It's always fun to go back to my old college stomping ground to cheer at a basketball game with my family. Watching 18-year-old kids pass me on the way to the gym, I have a quick reality check when I realize that that these kids were born around the year that I graduated. Except for a bunch of gray hairs, I still often feel like that college girl trying to figure out my next direction.
I'm a wife, mother, homemaker, occasional poet and freelance writer. But what do I really want to be when I grow up? According to my college adviser, I should have figured out this whole life/career path when I was 18. I envy those kids who seem to have a clear idea of what they want to do with the rest of their lives. As an 18-year old, I think I still had a lot of self-assessment to go through before I committed to a particular path. Loving literature, I chose to be an English major. It may not have been a career motivated decision, but it felt right to me.
I look at my 14-year-old son. He is only four years away from being 18 and those college/career questions. Should we really expect kids to have a firm idea of a potential career path at an age filled with peer pressure, school anxiety and budding adult maturity?
Now I'm definitely at the "mature" age of 42 and should be more than ready to make this decision. For almost 15 years, I have readily and happily taken on the role of caretaker and homemaker for my family. I didn't officially put my search for a life/career path on hold. I think life just took over and the time flew by. At this point in my life, I feel ready to tackle that big life decision. I have learned a lot about myself over the past 15 years.
With maturity, I can make a more directed and definitive decision about where best to share my talents, interests and strengths. Maybe I'll give myself career brainstorming moments during some of my more tedious tasks, like sorting laundry or organizing toys. I may not be 18 anymore, but I'm ready emotionally and spiritually to take on the task of discovering where I will shine in this world. I always joke that I introduce myself to other parents as so and so's mom. Maybe it's time to make a name for myself again.