When I Grow Up

When I was about eight years old, I read an abridged version of Little Women and a children’s biography of Louisa May Alcott. That was when I decided I wanted to be an “authoress” just like Louisa. I was always a good writer in school, and when I was a freshman or so in high school I started trying to get published. I never succeeded, but I spent hours pouring over the 2002 Writers’ Market that I had picked up at the library used bookstore.

In eighth grade I discovered theatre, and acted on the stage all through high school, with a handful of small indie films on the side. I majored in theatre in college, and it wasn’t until my senior year that I slowly came to the realisation that maybe Hollywood wasn’t really what I wanted to do with my life.

So, the next logical, practical step was to teach theatre. I researched what it would take to get my credential to teach at the high school level, but I never took that plunge. I told myself that I was waiting till I got my student loan paid off– not a bad idea, but still, I wasn’t excited about it. I finally decided to stop lying to myself and admit that I don’t really want to teach. I’m sure I would be pretty good at it and probably enjoy it some of the time, but the idea of going to work in a classroom every day for the rest of my life does not make my heart come alive.

I’m closing in on 22 and still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

Well, that’s not entirely true. But what I imagine looks very little like the life society has taught me to reach for.

Our society is all about individualism. Follow your dreams, achieve your goals, you can be anything you want. Kids grow up encouraged to go to college, graduate, then enter the workforce somewhere. Be a something. My mom grew up being told that she could be a “doctor, lawyer, or an Indian chief,” though I’m not really sure how that last one was supposed to work. She and I both eventually came to the place of asking– “What if I don’t want to be any of those things?”

Well, the more I listen to my heart and think about what I really want, as well as think about the women in my life who inspire me most, I find myself claiming a different dream.

If I think about where I want to be in five years, I see myself married, no kids yet (or maybe a couple months pregnant), building a strong foundation of love and sacrifice with my husband. I want to go on adventures with him, traveling, praying, believing, giving, celebrating. I want hard times so we can prove our commitment to each other and prove that we can still show Christ’s sacrificial love to the world around us whether or not we’re on a tight budget. I see us strong and joyful, partners in life, fighting through the hard times together with love, tears, kisses, and open arms. Will I have a job? Maybe, but it won’t be a long term career.

Five years later, I see myself starting to homeschool my little one(s), hopefully settled down in one place, and doing some sort of ministry, maybe leading prayer groups or mentoring teens or directing church plays. Maybe taking in people who need a place to stay, maybe volunteering at a crisis pregnancy centre, maybe writing articles here and there for Christian magazines. Maybe I’ll also run a small sewing business and open up a 24/7 prayer room in my garage. (Certainly not all of these; don’t worry, I won’t try to be SuperMom.) But most importantly, I see my life revolving around my family. Taking care of them, supporting my husband, teaching my children. That’s who I want to be.

Is that so unbelievable?

I will never apologise for this. I will never think of myself as “just” a stay-at-home mom. I will never succumb to the accusation of taking women’s rights back to the 1950s. I can be a feminist (by my definition) and a Proverbs 31 housewife, thank you very much.

I don’t want to give up on writing, acting, or even teaching. I’m sure those will all be part of my life at some level. But I don’t want to make them the focus of my life. My God and the people he has entrusted to me will be the focus of my life. That’s the kind of adventure I dream of.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Call Me Heretic
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 07:28:46

    That’s the way I’m going. But I also still plan to be a writer (I really can’t shut it off). ^.^


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