Once I was dating this boy. It was the summer after graduating UConn, and about four weeks out from a break-up of a longterm relationship that had been around since high-school — but there I was dating a new boy. I was about eight weeks from moving to Boston. I didn’t have a job lined up, and I had already given up on the dream of moving to DC to work for the Feminist Majority – and there I was dating a boy – sitting in Ted’s, the ubiquitous-where- everyone- knows-your-name joint on campus – and we were talking what we were going to be when we grew up – and I said in ten years I’ll either be working for UN commission on women, or an English teacher and mama and wife – and he said – if you’re just an English teacher, I’ll be sad, you’ve got bigger things to do.
Well Jesse dear, I hope you’re not too sad. Because here I am not working for the UN commission on women (which honestly, considering the red tape involved, probably a good thing). Instead, here I am – English teacher/mama/wife. Of course I’m also a dog owner, and an adviser to the gay straight alliance, and the yearbook, and the newspaper, and mock trial. And I’m a board member for MotherWoman, and I’m a blogger, a sometimes poet, and an always dreamer.
And it’s true, I am often struck with wander lust, and I dream of my little homestead, or my bookstore, or buying that restaurant across the street that’s for sale. I dream of working for the media-education-foundation, or buying a Christmas tree farm. I’m okay where I am right this minute, but I’m just not entirely good at being present in this moment.
I imagine that I’ve got many years left on this journey, and certainly, it’s fair to imagine that teaching for 35 years, isn’t really in my cards — so it’s also then fair to imagine that I will be exploring other paths as I grow-up.
I think mostly I don’t want to get caught-up in the practicality of it all. Being a grown-up has always had its own set of conditions, of debt, and responsibility – and sometimes, I wish I could be five again, or maybe seventeen, and allow myself to dream those big dreams. Like that restaurant across the street – word is – it’s not wise to empty your 401k to finance such endeavors. But, it certainly is tempting.
So maybe I’ll keep dreaming like a five year old,or more like a twenty-three year old, and acting like a grown up – and listening to Frank Turner on the side.