its funny how life works out. more often than notthe days unfold in ways completely unexpected. My whole life i have had expectations of the life i would lead; ideas on how i wanted to live said life. now that i am 28, married and have a child, i am smack dab in the middle of living the life that i spent so many years imagining. and the funny thing is, it is NOTHING like i imagined.
well, that is not entirely true. i always said i would marry an international and live overseas. so that part is actually exactly how i imagined it. it is the outer-lying details that are so strange.
a good friend of my recently asked me what it was i truly wanted. not what i should want, or what people think i want. not even what i always thought i wanted. but what do i really want right now, at this very moment. that questions has proven to be quite thought provoking. and as i have spent several weeks thinking and praying over the question, the answers that i have come up with are vastly different than i would have ever imagined.
I have always prided myself on being the 'free spirit' of the family. quite nomadic, always on the go, never really having stability and loving every second of it. i have always fought against the typical suburbia life style. i didnt want a white picket fence with PTA meetings and neighbourhood bridge clubs. i wanted a faster pace of life, with no roots. i watned to explore and bring my family with me. it was one of the first things that really brought rhys and i togther, the desire to make everything an adventure. never the norm, and never the safe.
shock number one for Kristina....i want suburbia. i dont want to live in the middle of nowhere; and 3 years in london has shown me that i do not want a busy city either. i want the middle of the road. (yes, i did just type that. i know, its hard to believe. the middle of the road) i want the suburbs. although after typing that, i feel i should clarify. i want the stability that a settled life offers. the 1950's idea of a nuclear family. that is what i want. a nomadic, live life out of a backpack does not provide the house, dog and boat all sitting nicely in my driveway.
rhys and i still desire to make an adventure out of our lives and family, but we also want roots. i want to have a space that we can call our own. not a rented flat that is less than the size of a one car garage. but space. space to have a back garden where we can have a family picnic. space to play on the kitchen floor. for that matter, space to have more than two people in the kitchen a time.
i want furniture and a bed that rhys and i choose, not simply forced to make due with whatever mismatched hodge podge happened to come with the flat. dishes, silverware, towels, picture frames, books, movies, picture albums, closet space. normal things that familes have. i want that. i really do. i want our OWN space. i long for the settled life of suburbia. I cant ever see myself as the typical 'soccer mom' but i think i have finally found a happy medium.
shock number two for kristina?.... i do not want to be a full time stay at home mom. i know, the horror, the horror. but its true. my entire life i couldnt wait until i had my first kid and could quit work FOREVER. and i was truly blessed to have a year paid maternity leave on the mildly socialist government that is the UK. and that year was perfect. now? well, now i want to work again. not full time. and not to have a high powered career, but work none the less. i would like to get out in the world, interact with other adults and make a difference in something. however small or large my job may be, i want to be dedicated to do it and do it well. I want to put on a suit and heels a couple days a week and roll around building forts and painting the rest of the days. i love little eleri, but i love others things as well.
since admitting, mostly to myself, that i really do want to go back to work, i feel like a big weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. there seems to be an expectation in the middle of america that to be the best possible family, mom needs to stay home. i have had people tell me "good for you, its the best for your children" and "i feel sorry for kids whose moms work" i think those are very negative and misguided comments. whatever works best for each family is the best option. not a blanket statement of "dads go to work, moms stay at home". and i know that it will be best for eleri and my marriage for me to be out in the 'world' making a difference as well as at home, loving and teaching my little one.
after i came to the conclusion about suburban life and being a part-time working mother, i continued to think and pray about what it is i really want out of life. i came up with little things like I want to run long distances. hence the ultra marathon on the horizon. and i came up with idealistic, long term things like i would love to open a fair trade, freshly produced/grown food and product store that has price equivalents to walmart. that way people could get fair and healthy products without spending the entire budget. i would also like to develop a city wide recycling scheme in tulsa. they are in desperate need.
i also want this leather jacket and another tattoo. but thats a different story all together.
it has been an interesting question to think about. i encourage you all to do it. sit down and really think about what it is you want. not what you think you should. or what you have always said you wanted. but what it is right now that you really want. you might be just as surprised as i was.