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Sunday, June 5, 2011
What Do I Want? What Do I Really, Really Want??
Many thanks to Allison, the mama behind Mama Wants This, who's been such a supportive and loyal friend.
I joined the Red Dress Club many weeks ago, but until now had been too chickensheet to actually do any of the writing prompts. This week's prompt has a lot to do with character development: "What do you want?"
It's funny, to be asked about what I want, because it just occurred to me that at least for the last couple of years, I've been living life without really thinking about what I want. In a way, this writing prompt really made me pause and re-evaluate my life today.
Oh I remembered what I wanted growing up: I wanted to be a full-time wife and mother. I bought into the whole fairy tale and happily-ever-after idea pretty much as far back as I could remember. Nothing--not my parents' divorce nor their subsequent failure in relationships, or even when life proved to be way different than Disney's glitter and glow--was going to stand in my way.
At times when my friends aspired to be doctors, engineers, scientists, superheroes, and famous actors, I secretly wanted to be a housewife and stay-at-home mother. I was too embarrassed to say it at the time, though. I didn't know anyone else who wanted what I wanted (perhaps those who did were too embarrassed to say it out loud too). So I came up with a brilliant answer should my aunts, uncles, parents' friends asked me. I told them I wanted to be a cashier, at a supermarket. Yeah, brilliant.
Came college time, I still wanted to be a housewife and stay-at-home mother. But until I actually found a gentleman who would love to marry me and have babies with me, I've got to come up with a back-up plan. So I studied psychology and economics, just in case.
I mean,do you know how difficult it was to find 20 year-old boys who just can't wait to get married and have kids?!? Most of the ones I knew would most likely be running-pants on fire style-in the opposite direction if I so much as mentioned the M word. And being a young, not-so-bad-looking (ehem) woman, I also preferred young, good-looking (haha) gentlemen closer to my age. Hey, don't tell me you didn't feel that way! When you're twenty, anything above 30 or 35 were "eww waaaay too old"--remember those times?
And then there's also the prospect of being disowned by my mother if she ever finds out that her only child would rather be a housewife and stay-at-home mom than follow her footsteps in attaining at least a PhD. degree.
Of course I've also stopped telling people I wanted to be a supermarket cashier by then. Now I told people I wanted to be a psychologist, because apparently being a psychologist was more fitting than a supermarket cashier when you happened to major in psychology and economics.
Mucho boyfriends and bad dates later, a man finally decided he wanted me to be his wife and mother of his future children. And yep, even after I told him all I ever wanted was to be a housewife and a stay-at-home mom. (Yay! Finally there was someone who didn't run away after finding out that um, his girlfriend actually wanted to settle down and commit! And that there's no such thing as free sex, guys!!!)
Today, I'm no longer a newly married, nor am I a new mom. In many ways, life has been kind to me and I'm blessed because I am living the life that I've always wanted. Like any marriage, mine had its ups and downs, but if I had to do it all over again, I would stil choose the same man to be my husband. I am not the perfect mom, I even had my share of postpartum depression. But I love my daughter and I treasure every moment of raising her and watching her grow up.
As I mentioned earlier, the prompt to write about "What do I want?" actually made me pause and the more I thought about, the more it scared the living $#!^ out of me. Why? Because if I am living the life that I've always wanted, wouldn't it mean that I should be content, or at least smiling my ass off?
But I'm not smiling my ass off. So what does that mean? Did what I want changed somewhere along the way? Or have I been as blind as a bat, taking for granted what I have, always wanting more? I asked myself over and over again what I want, but you know what, other than the same ol' "I want to be a housewife and a stay-at-home mom," I honestly don't want anything else.
Oh, who doesn't want great health, lasting beauty, lots of money, and a string of luxuries; it's not like I'm going to refuse if anybody were to offer those things to me. And yes, my husband would probably screamed, "Are you shittin me???" if he ever found out I said this, but the truth is, other than "I want to be a housewife and a stay-at-home mom," there's really, honestly, nothing else I really want.
Let me tell you, even as I'm wrapping up this post to an end, I'm still asking myself this simple, yet mind-boggling, question. I'll leave you with my final answer--the best answer I can come up with right now. What I want is to be a housewife and a stay-at-home mom. But what I need to do right now is to find new ways to appreciate what I have, to realize that I have what I want, and to work on keeping what I have so that when my time comes and I closed my eyes for the last time, I can say that I've lived a life that I've always wanted.