Who am I now?

[This picture has nothing to do with my post. But it’s awesome.]

If you know anything about my husband, you know that he’s smooth sailing, 99% of the time. Me? I prefer the drama of the shipwreck, the tempest, the first sight of land, and washing up on white sand, at the same time breathless and exhilarated. So how fitting it was, this last week, when just after celebrating his quarter-life mark, I was the one with a crisis.

It goes a little something like this:

Eric and I have both always thought of the time after marriage and before kids as a time for us both to work, get to know each other better, work out kinks in our relationship and leave a little flexibility for life’s little surprises. We planned on a few years of us working full time jobs, paying off student loans and saving for a down payment. Then we’d buy a house and start thinking about a family.

The reality is we’ve both struggled to pin down full time, fulfilling employment since our wedding. Eric landed an amazing and fully deserved position this summer, a huge huge huge blessing for our present and future after a couple years of uncertainty. But I’m still having a hard time. With finding work, yes. But even more so with knowing what that work should look like.

Ya see…

I’m a wife, but I’m not a mother yet. I have writing and teaching degrees, but I live in a completely oversaturated market. But most troubling to me? I call myself a musician, but I rarely play music anymore. I call myself a writer, but how often do I really, purposefully write? I have a whole list of titles and descriptions that I’m realizing don’t get enough of my attention. Writer. Poet. Pianist. Singer. Songwriter. Web designer. Graphic artist. Painter. Seamstress. Climber. Yogi. Sometimes I neglect them because of an honest to goodness lack of time or interest or skill level. But some are real passions of mine that somehow have fallen by the wayside in my struggle to be consistent with an image I’ve created: what my life should look like.

What’s that I just said? An image I created? Oh, no.

You know, not once has Eric ever told me, “You may not play the piano today because you should be finding dust bunnies to gather.” (In fact, if he told me that, I might be more inclined to play the piano.)

I carry guilt around with me all on my own that whatever I’m doing is not the right thing to be doing. When I clean, I think I should be finding or doing paid work. When I’m working, I wish I had time to clean and write. When I write, I get distracted by anything and everything and feel guilty both for not writing well and for neglecting other tasks. It seems to be a never-ending cycle.

This week has been a little better for a few reasons I’ll get into next time, but I want to share my struggles with you.  I’m still working this all out and I don’t have the answers yet.  Through it all, though, my heart has wrestled with a few good questions.

I’ll address them tomorrow in part 2.

Love,

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  • Margaret

    I loved this. I still feel this way sometimes. Hearing you say it brings perspective for me. I need to be OK in the moment, doing what I’m doing.

    “I carry guilt around with me all on my own that whatever I’m doing is not the right thing to be doing. When I clean, I think I should be finding or doing paid work. When I’m working, I wish I had time to clean and write. When I write, I get distracted by anything and everything and feel guilty both for not writing well and for neglecting other tasks. It seems to be a never-ending cycle.”

    • brynna

      Ugh, I hope to be able to shake that someday! Maybe it will never happen consistently, but on the days it does we can rejoice. :)