11 July 2006

Uterus as a ticking time bomb

All of my friends want babies. I can't relate to this at all. At all. I never have. I probably never will. And don't lecture me about it--it just infuriates me more and causes me to be ever-more vigilant with my efforts against the body.
Meaning (and to quote the best piece of advice I ever received, thank you Andrea Dodge), "The body WANTS to get pregnant."
Meaning, that your body will tell you insane things, like, "I need a baby right now." Even if there is no explainable reason other than pure hormones and maternal instinct for this. It will tell you it is the right time, you will find the money, and other such nonsense. Because, my friends, the uterus' job is to continue on the species. And the uterus drives the mind more than we'd like to admit.
Now, for myself, these insane thoughts do not turn toward babies. Instead, my uterus is a ticking time bomb reminding me that I am 27 and have only 3 years (the uterus' time frame, mind you) to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. Reason? You just CAN'T be 30 still having a job purely to pay the bills, still not doing anything important with your life, still not using any of your natural, God-given talents, still sitting in a cube making files in a really, truly, overall meaningless job (except for the money). I just can't be 30 and doing something that is purely function and no soul. In fact, I don't know if I can be 28 and doing that. And I just can't not know what to do with myself anymore.
My friend, Melinda, understands this. I called her last night. I found her in a panic.
"Erin, what am I doing at the bank? I mean, how did we end up here???"
[Melinda got me my first job at another Guys in Ties.]
"Well, Melinda, we got jobs there because it was the only place we could afford to work that would allow us to eat and pay our student loans at the same time, or so it seemed when you were 22 and had no one to tell you what was reasonable financially."
"I KNOW!!! And here I am a marketing director! And I trained in psychology. I want to be a marriage and family therapist [Heather--you are not alone in the licensing problems!!!]."
Me: "Yeah, I know. You and I are the same--we will probably be moderately successful at whatever we set our minds to if for no other reason that just pure survival."
Mel: "I feel that the next step is to move up in the company, and if I do that, I will have reached the point of no return where it will hurt to much to quit or go to another career financially--it will feel like too much of a sacrifice."
Me: "I feel like I have to go through my day pretending to be passionate about my job in a world of people who are seemingly truly passionate about what we do. But I'm not."
Mel: [screeming, squeeling, agreeing] "Yes! That is what I feel my entire day is about."
Me: "Melinda--WHAT are we DOING in this situation??!!!"
And then on and on about how expensive voice lessons are, how difficult licensing reqs are for therapists, how we both would have to move to get our masters, how we don't even know if we want masters in our fields or if we should do something entirely different, but then, that would take money, too, and we don't have that luxury, and OH MY GOD!!! We are wasting our lives.
At least I am not the only one whose uterus is making her realize time.
I think that people with kids more readily realize the passage of time. Every day you have a little human being growing up before your very eyes to remind you of your own mortality and age.
I've got....well, I've got nothing. Which is great. But I also then have no visual reminder of time passing. Next year is my 10-year high school reunion. And I literally don't feel a day past 18--at least not professionally. Well, mostly professionally.
My grandma says that age is a state of mind. And I completely agree. But profession--now, profession is not so much a state of mind. Career is not a state of mind. I can't just pretend anymore that I don't spend 8 hours a day making files in a cubicle. And I can't just "believe" that I am doing something and automatically be doing it.
I have thusly decided to start taking voice lessons again. And a woman who I believe will be very competent has agreed to take me on as a student. Not that I can see how I will afford this mind you, but just that I have to lay some questions to rest about this musical part of my life before I can move on with any other options career-wise.
From there, there are a lot of other things I could do--probably 8-10 different things I'd be happy doing. But I don't know if I can face more school, more separation from my husband, more debt, more stress.
This is the conclusion I reached last night: I am not ready to decide because I haven't begun to feel the pain enough yet.
Meaning, I know this about myself--when it is time to decide something, it always becomes crystal clear to me at just that moment. That moment where I knew, for instance, that the second the phone rang for this job, I'd be throwing my already-written letter of resignation in my boss' face and walking out the door with my stuff in a cardboard box.
I am waiting for one of those types of realization moments--not just about my JOB, but about my life path--about my career--about how to spend the next 80 years on this earth. And until it comes...until it comes I am learning the art of perserverance. I am learning how to budget my money. I am learning how to better communicate with my husband. And I am sure it is all for a reason.
But there has to be a point somewhere down the road where your life stops being a preparation and starts becoming SOMETHING.
At least for me it does.


Blogger Kiersten H. said...

Erin, You have such heart. My pastor in Texas always says that God puts in us a passion that we become "pregnant" with. The only difference is that we can choose to either "grow" our passion to it's full potential or we can try and hide the fact that we're "pregnant." I don't know what's right for you to do. All I know is that if you've found something you're that passionate about, you should find some way to use that to give glory to God and inspire others. I love you.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I totally understand your situation, my friend. I finally had my moment of clarity a few weeks ago when I realized that even if it means financial stress, it is better for me to do what I was trained to do than to do anything else (i.e. manage Starbucks). That said, I had reached that point where the pain was so great I HAD to make a decision, or die of the writhing pain in my soul. And I cannot tell you the joy I have now that I've made that decision.
So, I think it's absolutely EXCELLENT that you're embarking upon the voice lesson voyage. Absolutely excellent. You'll know very quickly whether you want to pursue it or not. At least that's usually what happens to me when I make a decision to do something - I'll know right away if it was just a whim, or if it was something I really want to do. I think risk is something we have to embrace, and erase the fear that keeps our hearts from being free.
Okay, I've been philosophical enough for one post.
I'm very excited to hear how the lessons go.

12:42 PM  
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