of graduates and emptier nests

I now have two…count ’em…one, TWO…daughters who have graduated high school. The remaining daughter (my baby) will be a sophomore in September and that means I am blessed to stave off a completely empty nest for three more years.

I count that as a blessing because my daughters are exceptional. I know this because I am not the only person who says that. My daughters are intelligent, well spoken, articulate – nodding to Susie 😉 – caring, compassionate, funny and loving young women. I told my two youngest daughters a few days ago that I could live with them. As adults. Really. I enjoy their company. I know they need to find their ways however, if it came down to it, I really could. In reply they told me the same with one slight difference. They could not live with their step-father. My first thought was how much I totally get that.

Enough about my daughters, this is about me. It’s ALL about me. Heh.

As I watched my second child perform on the theater stage and then walk across that same stage a bit later to receive her diploma, I was in awe of her. A friend who was there leaned over and said “OMG, it’s like looking at YOU up there!” Yes, my daughters do look like me. It is odd sometimes. I am in awe of this girl who was the answer to a prayer. She was the beautiful gift at the end of 13 months of fertility issues and treatment. Now as she enters what she refers to as “pretend adulthood”, I wonder what I will do. Yes, I have one more daughter in school. Yes, she was also the answer to a prayer. A gift at the end of months of fertility issues. I wasn’t completely sure I wanted her until I saw her being born. The minute our eyes met I knew it was meant to be. I thought “There you are!” and my heart was hers. It will be three more years before I write of her graduation and yet, I know it’s coming.

My introspection is ongoing. I wonder why alot. I am trying to focus on the what of it all right now. What do I want? What do I have to do to make whatever that turns out to be happen. A therapist I once had told me that I was all about mothering and he wondered what I would do when that mothering was no longer my main occupation. I told him I had plans for when my children were grown. I did. Have plans. Now, I’m not so sure what I want to do next. Plans change. Interests change. Life changes.

I am 42 years old and I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up.

So, what do I do to figure that out? I want to go to school. I don’t what for. I don’t even know that I can afford to go. I just know I want to. There was a time when I wanted to deliver babies. I was going to finish nursing school and apply to midwifery school. We have a great school in this neck of the woods. Now, I’m older and I have no desire to have my life run by the likes of a newborn. Heehee… I do have an interest in nursing and all things medical but do I want to do that forever? I’d definitely have a good paying job when I was finished with school.

I have an affinity for children. I totally “get” them. My heart hurts for those children who have no one to care for them, or advocate for them, or listen to them. I have a friend who is building a center for hospice care and counseling of families that is a bit different than any other place in our area. The thought of working there fills me with something I can’t quite describe. There are so many things that interest me. I’m good at alot of them. Is it weird to say that? It feels weird to acknowledge that. I just feel like there is so much more to my life that I haven’t figured out yet.

I wrote awhile ago of not living like my mother. Those weren’t just words to me. I meant them. With every single fiber of my being. I do not want to sit in my chair in front of my big screen t.v. and wait for life to happen to me. Although…that chair is so comforting. While I sit there, I don’t have to think, or feel, or worry, or plan, or figure out anything. I can simply…be. I want to throw out my chair. I want to get rid of the furniture so I can no longer sit on my ass while the world goes by. I want to write and sing and travel and feel…and yet, feeling is so foreign to me.

I watch as people are angry, sad, happy, excited, funny, whatever and I think “What does that feel like? What is it like to feel something and not shut it down or off?” How do people figure out what fills them? How do they know when they are doing something they love? Or even like? I did figure out today that I hate my job. Actually, that’s not true. I don’t hate my job. I just hate that I am still doing it here. With this woman who has one of the most difficult reputations in the place I work. If I can work with her, I can work with anyone. I know this. The job fiasco that is occurring at my place of employment is unsettling and at the same time, freeing. I will have a job. The where is the question apparently. I’m scared. It’s unknown. But I’m ready to get on with it already. I just want to do it and move on. It’s time.

What to do. I haven’t a clue. I don’t even really know how to figure out the “What”. It seems odd to me that I don’t. No wonder my newly graduated from high school daughter said “I don’t know what to do now. I don’t know what I want to do.” I keep telling her she’ll figure it out. I hope I’m right. For both our sakes.

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