5 years ago, I sat in my college dorm room dreaming about marrying my high school sweetheart. I dreamt about the high paying job he would secure to support me, and about the children I would birth, love and devote my life to raising. I dreamt about a life revolving around a roll known well by women from generations before me. Wife. Mother. Carer of husband. Rearer of children. And when my mind wandered, it led me to a room off of the kitchen with plenty of light, and a desk where I could write. An after thought, a day dream within a dream, a hobby to keep me company while the kids were at school. But never a career or life fulfilling passion; just a little sliver of something for me in a sea of other’s needs, wants and achievements.
Not all marriages unfold in this way.
Not all wives are mothers.
Not all mothers are wives.
Not all women are either.
Not all relationships rest on a history of being claimed, relied upon and ridiculed.
But the way I dreamt it, the vision that evolved through books and movies, through constantly being told my worth was wrapped up in my ability to care for others — and boy did I have a knack for it — and a history of ownership and oppression, well, that vision had it all. A husband who earned the money, a million babies, and a wife who was buried by the life she was way too big for, but never had the freedom to reject.
But over the years, thanks to new books, an English literature major, discussions with powerful female professors and peers, and through reclamation of self and an identity outside “caretaker” my dream has evolved.
5 months ago I sat in a cabin in the French Alps, cooking atop a wooden stove, sparking candles for light, and dreaming about the glorious feeling of having an axe between my hands while I split firewood for my own remote homestead.
5 minutes ago, I checked the mousetrap, still empty after I found my first little guy last night; I gazed over at my bed, made just the way I like it, with my “I was not made to be subtle” painting hung beside it; and then peered out the window to find Luna, the car I lived in, on and off, for 7 months as I made a solo trek around the entire globe (to be fair I didn’t stop everywhere but I did make a complete circle).
And now, I write to you from my couch, next to a fire burning in my heat stove, a pen in hand, light streaming in the window, free to write, unafraid of running out of time, of kiddos bursting in or a husband demanding dinner, living a dream that has evolved from a simple daydream buried within a web of misguided wants, and evolved into a life of joy in a cabin in the wild wilderness, a continuing solo adventure and a pen always in hand.
I am free here. Untethered. Responsible only for myself, and my own care. Disposing of mice, shooing (to be clear, shooing not shooting) bats, and freeing spiders, hiking trails, writing poetry and continuing to evolve.
Who knows, maybe one day I will have babies and a long term partner and create a beautiful adventure with them. But never in the way I dreamt of long ago. Never in the absence of self-love, care and fulfillment. I am empowered, I am evolved and I am ever growing, just like the evergreens outside my window.
With love, and as promised consistent posts once again,