“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”-Montainge
I have spent most of my life trying to figure out what to do with myself. I would tinker and weigh my options against all the stimuli I chose to digest. I would then assimilate what I wanted to keep and toss the rest.
I was determined to think outside the circumstances that I grew up in and fly as high as I chose to go. Yet, I often got lost along the way. That can happen when one follows every road and listens to every guide, as I sometimes did. I have spent countless hours sidetracked and waterlogged by all the useless information out there, some of it given to me by people just trying to be helpful. All I wanted, most of all, was to find my place in the world.
The saying that you usually know what you want to be when you grow up at a very early age, seems like a cliche, but in my case, it turned out to be true. After several false starts: thinking of being a midwife, a environmentalist, a potter, a yoga teacher, I remembered back to that 14 year old, pounding away at her typewriter in her closet, staring at a map of the world thinking about where she wanted to travel and daydreaming about adopting a child from Africa.
I am now a poet, editing my second book and writing my third. I am planning trips to travel as I write this and I am adopting a child. She is not from Africa, but that is not the point. The point is, I knew where I wanted my life to take me, when I was young and here I am 20 years later, living it.
I wrote the poem below after I went to a local bookstore and was reminded once again, to stay the course I am on now.
Just a thought.
I walk up to the counter to pay for my stack of books.
I watch the clerk ring them up one by one;
poetry and childrens books, my normal choices.
I smile at him and say, “I am a poet and a mother.”
“Well there is nothing more you need to be then,” he says.
It was as if all the wise masters throughout the ages spoke through him,
just to give me this message.
“I guess not,” I say as I pay for my books.
I breathe a sigh of relief.
My destiny is finally defined, for only $34.99.