Another friend reminded me of the many things I've accomplished that just don't happen to look the same as conventional success. As I thought about that, as I thought about what level of proficiency I have reached at this point in my stay-at-home-mom career, I reached back through the decade, even longer, to see what I've been training for.
What would my real-life resume look like? This goes deep into my heart, deep into my core, because there have been some real challenges that have added to the story. When something happens to someone, when it pulls the rug out from underneath you, either through trauma, disease, death, or who knows what else, there is no going back. I'm not sure I was ever headed for a conventional track of success, but after those events, there was no chance of it. And it has taken me this long to really look that in the face, to look at myself in the mirror and honor that part of me that just won't ever be the same again. What I care about and what I am passionate about has been shaped so fundamentally that the mundane world of paper shuffling and cubicle salary is as distant from me as those grade school peers.
What I care about today, and what life has taught me I'm good at, is giving a shit about other people. I have a Super-Awesome-Masters-Degree in making it through the hard stuff, and an Unbelievably-Amazing-Ph.D in caring about where we're all going.
I care so much about whether we all die from cancer, that many days it doesn't leave my mind. I care so intensely about whether my children's self-esteem is better than mine and is strong enough to take a beating here and there that I can't bring myself to enroll them in public school. I'm a much better parent than I was a teacher, and while I have to say that there are so many parts of being a stay-at-home-mom that suck, really, really suck, I will find a way to do this until my gut stops telling me it's necessary. I care about whether the wildness is trained out of my children. And I care about whether I find my own wildness again, amid the heap of broken down notions that have piled on top of it from a life of feeling inadequate.
But I also care about you. I care whether you know what I know. Whether you get sick or your kids get sick or your husband gets sick. Because I can't watch a single movie about somebody who is sick or dying or dead or recovering or abandoned or abused or just feeling like crap without knowing and sensing and feeling the reality of just how hard that is. I know how hard that is. I have lived how hard that is. And I don't want that for you. And even if you have all that happen to you in one day, I want to be the one that holds your hand and helps you realize that your heart is still beating, your dark night of the soul is done, and there is someone here for you who cares and who knows, who can look you in the eyes and get it.
I care a lot about muscles and relaxation and energy and sacred space. But I care more about whether those things are vehicles for getting me to you and helping you through whatever block in the road you are going through. Blocks in the road can be "lessons" that we all need to make us stronger, to make us really see what is important, but they can also tear us to pieces and make it near impossible to bring those pieces back together. And that's what I care about. Keeping those pieces together so we can spend our short time here on this earth with love in our hearts and knowing just how powerful we are.
And that's my real-life resume. It won't fit on a single page of parchment, but finally, I'm giving myself credit for all the things I'm really trained to do. I think it's time you did the same.