Upon much recommendation, I recently read “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. (It was a #1 best seller and what’s that? I’m slow on the uptake? Yes, I know.) Today as I was struggling with my strep throat.. again… and feeling just pretty much the lead in my pity party, I finished the last chapter on the porch of our tiny condo in Seattle.
She explains something the Zen Buddhists believe, that an oak tree is brought in to creation by two forces: One being the actual acorn and the other being the will of the future oak tree. That during the growth, the older version of the oak tree leans in and whispers “GROW” to its younger self urging it on to the final version of itself. She says she feels much the same way through her spiritual journey, that her self confident, peaceful self breathed wisdom to her younger, more uncertain self. She found that all along she knew it would be OK in the end, that God or Self or Universe is forever finding the balance of truth and happiness.
I started this post a while back, before Christmas, when I was beginning to analyze the correlation to my heavier times and having the “winter blues”. I wanted to have a nice sit-down with myself and really talk about how and why my body isn’t changing and why I’m unable to do the things I used to or look the way I think I do. All of this occurred before these ladies started discussing things like being plus-size vs working hard at fitness. It’s ironic, in a very real ten-thousand-spoons sort of way, a touch serendipitous, and more than a bit refreshing to realize while I was here having a smack-down, drag-out discussion with myself, the internet was discussing it, too.
Did you know that if you look on a map, “Holland” isn’t there? NO. What’s this bullshit about me going to “Holland” then? Well, apparently I’m in The Netherlands which is just sort of in the middle of all the peace-keeping, fence-sitting, pot-smoking countries. And BYGOD I love it here.
I’m here on business which means I’m here representing Engine Hosting who, along with my new friend WHOOOOOZE, sponsored my trip here so that I could speak at the EECI2009 Conference. I will not only buy them a beer but also possibly shout out their company names in the streets of Holland, I mean, The Netherlands whilst smoking pot and holding the hands of gay and lesbians.
As a girl, with a mom of girls, I never truly “got” the Mama’s Boy thing. But it happened before he was born. I thought it was because he was my second born, the baby I could comprehend before I saw him, the kicking that I already understood deep inside my belly.
Now I know it was because of him. Who he is.
Popularity. Fame. Money. Drama.
I think Mom101 said it best, “We don’t have to be ashamed about what we do or why we do it. Whether we blog for money or friendship or approval or attention or magical beans. I said it in the first Momosphere panel and I meant it: It’s all good.”
I taught preschool for a few years. Did you know this? No? I did. It was the year I switched from Elementary Ed and went for Computer Science. That’s how profound the experience was for me. P.R.O.F.O.U.N.D.
Anyway, so I had this kid in my class, this really cute little guy named Evan. Evan was 4 years old when we met. He had a tremendous crush on me. “Miss Leslliieee” he’d say, “I made you a necklace!” He once told his parents he was going to marry me. “No, son,” his dad said, “She doesn’t make enough money.” I loved his parents.
I’ve been rolling around ideals about my identity for some time now. Struggling with my decision to stay at home. Struggling with the images I put in my daughter’s head. Struggling with a place for a strong, empowered woman in a traditional home context. I’m educated, I’m strong, I’m willful. I’m also a woman who cries, gets irrational and stays home to clean the house and care for her children.
I no longer think these things are mutually exclusive.