I used to consider my life [in my imagination] as this endless expanse filled with kind-of good things, spent in a kind-of good way, moseying along in anything but a straight line. There wasn’t a beginning and there certainly wasn’t a clear end but it was sunny and calm and all the while very uneventful- the word underwhelming comes to mind. Thinking of “my life” used to be just a simple- it is what it is- kind of thing.
But lately that picture has been changing. It’s been shifting and morphing from what used to be something fairly predictable into a new picture that maybe has hills and valleys, is starting to have waves and storms and seasons, and quite possibly a few hurdles to navigate to get to the now-visible clear end, that happy point in the future where I have “what I want” and have “done what I want to do”. Figuring out what I LOVE has simultaneously opened a door and started a clock that ticks with every passing moment. I’ve finally figured out what I want to do with my life and am anxious to begin.
There is a real art studio in my future. Scary, right? Saying it out loud (typing it in silence?) is scary. But this idea that has taken root in my heart is slowly becoming more detailed as the bulk of the concept grows into something very concrete. I want to create a place for kids- a space, a studio, an area, a pile of materials- where we can collaborate together to create art. Classes for kids. Classes for parents. Classes for kids with extra special needs. Classes for kids with regular needs. A space to create where otherwise there would be none. A place to escape and create. A place to make a mess.
Someday this will be real. This picture in my head will be a place with a door, with walls and a floor and more making-materials than anyone has ever seen. I will create an established community of makers who are interested in expanding their creativity and imagination. Until then, I bide my time.
By dreaming of becoming a Goat Farmer, for instance. A WHAT? Yes, a Goat Farmer. Didn’t you know I am an aspiring milk maid? Kind of like my short lived idea to own chickens. Only difference with the goats is that I am actually serious. I would totally go buy some goats to supply us with goat milk for the duration of said goats life. Nevermind that I can barely manage my oaf of a dog and, oh yeah, the two kids I’ve recently renamed Dennis and Menace. G guzzles goat milk like it’s going out of style and Lilly is on the goat milk wagon now too. Some lovely goat-loving lady blogged her price breakdown of goat owning vs. milk produced and it comes out to something like $1.50/gallon of milk-your-own goat milk vs. the, what, $14 gallons at Whole Foods? Sold. (My husband will be so thankful to you, Steph, for launching this goat investigation…haha!) I learned today in my research that different kinds of goats produce different flavors of milk and apparently Nigerians taste the best. Mmm. Sadly, fainting goats are not tip-top milk producers- more like tippy-slippy pets. (But I’m not discriminating, I’d own a fainter.) I also learned that goats are- big shock here- HERD animals and you can’t just have one goat- you need at least two goats. And then to help your goat start or continue to make milk you need to offer her a once yearly, all expenses paid vacation with Mr. Milk Goat to, you know, do what goats do… It was also brought to my attention as I delved deeper and deeper into goat land that you’ll need to make friends with a community of goat farmers so there is someone to watch (and milk) your goat if you ever go on vacation. Apparently there’s a “trade goat babysitting” register in the United States specifically for this purpose. I’d actually be pretty pumped to babysit some extra goats because then I could make GOAT CHEESE which is basically the most amazing food on the planet. So there you have it. I’d incidentally become a cheese monger.
Luckily for all involved, especially aforementioned loving and supportive husband, there are probably zoning laws in my township prohibiting the purchase and maintenance of livestock on our currently-unsuitable-for-farm-animals property. It’s a good thing too because if I got a goat, I’d probably want some chickens to go with it. And if I got some chickens, I’d probably need a piggy too. If you give a mouse a cookie…he’ll want the whole damn farm.
So life goes on as my professional clock ticks. My whole life, I thought I’d feel settled when I finally figured out and definitively decided “what I want to do with my life” but I feel more antsy and anxious than ever before. I guess those are the feelings that propel us forward and help us get from what I want to do to what I’ve done. Maybe it’s not antsy and anxious at all, perhaps its dedicated and determined…
Anyway, maybe for now I’ll keep researching the goat thing. You never know…
(images via google)