I am busily reframing my perspective. This work always comes in fits and spurt, flurries of activity. It makes sense that way–with my new “everything in its place” perspective–because that’s the way most things work out in nature. And even then, it’s a matter of perspective. Like Human reproduction: a long agonizing, steady nine months of gestating? Well, to a whale that’s a flash in the pan…to an old man, what is the first nine months of his life? All a matter of perspective, really.

So, from one of the unschooly blogs I’ve started following, I discovered the song “Exactly” by Amy Steinberg. “I am exactly where I need to be, I need to be exactly where I am.” And that, my friends has been the overwhelming message of my existence over the past few weeks.

I posted about trying to help Noah Shine on the Shine Unschooling list, and got reminded that he’s *already* shining, he’s perfect as he is! *doh*

And he’s not just special cause he’s a kid or anything. I’m perfect as I am. I am where I need to be, with the tools I need to move on to the next level. I have all that I need. I am where I need to be. I need to have that tatooed on my eyelids!

It’s occurred to me that I have spent most of my life being a rebel who desperately lived up to others’ expectations of her. I’m expected to be hyper, funny, outspoken, aggressive, independent. But, really? I am kind of a loner. I was so desperate for company as a child, I never really learned to appreciate my own company..then I got into 12 step recover which assured me that if I was alone I was “in bad company.”

Through work, I have redeveloped my sense of Self in positive ways. I feel like I am *finally* living up to my potential; I am who I purport myself to be. No more, no less. I no longer feel like I am faking it. I’m sorry that being my kids’ mom or my husband’s wife wasn’t enough to do that–but when I look at it like that, I see where the obstackels (a la O Brother, Where Art Thou?) lie: in those roles I am someone else’s something, rather than just me.

In my work, first my problem was that I lowered my ambitions because I am lazy and made poor decisions or no decisions. (I should’ve been an engineer, a scientist, a doctor…something more *prestigious* than a Nurse) And then there was also the issue of home/family vs. career that left me torn twain. And also I never really tried in college–I could’ve done much better but I claimed “priorities” and while it was true, I honestly didn’t see the point in getting perfect grades when adequate grades got me the same job in the end. Good perspective–I gained a lot of life energy by letting go of being perfect in that arena–and yet it did nothing for my self esteem at the time but affirm I was lazy: it wasn’t out of undying love for my sweet innocent babies that motivated me to spend less energy on school, it was just self preservation and cold,hard logic!

So now I’ve been a nurse for 6 years. I’ve come to understand that it is precisely what I was meant to do. And Wow! Thank God I didn’t try hard in school and end up with a 4.0 and a scholarship to Stanford…how hard would it have been to let go of all the trappings of say, a PhD to get back to nursing? (I feel like I just saw the Turn Left episode of my own life!) How hard would it be to stop being a prestigious, well-paid, successful engineer to go and be a staff nurse in a hospital? I’d’ve needed a serious and gigantic midlife crisis for that! And how empty and sad and unfulfilled would my life be like that (and for once, this speculation is not fueled by sour grapes!)Whoa.

I had to read that out loud to my spouse. That was life changing information–and you read it here first, folks!

So now that I know that I am not only where I need to be now, but have always been on the right path, I can move on and show what my kids teach me.

Elijah teaches me how delightful I am. Seriously. I see in him all the fun parts of me. What I might have been had I had the self esteem he has. And he’s always given me the self-respect of allowing me to treat him like a whole person.

Noah teaches me to be here now. He teaches me there is noplace else I can be, no other time to focus on but now. Noah teaches me to LET GO. He teaches me I don’t have to be right. I tell him, because I love him and don’t want him to be cold, “Put on a jacket.” He doesn’t want to. But then he’s cold as soon as we leave. No problem, I’m a good mom, I brought one anyway. But the one that will kill me, is when I say, “I don’t think you’ll need to wear a sweater and 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants.” And he disagrees. Then *I* get to carry that extra stuff around as he strips. That is when I remember that what matters here is not whether I’m right or not, but that he figures out how to plan his own actions on his own. I am the same in many ways and yet I take great pains to hide it well so nobody can come back later and tell me “I did bleedin’ tell ya.” (a la The Dark Knight)

So. Wow. So much. And I am so grateful for that song! Geesh. Amazing.


~ by merialiss on November 11, 2008.

One Response to “Reframing”

  1. […] links to posts I like. Like this one about perspective. And this one that’s TMI but that I was wanting to recall lately (get back […]

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