When I was a child I loved to give my globe a spin, shut my eyes, and drop my finger on the world. Wherever my finger landed “decided” where I was going to live someday. I would create elaborate stories about how I would get there and what I would be doing once I arrived in that region. I would often land somewhere in the vast Pacific Ocean. The thought of living on water terrified me. Although I was capable of developing a story around why I would someday be living in the Pacific, I decided instead to make it the equivalent of a free spin.
I actually ended up with my finger on Minnesota once, so I turned Minnesota into a free spin, too. I had always lived in Minnesota and the thought of staying in the state forever was as terrifying to me as the Pacific Ocean . . . yet, here I am. I’ve lived in Minnesota for forty-eight years now. Minnesota is a wonderful state, but when I was young I always thought that I would actually end up going places and doing something with my life.
The something I ended up doing, for the most part, was choosing to be a stay-at-home mom for the first five years of my children’s lives. Being hit with a chronic immune disease turned my five year commitment into something that now looks more like a 23+ year commitment – and counting. My kids have both graduated from college, and I’ve dabbled in various jobs, but being a stay-at-home mom is still the most substantial thing I have to show for my time as an adult. I enjoyed investing the energy I had in my children and I would gladly continue to be their stay-at-home mom if they would let me. They won’t let me. So, I feel like I should create a life for myself.
I find myself daydreaming constantly about where I will end up. I am physically limited in terms of what I could commit to for a career. Lack of experience and age discrimination hasn’t helped my cause. I have experience making up stories, so becoming a published novelist could result in going on a world-wide book tour . . . For fun yesterday, I gave my globe a spin, shut my eyes, and put my finger down to see where my book tour would start. I ended up in the Atlantic Ocean. I think I’ll make that a free spin, too.
I wish I could still drop my finger on the world and believe that I could end up in that place.
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© 2016 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
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