When I stop to think about the eight of all that is on my plate, I often want to just pack my bags and run away to a quiet place, a serene bed-and-breakfast with a nice, comfy, clean bed that I didn't make, on clean sheets I didn't have to wash and fold, with towels I didn't have to wash, and coffee I didn't have to make. There are times when I wonder what was I thinking that day I went to work or that day I got on that train, when my life was altered in ways that I am still processing.
Then I look up and my youngest daughter runs to give me a hug and my little me-me reminds me how much she is my shadow and I know that plans change, dreams alter, and opportunity reinvents itself.
2012 is a year I'm looking forward to because it will be a shift, a change, a realigning of dreams.
Only another woman, a mother (unless you are the Duggars, of course) can identify with the desire to have a moment back when it was pre-husband, pre-child and the only thing set before you was a plate of possibilities, dreams ready to be picked like fresh ripe strawberries, freedom to grow, sample, and be. There are moments when I long for the quiet of my own soul rumbling through the avenues of my mind, not disturbed by the bantering or teasing of siblings upstairs or the too-loud music of a husband downstairs, when it was just the serene moments of sitting by my bay window on a sunny Sunday to read the day away.
I have a group of women-friends, all of us in our 40s or 50s, who meet to read and discuss life. We have all talked about moments that we wish were different or do to over or the courage we had once to alter course for the better, unrestrained, filling our lives with the gift of finding our true selves without the titles and obligations attached, the moments to be free to be a full woman without the obligations of pick up time.
It was a moment of tiredness that enveloped me that I turned to my daughters and told them to live their dreams of being a writer, a photographer, a fashion designer, a guitarist, whatever, to do those things before obligations filled their baskets and time robbed them of opportunities. They looked at me as if they understood, even if they didn't.
I looked at their chocolate little faces and dimpled smiles and realized they will have some options that were not available to me, even growing up in the 1970s. My daughters are not constrained by a school location. It dawned on me that we don't have to stay here for them to get a good education, they are both technologically savvy and free spirited enough to just want to go where I go.
They kept looking at me because my tiredness and the dawn of a different tomorrow made me burst into laughter and I told them we are getting our passports this year, they will just go with me. They were just happy to hear the word adventure.
My girls came to me later in life and after I thought I was finished. Having them altered the course of my life in ways I am still processing. They are reflections of my hopes and visions of generational dreams. I know there will be things they will do that I can only imagine.
2012. My youngest son graduates from high school. We will be free to move somewhere else. That year, that fall, I hope to be entering a PhD program studying the intersection of entrepreneurship, advertising, and black women. I want to go to the University of Texas at Austin for a PhD (they are the only one with a doctorate in advertising that is interdisciplinary). I looked at Indiana or Charlotte as possible doctorate locations and doorways of change. My girls will be little witnesses to possibilities at any age.
Dreaming is still possible.