The Evolution of Dreams

It’s funny how the most frustrating thing about being a stay-at-home mom is also one of the best.  Some days I hate not having a job that pays in regular cheques.  The dividends of sticky kisses and squishy hugs don’t always seem to cut it.  Yet giving up the money-paying job to be at home is what enables me to dream and plan for all the fabulous things I will do once I’m no longer raising little kids.  It gives me the time and space to discover where I truly want to go.

Twenty-five, married, at home, with two kids: this is not the path I originally intended for my life.

At age fifteen, I assumed I’d be utterly absorbed in medical school by twenty-five, studying to become the obstetrician/gynecologist that I’d always planned to be, even before I knew the official words for ‘baby deliverer’!

At age seventeen, twenty-five was sooo far away, it didn’t even matter, as long as I was living anywhere but Canada!  Preferably bell’Italia, grazie.

At age nineteen, I thought twenty-five would see me back in Brazil – working in Recife, spending weekends at Porto de Galinhas, a dashing brasileiro by my side.

At age twenty-one, I believed wholeheartedly that my twenty-fifth birthday would be spent amid final exams for the last year of law school, embarking on my dream career as human rights lawyer, about to change the world.

At age twenty-two, after my son was born, I began translating ‘baby deliverer’ differently, and believed that midwifery was my calling.  I wanted to be part of the growing movement toward natural birth and the taking-back of birth from the hands of male doctors in hospitals.

At age twenty-four, I finished my B.A. in English and history with no idea what to do.  Thank goodness it didn’t really matter a lot, because I had my work cut out for me already – a toddler at home, an embryo in utero, a great husband with a good job, a house.  And I felt happy with it.

When I look at the changes in my  perspective on the world over the past six years, I’m staggered by the progression.  My parents warned me of this; they told me that I wouldn’t continue to see things in a particular way.   I didn’t like that; I always wanted to believe that I knew exactly what I wanted at any given time, but I’ve learned you can never cling to any one view of life too long before it becomes outdated, no longer appropriate, unfitting.  I grew beyond those goals and moved onto better-suited experiences, each and every time.

Now that my education and travel experiences have slowed down somewhat and plopped me into the midst of a rather long-term investment, the dreams continue to flourish.  My latest aspirations are being a full-time writer and author, owning a bookstore or an espresso bar owner or a homemade artisan gelato shop or a pizza shop, studying to be a chef, running a bed-and-breakfast, working as a musician, librarian, teacher, activist, traveler.

And, of course, the eternal dreams of human rights law and midwifery will never disappear completely.  They continue to pop up as a reminder of the ambitious young woman I once was (not that I’m not ambitious anymore – I’m simply using my energy for other purposes right now) and beg for accountability: “Make me come true!  Prove you can still do it!”  Ahh, the possibilities are both overwhelming and terribly exciting.

For now, though, I mean to learn to appreciate the space – both mental and physical – that separates me from the ‘rat race’ and enables me to figure out where I can best use my particular gifts and talents to make a difference in the world, when that time comes.  Already I know I’m better prepared for the world than I was at nineteen or twenty-two, so imagine how much better it will be when I’m thirty, or even forty.


6 thoughts on “The Evolution of Dreams

  1. Your life will be richer with every learning experience. Congratulations on becoming what you are, we couldn’t be any prouder of you than now. Love Aunt Birgit

    1. I’ve really been enjoying reading your reflections. I think some time away from the rat race is probably the best way to find out our gifts and how we can best use them. Good luck! Rebecca

      1. Thanks, Rebecca. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog. I tried linking to yours, but apparently it’s a protected blog. Are you off on exotic travels once again this summer?

  2. I can relate to this. I have changed my career plans multiple times over the past five years, and now I’ve been considering ‘going back to school’ but staying home to do it, so that when my kids grow up and don’t need me anymore I have pliable skills.

  3. In a lot of ways, being free of the rat race and having the freedom to keep your family in a better state, for your kids to grow up with mom nearby, for your husband to have someone at home (this actually works both ways, assuming wife works and hubby dont) at the end of the day who isn’t too tired or late from work themself.
    My mom quit her job because she wanted to stay home with the kids too – granted in her case she was never all that career oriented in general – but I see some folks around me who grew up with both parents working and both me and my sister appreciate greatly that we had one parent with us at home as kids.

    Of course, never ever let go of dreams and never stop having what I call “crackpot ideas” of anything and everything you can do.
    You never know what life will bring your way and when and what will come along.

    I was going to put in a snappy quote or two (for the cleverness of it!) but honestly, just go with what makes you happy, keeps your family and loved ones happy and keep your dream alive – whether through freelance writing, travel journals, write about babies in parenting magazines, turn your cooking into something since you seem to love world cuisines and experimentation. The possibilities are endless.

    Okay, I’ve blathered long enough, all the best and take care.

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