Lately I've been feeling a little lost.
I've been lying in bed on a number of nights thinking, "What the heck I am I going to do with my life?"
Most days I love my life. I love that I can spend time with my two precious kids each day and watch them grow, play & engage with the world around them. I love the opportunity to be outdoors on warm, sunny days and the freedom I have to explore parks, playgrounds, & playgroups. But I also feel like I am missing out on something, like my life is slowing dwindling away.
When I left school I was quite ambitious. I had dreams, dreams to be a journalist who would uncover the big stories, a journalist who would write about injustices and bring the truth to the light. I also had dreams to travel the world, to experience life in third world countries and to travel across Europe. Thoughts of children were far, far away. I remember saying to a friend that the last thing I wanted to do was to, "finish uni, get married and be stuck at home with kids."
But when I met Luke, my husband-to-be, I became all giddy and weak at the knees. He swept me up in the euphoria that often accompanies young love. I even followed him to Santiago in Chile to live with him and a Chilean family for two months. I loved experiencing life with him and I also loved the daily adventure of an entirely new culture and country. I felt so alive!
When we got back to Australia, I just wanted to get married and travel more of the world together. So, when I was just 22 years of age we decided to marry. Just one year later, at the age of 23, I was pregnant.
This was quite a surprise. Yet, I embraced it and was thrilled about the little life growing inside of me. I also spent a lot of time thinking how the trajectory of my life was going to change. At the time I was working as a copy writer after a short stint as a journalist at a local paper. I hadn't really established my career or traveled to the places I had long dreamed about.
I realised I would have to give up my dreams for a little while. In doing this I feel as though a little piece of me has been squashed down inside. I feel like I had to extinguish a fire that burned so deeply within me - a desire for adventure, for world travel and a fulfilling career. I've really had to change to become a mum. Each and every day I've had to lay down my selfishness, my own wants and dreams.
At this time in my life it's not about me. That, frankly, is tough. The world tells us that life is all about ME. The media tells me that I can have it all. That I can pursue a career and have kids. But personally, I don't believe that. Well, I don't believe you can have it ALL at once. Something has got to give. I don't want my kids to miss out on having their mum at home at least for most of the week. So I've chosen to sacrifice my career, for now anyway.
Yet I still worry about whether I've made the right decision. My heart tells me, "yes." My brain tells me that it will soon turn to mush and my creative energies will dry up. I also worry I will be too “old” and inexperienced to get anywhere once I finish having children. I wonder if I should start something new...perhaps study or work from home? But how do I find the time?
I have a fear. My fear is that in 10 to 15 years time when my children are all in school and I am in my forties that I will be lost. That I won't know what to do with myself.
It's because of this fear that I've been lying awake at night. I am trying to figure out how I can be here for my kids and also work out my own life. I don’t want to lose my identity in my children.
I do pray about it, “Lord what should I do with my life?” There are moments when I hear a whisper. Those times when I am sitting in the sun, watching my children play and I am just completely captivated by these beautiful little people. It's like God is whispering into my heart..."Do you see this? How beautiful is this?"
I don't feel this is an answer but a reminder of how blessed I am. I wouldn't change anything. I am happy with how it's worked out. I am also realising that it's okay to be in this place. This mixed up place where I am trying to figure myself out. I am going to choose to embrace it as I think that it's an important step in moving forward. Not sure where I am going yet but I'll be sure to enjoy the journey.
"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps."