“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ― Zora Neale Hurston
I have been “at home” raising my girls for 11 years now.
In 2008 one child began full time school and the other started 3 days of preschool, and the questions started.
2008: First they came from other people
“Wow what are you going to do with all that free time?”
“Are you looking for a job yet?”
“When are you going to put that college degree to work?”
2009: both kids at school full time, I decided to take a year “for me”
I got back in shape at the gym, now that I did not have to worry if the kids hated going or would give me an easy “out”.
I went to the movies alone once a month – no need to wait for the DVD to come out.
I walked, browsed, soaked in the world around me with both hands free, no distractions and only my own desires to follow for a few hours.
2010: The questions from other people intensified and I began to internalise them.
I began to pressure myself to answer the question of “what next?”
I began to dream and explore and imagine “what if?”
As I began to find answers within me I was confronted with reality.
Unable to afford the graduate program I wanted in non-profit management.
A resume that had not been dusted off in 7 years.
A desire that remained for me to be present and available for my kids after school.
A husband who worked long hours.
No family within thousands of miles.
Following my heart would not be simple.
2011: my girls were now old enough to ask their own questions.
Not sure if they wanted to give up my attention, but excited for me at the same time, the question of the year became “what do you want to be when you grow up mom?”.
I loved that they did not believe I was fully grown at 39 years old.
I replied “that is what I am trying to figure out.”
I had a blog by then and started writing. I found a part of my calling in sharing my story and inspiring others to be true to themselves.
2012: stretching and growing into myself
Whenever I hear someone lamenting the point of entry into their 40s I happily tell them to look forward to it. I believe the 40s are the true period of a woman coming into her own if it has not already happened.
I think of my 40s as the slow journey to self – a return to my creative centre, a re-awakening.
The spark took hold there and the flame started to glow brighter.
2013: The answers finally come.
At 41 I sat my husband down and told him my plan to build a creative career for myself.
I had a clear vision of what I was going to put out into the world, but no idea yet how to create it all – idea to execution would be the next stage of this journey.
Negotiations began as he had his own questions.
Still not simple, but with my own answers so clear now it becomes easier to plan and action the dreams of my heart.
2014: Hard work begins
The answer stage goes just as slowly as the question stage.
Patience is key as is trust in the process of unfolding.
Life becomes a back and forth between wanting to hurry myself up and begging time to slow down to allow me to grow in baby steps.
We live in an impatient world now – we want answers, solutions, action taken NOW (or yesterday if possible).
We can have high expectations for how fast we will find answers to our questions (or those of other people).
Be patient, trust your journey and know that while you may be in a question phase now, answers will come in time.