Friday, July 14, 2006

Little Trophies

I have never been one of those women who longed to be pregnant (“right now!”), or got a knot in my stomach every time I saw little baby shoes or a pregnant belly. I was never on a race with my girlfriends to see who could acquire the biggest ring on her finger as I aimlessly passed time in this or that boring job, waiting for the day Mr. Right came along to define me. I never fantasized about my wedding day or perfect little house or life as a doting mother to her future full of kids. No, I’ve never related to any of that kind of mindset. Biological clock? Try career timebomb ticking away…that was the clock that held me captive.

I decided long ago that if I didn’t become a household name by 25 (30 max), I’d just as well give up…or jump in a lake. I laid my life on the line for a big, fat career and financial independence…on camera or on stage if possible. Anything front and center. (Oh, the vanity, oh the youthful ignorance!) I wanted Big, I wanted Loud, I wanted Fabulous ME, ME, ME to be trumpeted all over the world. I always wanted to be Somebody, not BE with somebody and certainly not MAKE a little somebody else!

See, I wasn’t identifying with that big maternal life change most women want…having their needs met by having a baby and a man. I certainly never set out to get married and never even thought about kids. Me? A mother? After what I'd been through? No way. Instead, I wanted to line my nest with trophies and benjamins…and world travel. Excitement.

Best intentions aside, however, my story reads like a rat in a labyrinth. Or a hamster in a gerbil cage, spinning the ubiquitous wheel of never getting anywhere and always feeling a bit out of place. Is this all there is?

Yet somehow the path I was on, through its twists and turns, led me here. No trophies to speak of really, only a few benjamins, a handful of bills and some good stories to tell. Lots of travel, yes. Lovers on every coast and some in-between too. But no household name, although I still own mine--name that is.

So...I'm well past 30, no lake but I live by the ocean, and now, with a husband, a home, and a kid. Stable. The home I never had. The love I never felt either. The goal I never knew I meant to achieve. The opportunity to transcend all the ugly bitterness and hate, anger and abandonment, need and neglect I’d come from. The whole ball of wax that sealed my fate was beginning to melt. The chance to love and be loved. Deeply. To heal and be healed. Profoundly. To begin again on a primal yet unmistakably essential level. Oh sure, I do want trophies and benjamins, and I won’t give up the chance to go after them still…but I’ve learned a few things along the way too.

It’s not where we’re going -- but where we are.
It’s not who we know – but knowing who we are.
It’s not what we have – but loving what we have within us.
It’s not when we succeed – but succeeding at being here and now.

And so the chapter begins…a whole new place…a place I’d never dared go…one I never dreamed to dream…a place of humble beginnings and acceptance. Of love. Of myself and of my new family, the family I never had. The one I made from scratch.


Suzy said...

A friend once told me
" you pray for something and you do your work. You pray and you do your work. One foot in front of the by day by day.
Then somebody comes along, okay, and you say to yourself, if I just hold this thought of taking things to the next level in my healing...the details will come.
You have done exactly this in your journey and have been oh so true to yourself.
I admire you so much.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

What's a benjamin?

In my book, you have earned many trophies. You're a total winner!

Go Mama said...

"benjamin" is street slang for a $100 bill...due to having Benjamin Franklin's face on it.

benjamins=big bucks

jennifer said...

Perfect, wonder work!