As a psychology student, I learned about motivation, about external and internal motivation. I also learned about attribution, whether someone attributes success and failure to something outside or within themselves. People will say their destiny is in their hands and hard work will reward them with what they have striven for. People will also say they have no say in their lives and it’s up to fate or God. It seems you’re either on the side of taking the proverbial bull by the horns, or not.
I was always the striver in my family, the one who wanted to get somewhere, who wanted to be someone. I was always headed towards some goal, making long-term lifelong plans as early as 13. At the same time, I’m not the one who gets to make the decisions in my life. For years, I fought it, tried to make my own way, but life continually stepped in and steered me away. Something always got in my way, something I couldn’t do anything about. Circumstances, other people’s decisions, having to choose between a rock and a hard place.
See, I’ve always been the sort to want a career. I excelled in school and went to the graduate program I had been aiming for since I was a freshman in college. Everything was looking rosy for me and I thought I was well on my way of making something of myself. And then life happened and I lost that dream. I made other dreams, but lost those, too. It was frustrating. I worked, I planned, I plotted, I wrote it out, I took steps, I took actual steps, only to end up back at square one.
I became a stay-at-home mom. It was the one thing I always told my parents I absolutely, completely, one hundred percent DID NOT want. I was not going to stay at home and raise kids. I was raised with a stay-at-home mom, so I knew it was absolutely not what I wanted to do with my life. Well, guess what? Guess what life told me? To be a stay-at-home mom. I’ve been at home for over 3.5 years. They’ve been both the longest and shortest 3.5 years of my life. No, actually, the shortest 3.5 years were my first 3.5 years of life because I hardly remember a thing. Anyways, I’ve been at home with two kids for well over 3 years. The number one thing I did not want to do.
For the past 3 years, I’ve been making plans to escape, only, of course, to have them dashed on the rocks. It was agonizing. I couldn’t understand why life was throwing this at me so hard, as though it were being shoved down my throat. You be a stay-at-home mom or else.
But now I know why. Life knew the pandemic was coming, knew I would protect my children’s lives with my own, knew I’d do everything humanly possible to keep them safe. So, life did what it did and kept me back from my dreams. So I could protect the two precious lives entrusted into my care. My oldest is in school, about to enter first grade. A few weeks ago the school district came out and announced the start of the school year would be online only. That means I’ll be home, devoting myself to him and his education, and his sister and her toddler education, without having to worry about working. I have the ability and privilege to ensure they not only remain safe and healthy, but to help educate them, because life ensured I was a stellar student and decided to study child development and psychology and learn to work with difficult behaviors by having me work with children with autism. I mean, everything I’ve ever done has literally led up to this very moment.
Everything in my life has happened for a reason. I may have wanted to make my own dreams, forge my own path, do what I wanted to do. But it didn’t work out for me. Life led me down the path I was destined to take regardless of how hard I pulled away. My life is not my own. I’m not sure whose it is anymore, but I know protecting my family must always come first, and life saw to it that that single most important value to me would be realized. I’m not in charge of my life and, had I been patient, I would have seen that I was just wasting my time, that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
Have patience, and I’ll find the path life intends for me. Have patience, and what is important to me will be fully realized and made possible. Have patience, and I’ll understand and find peace. Have patience, this will end. Have patience, and take the time to follow the other breadcrumbs life is leaving. Have patience, and things will turn out the way it’s supposed to.
Have patience. The pandemic will end, a new chapter will begin. I’ve been spending most of my free time reading, writing, and blogging. I do wonder where life will lead me next.