My mother is one strong woman, she gets stuff done. We watched her work, attend school and manage a house after her divorce from my dad. There wasn’t much money for extras and I was aware that we sat on the lower rungs of middle class. Our needs were met and good times were had – we went to museums and art exhibits which were free – but I wanted the brand name jacket and shoes, not the knockoffs we bought at Alexander’s, and other junk I was sure would make my life better. We lived in a small house in a neighborhood where we knew all of our neighbors, could play outside and ride our bikes to our friend’s house. It could have been a lot worse.
I grew up hearing, seeing, sensing I’d need to take care of myself, like mom. I moved out when I was eighteen, living with my sister first, an assortment of boyfriends and roommates later, until finally settling into my own space, alone. Eventually I got married and bought a house, divorced, bought my ex out and have been living here for the last eleven years alone for the most part. I’ve worked to support all of those living arrangements, sometimes more than one job when necessary. I’m independent. I get stuff done.
I want to make some changes, want to contribute to the universe in other ways, want to find work that excites me, challenges me, fulfills me. I fantasize about leaving my job, fantasize about piecing together a weekly paycheck but when I do questions buzz around my head like annoying gnats.
Will I have to sell my house?
Will I be able to support myself?
Will I continue to be independent?
Will I find what I’m looking for?
Bill and I have a shared goal, to end up in the same house one day. He’s not ready to leave his house; I could put mine on the market and move into his but I’m not ready to leave mine either. Friends and family have asked When? Not yet, I say. There are valid reasons holding me back but are some of them excuses? Combining expenses would free me up to pursue some of my passions, it wouldn’t all be on me. But it’s scary. Living through the death of a marriage makes me hesitant. It’ll happen. It’ll all happen when it’s supposed to. Is that why I can’t let go or am I afraid of something else?
What if I don’t find my passion?
What if the grass isn’t any greener on the other side?
What if I make a mistake?
What if I’m unhappy?
I can’t get bogged down in the What if’s. I’ve got stuff to get done.