Nov 4, 2011

In life, when you feel lost, Oprah will find you.

I have never, not ever, been able to answer the "what do you want to be when you grow up?" question. Never. Even as a little kid, I couldn't decide on a "fantasy career"; so as other kids were pretending to be Astronauts or Doctors or Ballerinas, I just kinda..... I don't know.... didn't pretend to be anything.

During my last 2 years of high school, there was that ever-looming question of "What's next?" I knew I wanted to go to college, but that was all I knew. I had no clue what I wanted to do when I got there, and after that? Pfffffft. Nothing.

Much to my parents' chagrin, I remained lost and goal-less as I changed my major just about every single semester for the first 2-3 years of college. Finally, I stumbled upon what was to become my major when I overheard a friend at a party talking about hers. I figured I'd take one class. Ya know, give it (...wait for it...) the good ole' college try. And as it turned out, I LOVED it. But when people would ask me what I planned on doing with it after college, I still had no answer. 

I ended up leaving school when I was only 5 classes away from graduation. I guess the idea of "what next?" started to become too real and I just got scared and backed down from it. I found a seemingly great job in property management, and it was there that I met my future husband. 

Jon's mere presence inspired me to go back to school and finish my Bachelors Degree, which I finally did in 2009. (Yay me!) Plus, I was beyond fed up with property management. I still had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but I did learn, in no uncertain terms, that property management was not it. 

So after graduation, I set my sights on something more challenging, more rewarding. Onward and upward, I thought. But instead, I ended up working a string of small, menial jobs that had nothing to do with my degree or this elusive "life plan" I'd been looking for, and I was left still feeling lost and confused.

Then, in January of this year, Lucie was born. While I was pregnant, I had finally landed a job that I thought was the answer to my prayers. It was going to be perfect! Jon and I even worked it out so that we wouldn't need to put the baby in daycare. We had our schedules time to the minute... nay, the second: he came home from work as I tossed Lucie to him on my way out. This didn't work for long. His job continually got more demanding and our schedule got harder and harder to maintain. Jon is the primary breadwinner here (obviously) and my income wouldn't even cover the cost of childcare; so we weighed our options and made the decision that I would take some time off to raise our daughter.

I love being a Mom, and for the very first time in my life, I felt a sense of peace in that I finally knew what I was put on this Earth to do. Even that good ole college degree I'd worked so hard for played right into my new career path. Finally. A life plan that I can wrap my arms around (no pun intended.)


......Well, except for that I still find myself wrestling with that same old question: "What's next?" I guess somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that I want to do more, be more, live more. The only problem is, I still don't have a fucking clue what I want to do.

Cue Oprah.

In her show "Oprah's Lifeclass," she asked "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" and she tells us that we need to "step out of [our] box: When you do what you ordinarily wouldn't, your whole life expands." 

And it's made me wonder; am I letting fear cripple me? Fear of what? The unknown? Am I so afraid of disliking this "life plan" that I can't even imagine making one? I don't know. Really.... I just don't have a clue. 

But I feel like I have to keep trying, keep striving. Surely, one day, I'll find what it is that truly fulfills me. Maybe that thing will be motherhood in and of itself. Maybe not. But, there's one thing that is absolutely certain: I won't know until or unless I try. 

So today, I have stepped outside of my box and publicly shared my fears and utter lack of direction with you. Tomorrow? I don't know, I guess I'll have to see what tomorrow brings. 

As I'm writing this now, I have realized something about myself: Throughout all of my years of uncertainty, there is one thing that remains constant: I always seem to land on my feet. I don't know how or why, but things always have a way of working themselves out. And maybe, in finally realizing that, I have found the courage to give into the unknown, give into the fear and take a few steps outside of myself so that I can figure out who I am to become. 

"Step outside of your box: When you do something that you ordinarily wouldn't, your whole life expands."

I guess I just had my "Aha Moment." Thanks Oprah.


mary said...

It does! :)

I think you'll like this:

" Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. "

- Howard Thurman

We need you to find what makes you feel alive to complete this world! Don't be selfish ;), share your heart with us all!! (And I think this blog is pretty AMAZING place to be)


Landrie said...

I do love it! Thank you Mary!!! You're great. love.

Leah Ashely said...

I love it Landrie! You are such a wonderful writer! Maybe that's your "what next".... ;D
Thanks for sharing this. It takes a lot of courage to be so honest not only with yourself, but also with hundreds of readers!


I love it.