"To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves."
~Clarissa Pinkola Estes
We're one month out from St. Francis Day (which also happens to be my birthday). I've decided I'm going to spend the next month contemplating some changes in my life. Some changes I've already made, just haven't made a big announcement about them (and probably won't in the future). Others have been on my mind for quite some time, I just haven't had the breathing room to do anything about them.
The last year or so has been filled with lots of activity and milestones. My husband retired from his law practice and started devoting all of his time to making our sustainable farm work. I completed my graduate studies and received my master's degree in human services. Our son became engaged, finished his bachelor's degree, moved out of the house, and got married. We became grandparents. Our daughter was home less because she found a job near her university and she just began her last year of college.
One important question I have for myself is, "What am I going to be when I grow up?" Now that school is behind me (and if I ever say I'm going to take a class or going back to school, tell me I'm crazy), I'm going to explore the possibility of paid employment. Although I enjoy the flexibility of doing volunteer work, I feel I have more credibility and can do even more good if I devote myself full time to a cause or organization. Of course, if I do return to the workforce, my goal is to work at a nonprofit organization whose mission I fully support and where I can use my strengths and skills. But I'm still not sure if working outside the home is the best option for me.
I've just started reading through my old journals. It's interesting to see where my head and heart were 5 years, 10 years, even 15 years ago. And it's good to see that I've accomplished some of the goals I had set and where I made important changes in my life. There are a number of common thread throughout the journals and I need to pursue them, to think about what they mean to me now, and how I can continue to grow as a person and as a citizen of the world. I'm also going off facebook for the month as I don't want that distraction in my life. I may or may not come back to it when the month is over.
Some decisions I make I'll blog about. Others will be too personal so I'll keep them to myself, although they might be obvious by the direction this blog (and my life) takes. Either way, it will be a month of serious contemplation and possibly a new direction in life.