Themes: Tomorrow I turn thirty-five and I still don’t know what the hell I wanna be when I grow up

Have you ever noticed how sometimes a certain theme will pop up in your life at one time? Like when you ask a friend for a DVD she borrowed and she mentions that perhaps you let another friend borrow it and that friend, without prompting what-so-ever mentions that DVD and brings it back? It’s like just by saying the DVD title out loud, all of the universe collectively worked with some weird underground energy current and subconsciously effected the mind of your friend?

Or is that just way too new age bullshit?

It’s happened a lot to me. Ok, maybe not “A LOT” but it happens. I’ll mention something to a friend and suddenly that same thing will pop up again in other places. Sort of like when you buy a new car and all of a sudden EVERYONE has that same new car. I know they all had that car before and you just never noticed it because it wasn’t on your radar, but still. You have to admit, it’s kind of weird, right?

When I was in Germany, my host Betty and I had lengthy discussions about being a working mom. It’s hard to explain to someone without kids, or a mom without a job, about the stupidity of combining the two. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but when you talk to a corporate woman who is successful and driven and chose to put off chlidren because she was good at her career, and when you talk to stay at home moms who put off career to be with their children, you end up looking like a buffoon for claiming you can have both. Like a naive asshole buffoon.

I sort of feel a little like a buffoon some days.

Trying to fit in work and doing the best job possible while putting that aside for sick children or anxiety-ridden three-year-olds is complex at best. You can’t do both well. You can do both mediocre but one will alway suffer.

This theme, this realization, has come up sixteen times in as many days. I was standing in the locker room at the YMCA, hurrying from my thirty-minute lunch workout to get back to work when I heard some elderly women chatting. They were talking about their grandchildren and how much they love being around them. “I worked through my children’s entire childhood. I never had the chance to just be with them. It’s like I have this chance, finally.”

I nearly cried.

I spoke with a father at my son’s school who is staying home for a while simply because his son was a preemie. “During the H1N1 scare, I quit my job to be home with him. My job will still be there, but he is only small once.”

I nearly cried.

For my birthday, I received a massage. While face down in the hole of the chair, I started thinking about those things I love to do or study. Alternate medicine. Nutrition. Sustainable living. As much as I love what I do now, my job, I had a brief moment of epiphany. “I WILL BECOME A NATURAL DOCTOR! AN ND! THAT. THAT IS MY DESTINY.”

Funny thing is? It’s not. It’s a layer of complexity over a complex issue. I’m good at what I do now. I am.

I just want to balance that with being a good mother.

And I don’t know how.

So here, at the eve of thirty-five, I admit, in full complete honesty: I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

There ya go, kids. Life: Funny, disturbing, challenging, baffling. Always.

Even still, half way through.

Posted: 8/10/2010