Friday, May 29, 2009
You are my Density
Last week at book group we discussed a book I have loved for a long time, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.
It's a very entertaining, lighthearted, quirky book. It's a fantasy world, where the hippest thing is literature, good literature. There's a police force making sure people aren't selling fraudulent first editions, or coming up with fake copies of undiscovered Shakespearean plays. Where there are ardent cult-like members that are physically violent when it comes to debating Shakespeare or Bacon. It's a fascinating world where, you could actually pop into your favorite novel...and experience it...the sights, sounds and smells. There's clever word play, references to other literature... and witty humor. I adore the series.
So imagine my surprise when one of the questions asked during our discussion was about destiny. Do you have a destiny? Do you know what it is? Did you have a moment in time where you recognized what that destiny was?
I love how book group has the ability to start real conversations. That a clever, entertaining novel could encourage a profound discussion. As a side note, I'd love to meet Mr. Fforde. His mind must be a most fascinating one. To come up with such an intricate series of books, keep it all straight and inject it with so many clever treasures... astounds me.
I talked a little about what I thought my destiny is. Mine is to search for, stand for and defend Truth. I've felt that burden, challenge, since college. The other destiny is to learn, and mold myself from people, and experiences I learn from.
For example, my first job out of college I worked at a small boutique PR agency specializing in semiconductor, EDA and foundry clients. One of the women who worked there went on maternity leave and returned one day with her adorable baby girl. I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to talk to her to hear all about her lovely life.
So she stunned me when I asked "how are you doing?" and she honestly answered "I don't know who I am without my job."
I made a conscious decision then and there at 21 that I needed to know who I was outside of a job, outside of one day becoming a wife, mother...etc... I needed to know who I was as a woman, so that I never needed something or someone to know who I was. I wanted to make sure I didn't need any one talent, interest or image to feel like I was something/someone. That is a lesson I am grateful to have learned.
I also learned, living in a ward when my hubby and I were first married, that I wanted to do things I wanted to do, before having kids. I often heard these young moms who didn't complete college, sitting at home with a handful of kids complaining about being a mom. Complaining that their husband was on a business trip, eating out, while she was stuck with cereal and bathing four children. I didn't want to be that. I guess that's one reason I was adamant during college/dating to let people know I was getting my degree before I married. I was not going to be left without one. I was never in college to gain an MRS degree...I wanted a BA baby.
I also learned I didn't want to be that Mom... the one that had a degree, perhaps an advanced one, and then a high-powered career who stopped doing that to raise children, begrudgingly. A woman who felt she was above diapering, and wearing a Mom uniform. A woman who felt mothering was beneath her... one craving for that outside attention. I didn't want to be that, and felt any children that came to my home deserved better.
So I was grateful I had a career... it worked for me, my personality. Today, I have no desire whatsoever to leave my kids to chill at a job if we can work it so I don't need a job. I don't want, nor need, that self-gratification. I know how fleeting and unsatisfying the "what have you done for me lately" career world truly is.
I've learned that just because I'm also a mother doesn't mean my learning ends. It means I have a greater responsibility to thirst for knowledge. It means I need to be interested in the world around me. It means that because I am interested, my girls will be as well. I have a responsibility as a mother to demonstrate to my daughters how to search for, stand for and defend truth, I can't do that if I don't read, study and discuss.
I know there have been moments (like right after giving birth) when I had no interest whatsoever to pick up a book, but that was a moment, a season. Now that I have some time, I find I can't get enough. I love to learn. I love to learn new things, new perspectives, and find evidence to support thoughts I've always held.
I think as women we have so much potential and power. I guess... I am pretty firm in knowing who I am, what my destinies are and ... I like moving toward something, improving constantly. What is your destiny?