Monday, June 6, 2011


We in the 21st century, the twentysomethings with the world at our feet and limitless possibilities before us are constantly challenged to "follow our bliss," do what "makes us happy" and find our passions. We are encouraged to dream big and then set out to achieve these goals. I love the whole notion of dreaming without limits and the potential in one's own life to make it. The "American Dream", coming from nothing to something, the limitless potential of the human spirit. I love it, and am so thankful to live in a time where I am not limited by my gender, my socioeconomic status or my geography.
At the same time, I have a problem with telling each other that we need to set our sights so high. That a life without big achievements, exotic travel, financial success is life of unreached potential. I think we need a bit more yin to this yang, a bit more focus on what makes a full life as opposed to what makes a full life by someone else's standards.
I know that if I wanted to climb the journalism ladder, report from foreign bureaus and write important books with my unique insight on a social issue, I could do it. It's empowering to know I could do it. But I also know I will have a full, happy life without it.
I have written my own life to-do list, and I have dreams for what my life will entail. But I don't need to achieve everything on it in order to feel fulfilled. I don't want to deny myself challenge, intellectual growth, adventure and experience, but I don't want to define myself with items to be checked off a list (as anti-A Type as that sounds).
I am always redefining for myself what a full, happy life means. I know what is important in my world, and I am learning how to take what blessings have been bestowed upon me and make something great with them. (I always believe that to whom much is given, much is expected). I have learned how to find happiness from a great many examples and sources, but I think Oprah sums it up nicely:
"Live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world."
There is a difference between who we are and what we do, professionally. I love hearing stories of garbage truck drivers who find sublime happiness in running an after-school basketball program, or accountant who go home to bake the most delectable pastries to share with friends and family. These kind of anecdotes speak volumes to the value of carpe diem, finding one's light and knowing how to use it to better the world around them.
I am still learning; I hope I always am. But I know today that I am a mother, and I am tasked with nurturing the life of a little girl with vast potential and beauty. I am a wife, and I am to be a strong partner in life to someone who makes my own life so much more vivid. I am a daughter and sister in a family that is always evolving but is rooted in unchanging bonds. I am a friend to women navigating their own path, who call upon my enthusiasm, support and experience to better their journeys, and vice versa.
I am a writer who puts to words my musings for my daughter, my friends, my husband, my family and myself . It makes me feel alive to permanently record my journey, for posterity and for self-discovery.
I don't need to have a big house, an exciting job, a full passport, or a big dream to be happy. I am truly blessed to be living my dream, and growing on my journey.

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