Friday, June 6, 2008

Going Places

A very popular graduation gift (that I never received or have given) is Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You'll Go." I never wondered, until now, if that was because the people giving me gifts assumed I already had it, or if they just thought they didn't need to tell me I was going places (hopefully because they assumed I knew, instead of because they thought I wasn't going places.) I don't think anyone giving high school graduation gifts would have assumed I would end up editing assessment material, some may have assumed I would end up writing, but editing and writing are mutually exclusive. I don't think at my college graduation anyone would have guessed I'd be living in New York City with a two year old. The truth of the matter is that "going places" is unpredictable.

Unpredictability is hard to assume or guess.

I knew when I started editing that it wasn't going to be a life long pursuit. I knew that it wasn't something that fulfilled me, or that I necessarily enjoyed. But, I was good at it, despite my poor spelling. I knew it was a detour. I knew it wasn't where I wanted to go, or even on the path to where I wanted to go. But I didn't know where I wanted to go, or I wasn't in the position where I felt I could go there if my subconscious knew. I know now, that where I wanted to go was somewhere I couldn't go alone, so I had to wait to go there. Waiting is unpredictable.

Unpredictability makes everything seem like it takes longer.

When we decided we would open my womb up for business we didn't have insurance. I had a full-time job, that required a commute, and long hours, but offered no benefits. But, motherhood was where I wanted to go. So we opened ourselves up to the chance that Justin would still be in his undergrad when we had a baby. We threatened my "sugar momma" position with a "baby's momma" position. Somehow I had to keep both momma positions. I knew that was not where I wanted to go, but I was content to take the compromise. Compromise is unpredictable.

Unpredictability makes it hard to see silver linings, or lights at the ends of tunnels.

When I am asked where I would like to end up, I can't give an honest answer, beyond "able to pay back the student loans." But, I know we are still going places because I'm not willing to stay here. To settle. To make this home. I am on a very long vacation to New York City, with uncomfortable living conditions, lots of walking, and a constant desire to just go home. But because we are still going places I don't know where home is. Not knowing where home is is unpredictable.

Unpredictability is when you need home the most.

When we decided it was time to take away one of my momma titles, I knew I was finally back on the path that I wanted to be on. The one that leads to the place I really want to go. But now we are back to no insurance, and I have no control over the income. Being on that path that leads to where I want to go is really scary when the path the bread winner is on has limited bread winning opportunities. Going where you want to go is unpredictable.

Unpredictability is exactly what you asked for.

When I realize that my two year old is no longer a baby, the thoughts of him "going places" terrifies. Today, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said, "Slides and Ladders." So, I know I have a while before I have to really deal with his going places. But, no matter what he'll leave me, what little safety I can offer. He'll go off on his own to make his own life, to find his own place, and to make his own home. He'll be ready to do so, but will he be jumping on beds, or running through crowds in a museum so fast that I consider putting him in a cage for the rest of the day? Will he think he can climb the chain ladder, and then surprise me by doing so without a hitch? Will the day come that he surprises us by falling from the ladder that he has successfully climbed several times before? Where will I have to go to go visit him? Raising a child is unpredictable.

Unpredictability is exciting.

It will be a happy day when I am done "going places," and can "stop to smell the roses." But I have a feeling that the reason so many people tell you to stop and smell the roses is because of unpredictability. You can't predict when you will see another rose. You can't predict when you will feel like you have time to stop. I have a feeling that stopping to smell the roses is part of going places. And stopping while you are going is unpredictable.

Unpredictability is life.

Because I am brainy, and footsy, I know (I think the people who assumed I already knew were the right ones) that there are ups and downs as I am going places. I know that I'll climb that mountain, which ever mountain I find that looks suitable for me to climb. I know that I'll be able to get out of town soon, and it will be easier to find the paths I want to go down soon enough. And I'm sure I'll succeed, at least 98 3/4 sure. Because no matter how brainy or footsy you are, going places is unpredictable.

Unpredictability is part of going places, and going places is the best place to be.

I wrote this to participate in Scribbit's June Write-Away Contest.


Scribbit said...

I guess that unpredictability makes life so interesting--you're so right.

Tammy Lorna said...

It's funny, but I still feel like I'm waiting for life to 'start'... Lately I've been getting a scary feeling that perhaps it's already started. That terrifies me because this is not at all the life I've been planning to 'start' one day.
Hopefully I'll 'figure things out' one of these days....

xo Tammy

julianee said...

A hopelessly practical note, next school year you can be added to Justin's school insurance (if you opt that way). I've known quite a few people who have had babies on it. Its pretty comprehensive, and fairly cheap. The only downside is the the prescription drug limits get hit pretty quickly if you need longterm expensive medicine. Other than that, I've been very happy with it. Ted and I have both used it at different times.

Daisy said...

When predictability gets boring, remind yourself to reread this post. Two is a fun age; I never felt it was terrible! Enjoy your little one.