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Life, Design

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

DISCLAIMER: I’ve had a lot of coffee today and sometimes my thoughts are faster than my typing ability so there might an overabundance of rambling in this post. 

I’m at an interesting point in my life where I don’t need to constantly cater to the kid’s needs because they’re in school more often but with Miles only in school for 4 hours, it’s still not enough of a block of time for me to go back to work. Next year with Miles in Kindergarten will be even worse because he gets out a half hour earlier (thanks impossibly difficult school district calendar). They’re in school every day which gives me plenty of time to run errands and clean up around the house without the constant interruptions–something that is quite foreign to me.

I find myself with these glorious golden moments of time all to myself and I feel it’s my responsibility to take full advantage of them because who knows when they’ll be snatched from me. I consider myself a somewhat creative person. I wasn’t an art major nor have I done anything artistic in a professional capacity but I enjoy creating. I feel calm and happy when I’m creating. I also feel guilty because I feel l should be contributing financially to the household but it’s difficult finding work that compensates me and allows me to work 3 hours a day.

I want to create. I want to spend the whole day drawing and doodling and coloring. I want to live a retired person’s life but I also know that I have a couple college degrees under my belt that haven’t been truly used to their fullest potential and I also feel like I’m at the prime of my life, a time where I could actually still be hired and not be deemed too old and obsolete. Ryan works 12+ hour days which means if I go back to work, I will no doubt be paying for childcare. Do I really want to go back to work just to turnaround and pay someone else to do what I’m already doing for free? Not really. So here’s my dilemma: do I return to work because it’s the responsible thing to do even though I have no clue what to return to or do I take a little time to be selfish even though the guilt does prohibit me from fully enjoying my creative interests?

I have been actively applying to jobs but I also know if I receive a call back, it will throw a huge wrench into our lives so for the time being, I’m taking advantage of my time, taking every online class I can get my hands on. At one point, I was simultaneously learning to crochet, working on needlepoint, practicing watercolors and reading beginner guides to HTML. I’m crazy and confused, I know.

I’m insanely lucky to even have this problem if you could even call it that. Why does there have to be such a stigma about people who stay home with their children? I’ll admit, I’m always reluctant to answer when people ask the question I loathe the most, what do you do? I’m a thirty four year old mother who doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing but do you want to check out my sketchbook!?

I remember always being asked the million dollar question, what do you want to be when you grow up and never having a definitive answer. The question was always followed up with , don’t worry–you have plenty of time to figure it out. Guess what, I still don’t know and quite frankly, I feel a little bit uneasy about this. I feel a deep sense of panic rising in my chest over this impossible question. I dabble a lot in this quest for the magical thing I’m supposed to be doing. Sometimes I feel like a failure for not knowing and sometimes I feel like maybe I missed an opportunity that was presented to me unknowingly. Sometimes I feel lost and overwhelmed and other times, I just feel like a burden for not having my shit together. What happens if I can never answer that question?!

In the meantime, I’ll continue down my uncertain path that includes keeping the house afloat, ensuring our children don’t grow up to be assholes and occasionally putting pen to paper. Perhaps one of these days I’ll have a definitive answer to that almighty question.

I would love to hear your honest thoughts. Have you found the thing you wanted to be now that you’re a grown up? If not, are you still searching or are you waving a white flag in defeat? Should I find my big girl pants and just shut up already? Seriously, be honest. Sometimes I need a really good reality check.

While I work out my own personal issues, here’s a little creative inspiration from folks I imagine are being exactly who they want to be doing exactly what they want to be doing:

sketchbook

sketchbook4 sketchbook6

sketchbook7

sketchbook8

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3 Comments

  • Reply Laurie February 11, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Jen! ENJOY your time! Your artwork is awesome! And, it doesn’t matter if its financially contributing to the family or not right now (or ever) if it makes you HAPPY! Art IS productive.

    • Reply Jennifer February 12, 2016 at 12:37 am

      Thanks love! It’s funny, art is one of those things that makes me feel satisfied. Even if it’s just a quick sketch in my sketchbook, I always walk away from it wanting to do more. That’s got to speak for something, right?

  • Reply Reindeezy February 17, 2016 at 3:27 am

    Definitely. Ditto to Laurie’s comment. You definitely deserve to take a moment. Many don’t. Just enjoy. You are exactly where you are supposed to be at this moment.

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