Friday, April 01, 2016
Multiple Mountains, or "Having It All"
I want to publish a novel.
I want to work in education.
I want to finish my MFA in Writing.
I want to get an MFA in Theatre.
I want to act.
I want to direct.
I want to have and raise children.
I want to travel.
And I want it all now.
First of all, I should acknowledge how awesome it is that I live in a time and place that all of these things are even available to me. For so many centuries, these things wouldn't have been possibilities for a woman. And so many of them still aren't, for so many people. So it would be obnoxious for me to not acknowledge the incredible levels of privilege I have. I'm a white, lower middle-class, college-educated woman living in the United States. So much is within my reach.
My problem is that I want to reach for all of it RIGHT NOW.
Jacob and I are in an interesting time in our lives. Jacob's waiting to hear from one more grad school before making a decision. I'm in the process of getting my MFA online. I'm getting acting work fairly consistently. We've got enough income to cover our bills, and we have some to spare most of the time. We're leaving our twenties behind and entering into our thirties. Many of our friends are still unmarried undergrads, and many others have 3 or more children and are well into their careers. We've been married for almost 6 years, but we know that it's not quite the right time for us to have kids. (Even though I'm keenly aware of the expiration date on my ovaries, and it stresses me the hell out. I'm trusting our timing, though.)
A while ago, I wrote a blog entry about Neil Gaiman's philosophy of always "moving towards your mountain"--making sure that everything you do is helping you move towards what you ultimately want to be doing with your life. And I still believe in that philosophy.
My problem is that I have, like, 8 mountains. And there are times in my life when I'm feeling pulled towards all of them at once. Which ultimately leaves me feeling a little paralyzed, since I inevitably sometimes have to move away from one mountain in order to move towards another. Sometimes they're not lined up neatly.
All of this is on my mind because of A) Jacob's grad school possibilities, and B) I have a possible job opportunity that would move me towards the education mountain, but away from some of my other mountains. And the education mountain is like, 90% ideal, with the possibility of becoming 93% ideal in the future, but it's not 100% ideal, and that's giving me pause, especially if it means moving away from other mountains. AND I'll still be pursuing the MFA in Writing mountain and the Acting mountain, too, and I'm a little uncertain about my stamina.
But I want all the mountains!
I decided a few years ago to remember that I can live my life on my terms...that I shouldn't ever blame my circumstances when I'm not getting what I want out of my life. There are times when you've got to make sacrifices, or put one dream on hold in order to pursue another. I'm just trying to decide whether or not to do that, and writing it out helps me make decisions. Especially when those decisions have deadlines. So here we are. Sitting in the Orem Public Library before rehearsal, blogging about life decisions and waiting to see if anything feels more solid as I type.
Confession: At the end of this blog entry, I'm not any nearer to making a decision. But I do feel a little bit less overwhelmed about it all. I feel like my vision is a little clearer, and I have a little more confidence in my ability to make my decision.
Thanks for coming along for the ride, I guess. I'm glad you've stuck around. I'll keep you posted on which mountain(s) I'll be focusing on.
photos by Steven Taschuk, Kamil Porembiński, Alper Çuğun, E M, Drregor, gwenole camus, Arild Storaas, Thangaraj Kumaravel, Henry Hemming. VIA Flickr