With the semester ended and both my precious children on the public school treadmill, I have found myself at home alone most days. I’m not really sure what to think of it, yet, because it is truly a new experience. I grew up the oldest of four – in that situation, you are never alone. I left my parents’ home entering into marriage, and so have never lived alone. Before we had children, I worked or went to school most of the day, so I was not alone then, either, as my husband also returned home at the end of the day. When my children grew to be school-aged, I educated them myself. But now, for the first time in my life, I am spending considerable amounts of time alone.
I guess I’ve made it sound like a bad thing, but that’s not my intention or my feeling about it. The quiet is nice, and the freedom to choose what I do with my daily hours is nice, but I have not yet taken advantage of that. For now, I tend to the housework at a slower pace than before, and sprinkle in some reading, Facebook and silent reflection over too many cups of coffee in the morning. It’s good to think.
I nay have changed my mind about college. Over the last year of classes, I have realized that I don’t think I’d like working in a clinical setting with patients who have been referred to a dietician. So I looked into nutrition…thinking that I’d have a bigger impact there. If I don’t enjoy teaching students who do not love to learn, why would I want to teach adults how to eat if they don’t really want to change? But my work options with that degree aren’t that exciting, either. What the heck do I want? I really need to know in order to choose a path, but the truth is that I just don’t know.
Some days, I dream of running a little shop that offers some food…I love to cook, and offers nutritional counseling…I’d love to make it easier to decipher the whole nutritional realm for clueless Americans who’ve been confused by fads and commercials for too long, and offers some classes…in maybe cooking, nutrition, belly dancing, different kinds of art…. Isn’t that funny? I’ve never heard of such a place, but all the things I love to do under one roof for others to discover, enjoy, and pay me to do them just sounds great! Hahaha. We all have a dream, right?
I’m looking also at a degree in Alternative Medicine. It’s new, and so I’m not really grasping the work possibilities with such a degree, but the course list is the most interesting one I have ever seen. Herbology, Nutrition and Aging, Chinese Medicine, Feng Shui, Acupuncture, Reflexology, Chiropractic, Stress Reduction, Dietary Influences on Disease, Naturopathy, Antioxidants, Detoxification…the list goes on. What I am not sure about is what exactly I could do with it. I am told that I’d have many options – that I could work at wellness centers, alternative medicine practices, spas and health centers, or continue my education to specialize in any of the disciplines and work for myself. But I guess I’m afraid that those places are limited in number, and certainly not sure I want to obligate myself to continue beyond a Bachelor’s Degree. Besides, I don’t know how much interest I really have in these things, and there’s really no way to know until you get to a point with it where you are either engrossed and desiring to know more, or getting glazed over with the feeling that you know enough to feel sure that you don’t want to know more. What to do?
There are those days when I wonder why I am going to school at all. I believe we should always try to better ourselves. I am not convinced that formal education is the best way to do that – but what are my alternatives? I guess I don’t know.
Several months ago, a friend invited me to try a belly dancing class. I reluctantly agreed, and I have to say that it has been one of the most profound experiences I have ever had. It is the new-found acceptance of myself and a renewed unapologetic declaration of my views within myself that is making me spend so much time thinking. I know what I think; I just don’t know what to do with it, yet. It seems to me that I have always been unconventional – whether I was comfortable being so or not. I am more in tune to that now than I have ever been, and for now, at least, I feel that I am completely over being uncomfortable with it.
I am very interested in natural approaches to wellness and healing, and a better way of living than the state of hurried, frazzled, stressed, non-stop lifestyle that most Americans find themselves in. I have lived and experienced enough to know that we should slow down, foster relationships with those around us, as well as with our Creator, listen to our bodies, pace ourselves and prioritize. But do I feel passionately about helping others learn to do that? I’m just at the edge of discovering how to do so for myself. Is the fact that it’s all new what makes it so interesting? I just don’t know.
I took an extensive spiritual gifts survey through our church, and it indicated that my natural God-given gifts were for teaching and serving. No big surprise to me or to those closest to me – but what I can do with those encompasses the world, it seems. I can certainly narrow that down into the things that God would want people to learn, though – and a lot fits into that as well. I believe that if we pray for our desires to become His, which I have done for years, that He will give us passions that line up with His plans for us. And so, I shouldn’t feel so mixed up, I guess. Then why do I?
Fear. I am afraid of the debt I will acquire to educate myself. I am afraid of being in a position in which I have to work to pay the debt, when as of now, work is a choice (that most people around me tell me they wish they had). I am afraid I will not find work in the field, that I will not enjoy the work once I find it, or that I will get partially through the education and lose interest. I don’t know exactly how many times in the Bible that God tells us not to fear, but it is many. I just don’t trust myself. And so I waver constantly.