9.09.2018

on following your dreams



Maybe it's because it's been a cold, rainy weekend or the fact that I just finished the fabulous and thought-provoking Emily trilogy by L.M. Montgomery, but I've been feeling somber and introspective lately. And I've just been thinking some thoughts about dreams and ambitions.

There are so many self-help books out there all about following your dreams, making yourself happy, shattering the glass ceiling, starting your own business, and #girlboss vibes and all that jazz. And every time I see it, I think....yawn.

It's not that I'm not ambitious. Well, according to the world's standards, I'm not. I was an ambitious student. I had high expectations of myself at work. But I left that stuff behind when I became a mom. And honestly, I have no desire to go back to either.

I have never wanted to climb the corporate ladder. I had thoughts about maybe going to law school or finishing my nursing degree or other things like that, and I started my Master's Degree, but my heart was never fully in it. I really only ever wanted to be a mom. And now I am one. Sometimes I find myself wishing I had another outlet, but then I go for a walk, talk to a friend, read a book, or something like that, and I'm fine. I just don't feel that desire to make a life for myself outside my family.

Most of my friends have side jobs or businesses they've started or incredible talents they cultivate in their free time. I love it. I cheer them on and I'm so impressed. I think it's amazing. And then I think...maybe I'll go read a book now? Ha! I mean, if I'm being honest, I would love to write a book someday. But I know this isn't the season of life for it, plus I can't shake the feeling that everything that needs to be said has been said already and far better than I could. And yet I continue to write in this here blog, so whatever. I don't have heaps of unrealized dreams. I have ideas of things I think that would be fun to do, like a start a book club, go back to Europe, and finally learn the 3rd movement of Moonlight Sonata on the piano. But I don't have these burning goals and dreams and huge aspirations keeping me up at night. I'm mostly content in this quiet life. I'm not a mover and a shaker. I'm not trying to make my blog popular, I don't want to be a social media influencer, I'm not creative in a way that makes money. I'm ok with that. Ok, usually I'm ok with that, but I frequently feel like the only woman who feels this way. In the 1950s I would've had my priorities straight, but in 2018...not so much.

I've seen heaps of posts lately telling women to follow their dreams and ambitions, go be successful, make your own happiness, Lean In, yadda yadda yadda. That has a place, and I'm all for following your talents and seeing what you can do with them. Lately, I've been wondering if something was wrong with me for not having these huge dreams to follow, business plans to roll into action, degrees to earn etc. But no, I don't think so. Maybe when Gracie's grown. It seems to be a given these days that we all are pursuing some huge ambitious undertaking, but I say it's ok to stay out of the rat race. It's ok if raising kids and doing the dishes is ambitious enough for this season of life. It doesn't mean I'm lazy, it just means my life and desires and priorities look a little different.

And that, ladies and probably no gentlemen reading, concludes this edition of Michelle Writes Her Feelings.

19 comments:

  1. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

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  2. Anyone who thinks or says that being a SAHM and homemaker isn’t good enough can just shove it where the sun don’t shine. There is NOTHING LITERALLY NOTHING wrong with being content to raise your daughter, make your house pretty (for yourself and family, not 20.6k Instagram followers) and read a book or watch some Netflix in your down time. People have different priorities and just because being a #girlboss (gag me with that hashtag) is the popular new thing doesn’t make your life wrong or worth any less than someone pulling six figures. I have so much to say about this that would probably offend half your readers so I’ll end my comment here, but just know you have my full support in being a mom, being a wife, and being a darn good sugar cookie baker (so I’ve heard). <3

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  3. This post was soothing to read. I’m very tired of everyone trying to be a motivational speaker; it’s reached a shrill pitch, so many voices screeching about not wasting your life, and following your dreams, and making money, and believing in yourself, and and and and... it’s not inspirational; they don’t even seem happy, just desperate to be liked and listened to.

    What IS inspirational to me is people who do what they want and are happy and contented. Whether they’re starting a business or raising children or following an unconventional dream—I do not care what you do, I just like seeing you enjoy yourself. I don’t want you to yell at me about how I need to also live that life. I do not want it. I like mine a lot. The end.

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    1. YES YES YES. You, as usual, said what I think but so much better. Love it.

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  4. I don't think there's anything wrong with your feelings or priorities. It really does take all kinds of kinds. I don't identify with women who live to be mothers- but that's ok and some day that may change. You never know. I also don't identify with women who shoot up the corporate ladder, win the major cases, and perform the life saving surgeries. I'm happy for them and I cheer on their accomplishments, but that's not what I want for me. I like the idea of wanting to be better, smarter, kinder, more compassionate than the person you were yesterday- not anyone else. And I love the idea of good for you, not for me. We're all too different to live by the same motivational quotes and reach for the same goals.

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  5. First, I'd be the first person to buy a book by you.
    & I'll always be the person happily reading your blog & loving your take on every day life.
    Either way - you've got people who love your writing - so win win.
    & I do think there is a backlash (if thats the right word) on pushing women so hard that sometimes, we just want to do what we want & that doesnt involve the President ofa company or work hours that take all our time from family. I have a youth girl who said one day in our group, her goal was to grow up & be a wife & have lots of kids (side note - her mom has 12 kids... & is probably pregnant again at this point - Duggar Jr. Family here) - but my other youth girls were SO DISTURBED by what she said. They STILL talk about this & told me I need to talk to her & tell her she needs bigger dreams. It was a fine line to tell these girls who feel empowered to take on the world, that its OK if she didnt want that same goal. I know that goes to all GROWN girls too.
    Just keep being the AWESOME YOU that you are!!! :)

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  6. Amen!! Be your unambitious, wonderful self.
    I also consider myself rather unambitious...one thing Angel knew about me before we were even together was that I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. He had never before met a girl with that as her "career goal" but he was cool with it. I think I do have my own ambitions but none of them are really about creating my own empire or having an impressive job or making money...even though I know the necessity and practicality of money...I'm one of those oddball creative types. I want to write and read and sew clothes and make cards to send to my friends and run my youth group. I cried a couple weeks ago--I was riding in the front of a van full of teenage girls singing Greatest Showman songs at the top of their lungs, Cyrus was right there in his carseat because he attends youth group too, and we were on our way back to drop everyone off...and earlier that day, one of the girls had said she wanted to volunteer at my learning center after school...and I cried because I was living my biggest dream.

    I did start a business here, but the literal purpose is to legally educate the kids in our community who have the least chance at an education and...because I'm a foreigner I can own a business but I can't legally be paid any salary by my own business (one of the reasons I'm REALLY REALLY glad Angel got a good job two months ago)....and I bring my baby to work everyday...which makes it the most Rachel-ish and least-#girlboss business in the history of female-owned businesses. And I'm so so so happy just doing my small little "job" and taking care of my family.

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  7. Oh man, this is literally the most perfect timing ever. I'm up with the baby right now and I checked my e-mail and saw a new episode of one of my favorite podcasts, and the woman who hosts it made this episode to celebrate her 27th birthday. And I was like, "Umm, you're 27 and you have one of my favorite podcasts AND two kids and here I am, just watching Doctor Who in the early morning hours with my newborn and not being 'productive'." Reading your thoughts is such a good reminder to step out of the comparison game and enjoy living in the moment :) Have you heard of the book "One Beautiful Dream"? It's all about pursing your goals and ambitions in the midst of motherhood, and I really liked it-one of the things the author talked about was the importane of recognizing that we an all have different passions. And that while some people, like her, have a passion for writing or having a radio show, other women have talents and passions for doing cutesy things with their kids and that is perfectly fine! There is definitely a place for all of that in our expressions of motherhood, and I think it's so awesome that you can recognize your desires and pursue the peaceful life you want.
    All that said, I would LOVE IT if you wrote a book sometime ;)

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  8. I would argue that you ARE ambitious for following your own internal compass. You have a strong desire to take care of your family and spend time with/raise your child. Ambition isn't a one way street to CEO, thank god. It seems to me that you are doing exactly what these other women are doing, it just looks different than them but that's great, too! I would also bet that you are much happier than most people because you are fully honest with yourself about what you desire from life when many people aren't being introspective enough to tell what THEY want versus what OTHER people want. :) Only we know what will make us deeply happy, anyway.

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  9. I wrote about this (a little) yesterday. I LOVE the season of everyone seeming to be on board with chasing goals and following dreams, but I hate that it ends up in everyone comparing themselves. I have to recenter myself often and remind myself, HI I AM RAISING A WHOLE HUMAN LIFE AND THAT IS AMAZING EVEN IF I NEVER DO ANYTHING ELSE.

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  10. I read this post the day you published it and I have been thinking about it all week. I just had this conversation with my friend this weekend and I've talked to my mom about it too because I also feel like everywhere I turn, there is pressure to DREAM BIG and WORK HARD and HUSTLE. Well here what I dream about: being a good person, wife, daughter, sister, friend,; having a family, making sure the laundry is done and I stay in the grocery budget, reading, and having a few hobbies and a happy little life. That's it. Not having the best job or a million followers or a million dollars or a business or a brand. And in a world where it can sometimes seem like everyone is so focused on building a following and getting head and hustling, I'm glad there are other people out there who are writing about being thrilled with an "ordinary" life.

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  11. I feel exactly the same way. Josh’s company went out of business about 6 months ago so I’m currently working part time outside of the home and it bums me out so bad lol I’m currently brainstorming ways to make an income from home but believe me if it weren’t a neccesity right now I’d be happy as a clam being home, being an average crocheter, reading, and doing the dishes. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that ❤️

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    1. Oh Brittainy, I'm so sorry to hear that! If I had an easy way to make a secondary income from home, I'd totally do it too! Haha. But I'm working to be content in this life of small things. Usually I am, but culture preaches a different message these days, and it can be hard to keep my focus.

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  12. There was such a reassuring feeling reading this. I know more than anything else in life that I’d regret watching and being a part of raising my children because I was pursuing a dream. There’s something about the way things are lately that almost makes you feel self conscious of you aren’t doing something on the side of motherhood. I’m glad you brought this up. It’s a topic that isn’t receiving enough attention.

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  13. Typos! Gah! Commenting on your phone sucks.. yada yada... meant to say I’d regret NOT watching and being apart of raising my children.

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