From the day we learn to develop an independent personality, we spend our days imagining various scenarios in which you will spend you life; whether it’s as a fireman, a footballer or a princess. My daughter is 5 and wants to be a fairy when she grows up… my son is 8 and wants to be bald with a black long beard, covered in tattoos. I will always admire a child’s desire to be anything they put their minds to and the dream of being anything at all, but talking to my children about their dreams has made me wonder- as we get older, why do we lose the ability to dream for ourselves?
The time of year has come around for all teems to sit exams that in theory will set out the path towards their future, and we are all reminded that without certain grades we would not have the opportunities in life that we may desire. I spent my teenage years wanting to be a journalist, but life took me in a different direction. Now though, a fair few years on, I’m rediscovering that initial passion through writing these blogs and it makes me wonder about the wisdom of a system which requires our children, in theory at least, to decide what their future will be in 20-30 years at such a young age.
Very few people reach the age of 30 and are lucky enough to know adamantly what they want from their life and career. I for example am nearly in my mid thirties and still have yet to find out where I truly belong… I could just choose a career and work towards it but without passion is it even worth having? I have many passions in life, my main one being my children and my role as a mother. To teach my children to treat others how they wish to be treated… To look back in 20+ years and see I have put them on the right path to be good people and in return for them to teach their children the same. But just because that is my main passion doesn’t mean I want to solely define myself by and dedicate myself to that passion alone- I want to have a purpose and passion beyond my children and family…
It seems that many like me struggle with the notion that they are still not living the life they should, and while society deems it ok to be a mother, I can’t help but feel that these days it’s followed by the question ” Then what job will you do when they all start school?”. I have enjoyed lots of jobs I have done over the years but still feel that somehow I have never really known the right answer to that…
I never saw myself having children, I wanted to be a career driven women. I worked away from home a lot and didn’t answer to anyone but myself…… then I met my husband… and I fell in love. Having a family and following my husband’s dreams and career took priority and I was OK with that because all of a sudden the only thing I thought I wanted was to be Mummy and Wife… but then time passed and iI started to feel that maybe that’s not completely enough for me- and once again I started to wonder what I want to be when I grow up!
My exams have helped me experience many things I wouldn’t have been able to do without my education and I guess in theory they pathed my early adulthood. But now ten plus years on the only thing that that has helped me learn what is really important in life has been… well, life… You learn empathy by experiencing bad times, you learn how important family and friends are when you lose someone close, love and passion is gained through wanting something so long and having to wait for it.
I read recently that passion comes from two places: interest- really loving what you do, something that fascinates you and keeps you interested further than the money or authority it gives you; and practise- to keep doing what we love, not to give up until we are at our full potential- no matter what it is. Although standard “education” is important to our children, taking the time to teach them to know themselves is just as if not more important. Teaching them passion, and finding what they are passionate about. To love something so much is inevitably becomes part of their life…. you never know with luck and planning it might become their career too.
I hope one day it all falls into place for me- that when the children have left home I don’t feel empty and the passions I have now will provide me with the ability to find a new path, whatever it may be. But for the time being I look back and think WOW what a great life I have right now, watching my children dream of their futures, having life experiences that I know will mould them into good people and still enjoying my passions alongside them. There is no such thing as the right direction- our paths and routes change daily… do what you can to discover your true self and passions along the journey which is life, and whilst you’re travelling… take the time to enjoy the views… 🙂