Are you already doing the thing you’re meant to do?

During a visit to Powell’s early this summer, I found myself irritated by yet another book of the follow-your-bliss ilk, Elle Luna’s The Crossroads of Should and Must:  Find and Follow Your Passion.

crossroads cover

What a churlish, bitter old person I must be, to find such a positive and inspiring (and visually adorable) book irritating! Yet, irritated I was, and irritated I have been at the plethora of voices telling me I have a One True Thing and that the path to a meaningful, contented life is to quit the things I don’t like so I can  live out my passion.

 

holsteemanifesto

(The Holstee Manifesto, which you can find here: https://www.holstee.com/pages/manifesto)

I thought perhaps it was all just sour grapes on my part. I spent years–no, decades!–trying desperately to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Sometime in the last few I decided that my time to satisfactorily answer that question had run out.

And that sucked.

It was a source of dissatisfaction and disappointment and a keen sense that I somehow missed out, had wasted my “one wild and precious life“–despite the fact that I had, for a while, rejected the whole idea that we have a One True Thing. Because there are so many, many things I am interested in and want to do, I’ve wondered if the idea that we all have a One Thing is counter-productive. Perhaps, even, destructive.

Being the kind of person who can’t help poking at a canker sore with my tongue, a few days later I checked out the viral internet post that Luna’s book grew from. And there I read the words that turned my irritation and discontent on their unpleasant heads:

Should is how others want us to show up in the world — how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do. It’s the vast array of expectations that others layer upon us. When we choose Should the journey is smooth, the risk is small.

Must is different—there aren’t options and we don’t have a choice.

Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. It’s our instincts, our cravings and longings, the things and places and ideas we burn for, the intuition that swells up from somewhere deep inside of us.

The turning didn’t happen instantaneously. The words had to stew around in my head for a day or so. Has there ever, I wondered, been a Must in my life? Has anything ever felt not optional? 

As a matter of fact, there has been, and the moment I finally saw it I felt the plates of my being shift:

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This wasn’t the satisfactory shift of things clicking into place. It was more like the shifting of tectonic plates, the kind that jolts the ground beneath your feet.

No, no, no, no, NO:  Mothering could not be my Must, my One True Thing! If anything was, it was supposed to be  writing. I’d known that ever since 9th grade, when my first poem was published and a portfolio of my work placed in a prestigious writing contest and Mrs. Marchbank, my beloved creative writing teacher, told me that she knew one day she’d walk into a bookstore and see my books on the shelf.

I’d known even longer that mothering was not the thing that could or should be any woman’s True Thing. I grew up during the second wave of the 20th century feminist movement, when we listened to Free to Be You and Me in the classroom, and Title IX meant I had a right play sports with the boys, and passage of the Equal Rights Amendment felt like an inevitability. Sure, I was raised by a (mostly) stay-at-home mom, but she was one who refused to buy me Barbies because she didn’t want me to think looking pretty and dressing up was what being a woman was all about.

By the time I read Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in college, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be a mother. I’d never liked babysitting or young children and I felt none of the maternal stirrings some of my college friends voiced.

But-but-but…is it possible that all those messages, so well-meaning and positive and affirming, were the voices Luna describes as the ones telling us how we should show up in the world? Although the intent was to free me from limiting expectations–and I am so deeply, profoundly grateful for that–is it possible that I internalized the messages as expectations nonetheless?

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When it comes to mothering, most things have never felt optional. I can see, thanks to Luna’s words, that the ways in which I’ve mothered have been inseparable from who I am and what I believe.

Although mothering seems antithetical to fully becoming one’s own self–isn’t it, by definition, about supporting others in doing that?–it is through mothering that I have become my truest and most authentic self. Mothering has pushed me to question just about everything I believe, to stretch my talents, to take hard stands. It has challenged and required both my creativity and intelligence. It has often been hard and heart-breaking, but it’s also the most satisfying work I’ve done. While I’ve done much for my children, at its core mothering them was all for me, too.

SCAN0045

I don’t want to get side-tracked into a Mommy War skirmish. I’m not claiming that mothering is either lesser or greater than any other Must, or that I’m a better or more committed mother than women who have had both children and some other Must. I’m just sharing my own, personal, surprising truth–mostly because it raised for me a question I’m not sure I’ve seen raised in any of the things I’ve read about following your bliss:

What does it mean when your bliss is something that isn’t (or can’t) be your livelihood?

Because, isn’t that always the assumption, that somehow our bliss should be the foundation for our paid work? In her original essay and book, Luna explores the difference between jobs and careers and callings, and asserts that our highest forms of satisfaction and meaning come when all three intersect. That sounds pretty wonderful–it’s what I spent years longing for–but what does it mean if our Must is something for which we can’t get paid? Is it just as valid/valuable to do work that isn’t a Must if it provides the means that allow us to follow an unpaid passion?

As I contemplated these questions and searched for answers, I discovered Cal Newport, who’s given me a much more satisfying and useful way to look at the issue of work and passion:

so-good-they-cant-ignore

Newport says that “the conventional wisdom on career success–follow your passion–is seriously flawed.” Instead, he argues, passion emerges when we adopt a “craftsman mindset” (asking, What can I offer the world?) and find/create work through which we can develop skill, autonomy, and value. As we engage in work that allows us to grow skill and develop value that sets us apart from others, we become passionate about it.

In other words, we don’t find or follow passion. We create it.

If Newport is right, love for work grows in the same way that love for people grows. Sure, it might start with an initial spark of excitement and attraction, but true love grows over time through an accumulation of engaged experience. And sometimes, love sneaks up on us and we see it only after we’re deep in the middle of it. Sometimes, not just in corny Disney movies, we realize that the flashy, hot-looking guy (perhaps a creative career?) doesn’t have as much substance as the good, steady guy who’s been right for us in ways we never even realized were important.

Suddenly, more plate shifting, of even larger seismic magnitude:  Is it possible I actually have been getting paid for doing a Must and I just never recognized it?

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Is it possible I  was never able to leave education, even as I so often felt as if it was keeping me from my One True Thing, because it, too, is a Must? Did it turn into a Must without me realizing it because I was so busy looking elsewhere I couldn’t see its true value? If I take the paragraph I wrote above about mothering and substitute the word “teaching,” it is just as true:

…it is through teaching that I have become my truest and most authentic self. Teaching has pushed me to question just about everything I believe, to stretch my talents, to take hard stands. It has challenged and required both my creativity and intelligence. It has often been hard and heart-breaking, but it’s also the most satisfying work [for pay] I’ve done. While I’ve done much for my learners, at its core teaching them was all for me, too.

For years I resented teaching for keeping me from being able to immerse myself in writing, but I can see now that I taught in the ways I did not because of what others required of me but because of what I required of myself, to meet my  wants and needs for autonomy and creativity and work that mattered.

I can see now that I was never able to leave education because teaching and mothering fed each other–and me–in vital ways. Teaching allowed me to mother in the ways I needed to, and mothering fostered a love for students that made it impossible for me to walk away from them. Once I had my own children, teaching others’  babies could never be just a day job for me.

making cookies

Why wasn’t I able to see this before? I think because choosing education always felt like copping out, playing it safe, failing to live up to some best version of me. Although the traditional narrative about creatives is that we are told we Should do something more sensible (and so we abandon our creative pursuits), I think that, for me, Luna’s voices of Should were the ones that said:

  • You should practice your art to its highest possible level.
  • You should make your art the centerpiece of your work.
  • You should follow your artistic passion because to do otherwise is to waste it (and your life).
  • Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.

What a relief to be able, finally, to hear these voices as ones proselytizing creative mythology, not truth. So, even though I disagree with Luna’s basic follow-your-passion premise (thank you, Cal Newport, for giving me a framework to help me understand why), I am so grateful for the ways in which her characterization of Should and Must set me on a path that’s ended with seeing my life’s work through a different and healing lens. It is such a relief to be able to lay the “what do you want to be?” question to rest and replace it with new ones:

What skills do I want to grow?
What can I provide that no one else can?
What is the best way to serve?

work is love

If you have wrestled with questions of purpose and passion and work, the question I want to pose to you, now, is this:

Is it possible that you are already doing the thing you’re meant to do? What would it mean for you if you are?

You know I’d love to talk with you about it in the comments, so feel free to leave one. 🙂

 

19 thoughts on “Are you already doing the thing you’re meant to do?

  1. Kate says:

    Every time I read your blog I feel like I could spend a week unpacking all the different thoughts and ideas and feelings it stirs up.

    When I went to my college orientation, one of the advisors told us that there were two types of undecided majors – those who truly had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives and those (like me) that wanted to do so many things they could never just pick one. In my 20’s this used to drive me CRAZY because I felt so much pressure. If I didn’t get A done by B, then I wouldn’t have time to do C by D and my trajectory would be skewed.

    Then I entered my 30’s and spectacularly messed up the plan of who and what I was going to be (motherhood was surprising, wanting to stay home even more so) and I just had to accept that there were simply things that I was no longer going to be able to do and things I no longer WANTED to do (good-bye making partner at an accounting firm by 35). This has opened up some surprising joys for me.

    Have you ever seen Pippin? Jesse and I went this year and I found it to be really wonderful and the theme ties into what I’m trying to say. When we are younger we want to be something (or maybe that’s just me) and the whole world tell us to dream big. Make a difference, have books with our names on the cover, hold office, have people know who we are, achieve GREAT things. And some people do. But a great many of us find happiness in the day to day art of living.

    Sorry, I just wrote a whole blog post here, but you really got me thinking! 🙂

    • Rita says:

      You in college sound much like my daughter, who is a year away from it. She is driving herself (and me a little bit) crazy because she’s feeling that same pressure you describe. I’ve often said that the biggest gift of the first few jobs I had was letting me know what I DIDN’T want to do. 🙂 Motherhood was definitely a game changer for me, too. I remember feeling, right after my kids were born, that all of my earlier ambitions looked pale. Nothing was as compelling to me as those two small lives.

      I have not seen Pippin–but I looked it up and see that it is coming to Portland this fall. Now thinking about going to see that. And I’ve got some ideas about the whole dream big thing bouncing around. I started to put them into this post, but it was already too long. Next time! (maybe)

  2. Rachel H. says:

    So excited to see your post today. As always thought provoking and insightful. I love the idea of looking outward (how can I serve) rather than how can my career serve me? I have lots to think about. One thing I know is that one of your gifts is writing. I love to read everything you write. Your teacher was right!

    • Rita says:

      Thank you so much, Rachel. Although I was surprised to find myself realizing that mothering and teaching are Musts for me, that doesn’t mean writing isn’t. I’ve been doing more thinking about what that means, too. Hope to share soon.

  3. Sarah says:

    Oh, wow, what an amazing post, Rita! It’s really shifted and clarified my thinking on several things. I am someone who has been lucky enough to have paid work that I also consider a passion or a calling. It is not particularly remunerative — I am a journalist — but I keep working in the field because I really do think of it as the best way for me to use my skills & talents in the world. At the same time I realize how privileged (in the sense of socioeconomic class) I am to be able to make that choice. I really hate all that “find your passion and then make that your job” hooey, it’s so willfully naive about the economic and other constraints that so many people find themselves navigating.

    Also I don’t really consider that I am “following my bliss.” That really seems to minimize my experience, in a way! But I really love the language of vocation or calling (remember my Christian upbringing), it emphasizes that this is work and that is part of what makes it so satisfying and meaningful.

    So, I LOVE the idea of a “craftsman” mindset. And your questions (What skills do I want to grow? What can I provide that no one else can? What is the best way to serve?) are so great. These ideas are making me think of the idea of “fixed mindset” vs. “growth mindset” that is so often talked about with respect to education these days — the idea that kids who are told that they are “smart at” something will actually achieve less than kids who are made to feel like intelligence is developed, not innate. It strikes me that the way we often talk about passions/bliss fosters a fixed mindset — the idea that our “passion” is some fixed thing out there that we have to “discover.” And once we discover it we’re all set because that’s the thing that we’re “smart at.” I suspect that kind of thinking, even if implicit, has really held me back in terms of my creative writing. I wonder if it’s the same for you?
    Sarah recently posted…Introducing: Objects of Beauty & UsefulnessMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      I never would have thought to connect this topic/these questions to mindset, but now that you have: Yes. Wow. I’ve known in a vague way for a long time that the early attention/praise I got for writing was not, in fact, helpful. Writing was something I seemed to be “naturally” good at, from my first efforts. At least, others seemed to think so. Teaching was not the same way. I did get lots of validation there, too, but it was different. I knew how much was lacking. It was not fun in the way writing was fun. And it certainly wasn’t as glamorous or held in as much esteem. So, I’m thinking those two things were in two entirely different categories in my mind. Of course, both are skills. Thank you for giving me something new to ponder. Just scratching the surface here.

      And of course I agree with everything you’re saying about privilege. Given how increasingly hard it is for writers of any kind to make money, it would be false of me to say that economics have not always been part of the reason I didn’t follow my writing passion. When I write that teaching allowed me to mother in the ways I felt I needed to, economic issues are a huge part of that. Once I had kids, chucking the “day job” to follow my writing passion was off the table for me. Yes, I do notice (and sometimes resent) how many successful female artists have spouses who make that art possible. There was a great piece on that not too long ago–http://www.salon.com/2015/01/25/sponsored_by_my_husband_why_its_a_problem_that_writers_never_talk_about_where_their_money_comes_from/

  4. Marian says:

    First off, I want to thank you for your honesty with this post. Career is a sore point in my life, and my reaction to books like Luna’s is exactly like yours: I feel irritation, churlishness, jealousy, missed-the-boat woe-is-me angst, and then — joy of joy — I have the pleasure of beating myself up for being a “small person” for feeling all these emotions 🙁

    Like you, I rail against the premise that there is ONE thing we are supposed to be doing. I think we all have a set of skills (as well as certain personality traits) which can be applied to a variety of tasks/careers. (Imagine if Leonardo da Vinci decided he could only do ONE thing!!) I would say your “musts” of motherhood and teaching ideally are part and parcel of the same thing (who you are as a person, and the skills you possess). I really like the idea of Newport’s “craftsman’s mindset”; this is pretty much in line with the concept of “bloom where you are planted”, which is very much an ideal I’m striving to live by. Personally, I don’t like the term “meant to be”. This is probably just me (I absolutely know you don’t mean it this way), but I can’t hear a phrase like this without thinking it has some divine meaning, and this is something I logically fight against I think some people are very lucky, to have found a perfect “fit”, to be able to do (for a living) the thing they absolutely love, but because there are so many factors that go into actually getting there (clear focus, encouragement, opportunity, time, financial support) I can’t help but feeling that books that tell us that we should all be living our one true passion are overly simplistic and can actually be harmful (to those of us (me included) who aren’t (or weren’t) lucky enough to have the clear focus, encouragement, opportunity, time, and financial support).

    I absolutely agree with Kate — we’re all encouraged to “dream big” when we’re young — and while I wouldn’t want to EVER discourage people from dreaming big, I think it can sometimes be really hard to distinguish OUR dreams from others’ dreams FOR us. I kinda sorta blame the whole “dream big” concept for all of my wrong-turnings, career-wise (it was basically a perfect storm of others’ expectations of me, coupled with my own lack of understanding about who I really was that landed me in such a mess).

    And just to end on a positive note … agreeing with Kate yet again, there’s a lot to be said for being contented with small, everyday happinesses…
    Marian recently posted…Two People Hear the Same Number …My Profile

    • Rita says:

      I’ve got another post brewing about the whole “dream big” thing, so I’m going to save most of my thoughts in response to your comment for that. I want to work them through a bit more. I agree, though, that there are a whole lot of things that impact the development of a career/calling/whatever. I think all of us could be many things and do many things–just as I believe there are likely many people people with whom any of us might share True Love. I long ago rejected the idea of The One when it comes to romance. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to come to the same place with work. The Newport book is interesting and entertaining. I haven’t gotten too far into it, but I decided to buy it after reading some articles in which he talked about Steve Jobs. Computers were not his passion; he mostly stumbled into that. It did me good to see that!

  5. Lisa says:

    I’ve often thought of this topic since quitting my job. I am an INFJ on the Meyers Briggs test, and one of the traits that really describes me is that my personality type needs to do work that I believe in. Not, has a talent for or enjoys, but that I believe has meaning. I really enjoyed being a law professor (teaching 1Ls a basic skill that would be used the rest of their career), but I also had a deep unease about how law schools make their money that interfered with the deeper meaning I saw in my job. (This is really a first world problem, I know.)

    There was none of this “bliss” baloney in the previous millenia. Here’s a job, it helps you eat and provide for your family, and you were happy to have it. There will always be people looking for something better, but there wasn’t this widespread cultural expectation that your life was wasted doing work you didn’t passionately love. Probably because the majority of people didn’t have enough money or time or food to worry about finding their bliss. Bliss is pretty high up the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs triangle.

    My Must at the moment is also mothering. I think part of the problem is that our society doesn’t really value that Must. “Best job in the world!” they say as they flee my company to find someone more interesting. But one of the reasons I haven’t gone back to work is because nothing else feels as compelling as being at home with my kids.

    • Rita says:

      Well, you sent me into a Meyers-Briggs rabbit hole with this comment. 🙂 I, too, am an INF_ (sometimes I come up P and sometimes J), but one of the only things I’ve known from the very beginning of my work life is that I also had to do something I believed was important. I’ve also known for quite a while that that need is what’s kept me from writing in different ways. I just could never feel that whatever I might write would have enough value to justify what it would cost me to do it. And, my greatest frustrations in education have come from doubts that what I was doing mattered. I never doubt the value of education, but I get so frustrated with how we do it and have often felt that my efforts were not enough because of things I couldn’t control. All my angst is really about feeling that I’m doing something that matters, much more than bliss. Thank you for helping me see that. And thank you, too, for giving me the phrase “bliss baloney.” That ranks right up their with “swine beige.” 😉

  6. Debbie M says:

    “Sometime in the last few [years] I decided that my time to satisfactorily answer that question had run out. And that sucked.” I’ve had the opposite reaction–now that I’m retired, I no longer have to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and that’s a relief!

    For me, the things I think are most important and the things I am good at have very little overlap. I am not good at fixing poverty or evil or the environment. That’s where I aim my donations and my petition signing, but that’s not where I aim my actions.

    In the past, I have looked for jobs that:
    * are at the very least not immoral but ideally help the world,
    * are something I am at least competent at, but ideally great at,
    * pay at least a living wage, but ideally extra, and
    * are at least tolerable, but ideally I love them

    To get closer to answering your question, I did end up doing something good. I started off wanting to be a teacher but never got hired (since I looked twelve, I did not look like a good disciplinarian). Later I realized I would not be good with classrooms full of students–I’m much better one-on-one. I ended up getting a job as a bureaucrat–in a college (so I got to be in the education field). But I ended up doing something I really enjoy which is acting as an interpreter between programmers and users. I enjoy when someone has to do something techy but they are afraid, and I can guide them through that. I am not techy myself, but I did get to do this in jobs where I was explaining how to fill in man-hours on a form and how to code the automated degree audit system to check for complicated degree requirements.

    I just retired and am taking a break from all outside responsibilities (except I’m taking Spanish classes). But I do plan to try some new activities in that direction. I’m thinking of tutoring math to junior high kids in the fall. And I’m thinking of writing some kind of nonfiction book–I’ll try one on math first.

    Admittedly, I’ve mostly been ignoring the find-a-calling thing and focusing on what makes me happy. So selfish. And I did learn very early on that I needed to be doing things in all these areas:
    * intellectual – I need to be learning things, even if just from interesting novels
    * social – I need to interact with friends
    * physical – I need to move around a bit
    * creative – I need to make stuff
    * spiritual – I need to be helping people
    I figured out that whenever I was feeling a little down or not quite right, usually one of those areas was lacking and had been for a while. (Also, I don’t like cold weather or financial stress.)

    • Rita says:

      I really like your list at the bottom–it’s a great way to figure out what the source of work discontent might be. I know one frustration for me with my current job is that it is very sedentary. I miss being on my feet all day, the way I was when I was teaching! I also find your job criteria very useful. I remember having a retail clothing job in college, and feeling so sick when I watched our #1 salesperson tell a woman she looked wonderful in a dress that we all knew was horrible on her. I knew I’d always be #2 because I could never do what she did. It felt immoral to me–and I realized then that I would have to find work that I could feel did good.

      I understand, too, what you are saying about retirement being a freeing thing. I’ve already come to feel that way about creative work. Having decided that it will never be the basis of my livelihood, I feel all kinds of freedom to create just for the fun of it. Isn’t it great to have that luxury?

      • Debbie M says:

        Yep, very nice to have that luxury!

        It’s true that teaching includes everything on my bottom list. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do it! But my real jobs mostly just had some thinking plus a bit of socializing and helping others. They were a little better physically than a normal desk job because a) the parking was so expensive that I took a bus, which also involved a lot of walking and b) I often got to visit other parts of the large campus for meetings or trainings. Mostly I satisfied those needs outside of work!

        I could never tell someone they looked great in clothes that didn’t flatter them. It saddens me that this behavior leads to better selling. Ideally you could find something that actually was flattering. I’m not good with that for others, but I am for myself. I have on two occasions surprised my friends by telling them that I thought some ridiculous-looking dress would actually look good on me. And then they make me try it on. And then they take pictures! Good fun.

  7. Kim says:

    Well, no wonder I immediately bonded with your blog years ago, Rita. I’m also an INFJ – and I’m here to get my “judging” on!

    Yes, these oh so simple directives to quit jobs and follow your bliss irritate the hell out of me, too. When Ms. Luna starts pushing 60, perhaps she will understand that NOTHING in this life is THAT easy. She was able to accomplish this great feat of personal indulgence because she had a lot of privilege and support – something that the majority of people do not have. And perhaps if she ever has children she may learn a great many other truths as well.

    I never grew up aspiring to have a child, but it happened. I did not know it when I gave birth to my daughter, but this was the most amazing thing to ever happen to me. My whole perspective about life changed in an instant. And 28 years later, I can say without hesitation that motherhood was the most creative act of my life – it colored my world in ways that paint never could. I’ve written things that my single self could never have written. I’ve learned so much about myself through my child – I’ve learned the depths of my resilience and the limits to my patience. I’ve learned how delicately one thing hinges on another. I’ve learned that sometimes you end up right where you’re supposed to be even when that place wasn’t your original destination.

    “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

    Let’s forget about “finding our passion” – those blog-worthy, book-worthy dreams that have nothing to do with our own lives. Let’s stay present in the moment we are fortunate to have.

    • Rita says:

      Yes, sometimes we do end up right where we’re supposed to be. In spite of ourselves, and even if it isn’t where (we thought) we wanted to be. I’ve had the same experience with motherhood–everything within me shifted so dramatically and suddenly. And yes, it’s the most creative thing I’ve done.

      And about being an INFJ–Just the other day I was talking with Cane and friend about things going viral on the internet. My friend says, “You’ve just got to find your niche and write something that resonates with your people.” And I laugh/wailed, “But I’m an INFJ, and we’re only 1% of the population! There are hardly any of my people!” But then I started wondering how many of those who read this blog fall into that 1%. 🙂 Judge on, my friend. Judge on.

  8. Jen says:

    As I was reading through your post, I was thinking about what my “must” is, and when I got to the part from Newport, it was dawning on me that really the only must for me is teaching. Now the question becomes what kind of teaching. I’m beginning to figure it out, but knowing that my must is teaching helps me understand why a position that is not directly related to teaching – whether teachers or students or adults in other settings (like photography or writing) – is such agony to me. As we are on the verge of a new school year, this gives me a renewed commitment and focus…and helps me clarify the directions I want to go.
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    • Rita says:

      Me, too, Jen. I’ve realized that even the writing I do needs to have a strong component of teaching in it. That’s why I’ve been able to stick with blogging more than poetry. I’ve realized a lack of teaching (no contact with students and far more paperwork than I’d like) is the source of dissatisfaction with my current library job. Newport’s perspective has been so helpful to me in working through these questions. I am determined to get to a place I mostly love before I’m done! But I’m coming at that goal from a different direction now.

  9. May says:

    Once again you speak to my heart. I do think that growing up at a time when women were fighting so hard to expand our opportunities and those of our daughters, there were quiet and probably unintentional voices that led us to believe that the traditional roles that had previously been the only options for women were no longer viable options to be our ultimate dreams, skills and bliss. But there is nothing in this world I have loved, worked harder at or gained more satisfaction from than motherhood.
    Like you I have always worked in education. My training and knowledge inform my practice, but in the end much of what I do (and much of what makes the greatest success) in my work is mothering.
    May recently posted…TToT: A Simple LifeMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      I know we are of the same age and in the same profession, so it makes sense that we’ve had similar experiences. Sometimes when I hear younger women (feminists or not) talk about their choices, I am both glad and a little bitter about what they take for granted. Sometimes I think that if I could have known in my 20s what I know now, I would have made different choices. There are a few I would make differently (I probably wouldn’t have been an English teacher) but the broad strokes would all be the same. I’d still work in education, and I’d still have put my career second to raising my children. Because, yeah: nothing in the world I have loved more or gained more satisfaction from. Nothing I’ve done that’s more important.

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