasons...

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