Saturday, March 6, 2010

To freedom!!

I realize that a lot of my posts involve either talk of weather or nature, but I think that's a bit of an obsession for me. I mean, I am the girl who fantasizes about moving out to the middle of the woods and leaving the monotony of economy-driven, corporate-run life behind. But that kind of brings me to the point of this entry.

Can I just vent for a bit? Thank you kindly. How many of you are miserably dissatisfied with the offerings that we seem to have to choose from as far as a lifestyle goes? Okay, let me explain further. (I'm about to get all philosophical again and it's not going to be pretty.) We live in a world that has been, somehow, micromanaged down to the smallest detail by our varied and individual societies. We live in a world that makes laws and rules and writes into practice the "standards" and expectations we should all be meeting from day to day. And some rules are good. Some are helpful and needed. But others? Others I believe are deeply flawed. And as a result, we're so narrowly focused on making money (a totally human and controlling invention) so we can pay bills (again, a society mandate), that the portrait of our life looks as follows: We get up in the morning (often dreading the day), to go to work at a groan-worthy job, we come home and do all the basic, thoughtless things we normally do, and then we go to bed. And when we wake up, we do it all over again. And again. And again.

So many people tell me they're dissatisfied with this mundane kind of existence (and I say existence because for many of us, this is all it is,) but you don't know how to break the mold--mainly because you don't recognize that you're in one, and because we live in a world that is hostile to doing so. The truth is, that some folks want to keep your life the size that is comfortable for them. But... that is hardly an eternal excuse not to break out of the box and expand your energy and be and feel and live just as freely and beautifully as you were always intended to.

Part of the reason I've gone down the writing path is for freedom, hoping that one day it will allow me a certain level of independence where I can breathe my own air and live my own life. And if a traditional nine-to-five makes you happy, if it works for you and your family and it leaves you fulfilled, then I'm excessive amounts of happy for you, my friend. To each his own purpose. But I've walked that route for many years, and it occurs to me that, firstly, I wasn't, in any of that time, doing what I was meant to. (Though it's likely that those experiences have nudged me toward what I'm supposed to be doing, and so I can't discount them.) But, they weren't my ultimate end. And I have to wonder, how many of us ignore our ultimate end? How many of us are scared crapless of our own potential? How many of us stick with the job we hate, all the while resenting the hell out of everyone else who abandons their chains and does the opposite? I have to say, over the years, as I've felt more awake and aware and worked to break free, when I've dared to mention that I didn't feel I was meant to indulge the cookie-cutter kind of choices and whatnot that humanity has fallen comfortably (albeit unhappily) into, I've gotten some pretty pissy responses. People seem to have an initial gut reaction of defensiveness, of anger that I would be in any way dissatisfied with the same path that they chose to walk. I get comments like, "well, what's wrong with _____ ? I've been doing it for twenty years." Or, "Well, maybe if you just told yourself to be happy doing _____ then you would be."

Really? Because no. No, guys. Look, you want to know what I believe my job is here? It's to inspire people to LIVE. Not only because it seems like a cool thing to do, but because I could have used that inspiring many times over, and the few times I came across someone or something that invigorated my spirit and shouted me awake, well, I was grateful. And that's putting it mildly. Do not die wishing. Do not die regretting. Do not die without having lived!!

So I dare you--ignore the bitter stares and ignorant comments, and live YOUR life according to your purpose, according to what you were meant to do. And be joyful and loving and brave. I'm trying my best, scary as it is, and I'll continue to keep you posted. You do the same. Tell me about your struggles and I'll try and give you hope, whether it's my posts, my novels or just a private message. Hit me up if you need a pick me up.

To freedom.

With much love,
Jen

4 comments:

Meghan said...

Wow! So very profound and inspiring. I went through 7 years of school to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, put myself and my family in thousands of dollars of debt, and I still have nothing to show for it. I have yet to find a job as a PNP (mostly because Missouri is so backwards that no pediatrician wants to hire NPs) and all I've gotten in return is regret. I missed my first son during is entire two and a half years of life, practically, and I barely got to cherish the pregnancy of my second son and his first few months of life due to studying for boards and graduating at the top of my class. All I truly want is to be a stay at home mom that can show love to her children and husband. I don't want to worry about who is going to watch my kids for me while I go off to work a 12 hour shift and only get to see my boys for 15 minutes before they go to bed at night. I am grateful, though, that we live close to both sets of grandparents and they are able to babysit often. I just wish I was able to raise my children, and not someone else. Society drives everything we do and it makes it very hard to survive and grow a family with any genuine ideals. So, what I'm really trying to say is... Amen, sista!! You said it, and good for you following your dreams!!! More people need to share your outlook.

Jen said...

Meghan,

Whatever you do, whether it be your work as a Nurse Practitioner or your work as a mother, I hope it's the decision that brings you the most joy. Follow you heart and smite that regret right out of your life. I wish you so much happiness that you can't contain it all!

xoxo
Jen

Tracitalynne said...

I had a job once, and about a year into it, my eyes would tear up every morning when my alarm clock went off, because I knew I had to go back to that place. And it wasn't even a really awful place; I had my own office, got flowers on my birthday...it wasn't a terrible place. But it was a terrible place For Me.

Now, against all odds and my own training and sense of myself, I am a stay at home mom. It's not easy, in fact it is incredibly difficult in so many ways, but I am so grateful for this life and the opportunities it is affording me. I am so grateful for a partner who is willing to endure the Office Grind to give me this opportunity, and who believes in me so much that he knows it is worth it. I desperately hope that I will make it worth it for him, and be able to give him the same life.

Once, we were lamenting our dire financial straits, and I pointed out to him that we did not seek out "money making" careers or degrees. Money for money's sake is not truly what we are after. It's what we need, unfortunately, in this life, this society, whatever-- Citibank and Verizon are adamant on this point -- but it is not our ultimate goal.

I know you will break the chains; I hope we all do, and soon! Go Team! Woo!

Jen said...

Traci,

Amen, amen and amen. A friend of mine recently described how she'd really simplified her family's life, cutting out all the unnecessary expenses and going back to the basics. She told me that it had given them back a certain quality of life and time together that didn't know was missing. It's amazing how much our things own us instead of the other way around.