So, I keep seeing these teasers for Eat, Pray, Love and they are making me a little sad. I've mentioned before how it deflates me that I'm too old to be on "The Real World" and that I don't have a skill set that matches a reality competition show like "Project Runway" or "The Next Food Network Star." I'm feeling like there are so many things that are beyond my reach. And I hate being left out! Aside from these much less probable opportunities, there are grants and institutes and workshops that I know don't fit into my life. It's not feasible to leave my family for a month or an entire summer. Jaunting off to Paris seems unlikely any time soon. And I still don't understand how anyone manages to write an entire monograph when they have children. Furthermore, shouldn't I be the thirty-something host on "The View" (anybody tired of hearing that one yet?)?
So, here's the thing: The whole Eat, Pray, Love scenario just reminds me that taking a year off from my life may never happen. I remember thinking, around age 22, that I wanted to have a cool, silver convertible sports car. Instead of that, I thought, I'm scrounging for crumbs in graduate school--for what seems like forever. And it kind of was forever. I spent my entire twenties buried under books and living on pennies and then getting married. I didn't have enough money to do anything exciting. When I turned 30, I finally graduated and I was pregnant and adding a whole other layer of responsibility. Being carefree and careless, making totally random choices, eating, praying, loving. When can I do that? Can I ever do that?
I have to acknowledge that this view is the perspective from here. I'm in my thirties. My career feels stalled. My children are at very needy ages. We have lots of bills. I'm tired--a lot. I'm not saying that the trade-off isn't worth it. I'm happy with my choices, but every now and then my world seems very, very small.
I'm starting to wonder if there is ever really going to be a time in my life when I can do something crazy.
10 months ago