Monday, September 13, 2010

Reflection on the Beach

This weekend was a gorgeous one, filled with a beautiful wedding down in Manteo NC (Rhi was a excellent flower girl, my husband a dashing groomsman), and much needed time at home after our first week back to work for this Mama and "school" (which is what we are calling daycare) for Rhi & Jamey.
However, it also got me to thinking about a few things.
Driving through the countryside of Great Bridge and Deep Creek Chesapeake and into NC before you hit the hustle of OBX made me feel so warm and fuzzy and homey...... all the things that I don't feel in VB, unless I am actually in my home.
I may have fought this realization for a long time, but it turns out this city girl really craves the easy, carefree feeling of country living. Here in VB, every moment is so rushed and packed to the brim with meeting this criteria or living up to so-and-so's standard of living, competing for every parking space and friend's time and best-behaved child..... it makes me sick just thinking about it. All things that, especially in the long run, don't matter one bit. The things that really matter: good solid friendships, stolen moments spent with your family doing simple things, meals cooked from scratch, a job done well and to last... are lost in the 8-lane roadways, double turn lanes and privacy fencing.
I started a job last week. Working almost 40 hours a week, Tuesday through Saturday, at a salon & spa down by the oceanfront. I put the kids in a daycare program. All decisions I made and I still take responsibility for. I think some important people in my life may disagree with those decisions, say I am wasting the most precious time in my children's lives on pursuing a selfish need to work this craft I am licensed for. And in some ways, those people may be right. I am a firm believer, though, that the kids will be happier in the long run because I was a happier person. Staying at home was making me feel stir-crazy and in turn, cranky and short-tempered. Just in one week, I have felt that start to lift and I know my time with my family has been better for it.
But driving down to this wedding this Saturday, passing by those small Mom-and-Pop stores and restaurants, seeing "big"  pieces of land, expanses of grass and trees, smelling a fire burning...... made me feel more fulfilled than any job probably ever could. So, I am stuck once again, faced with the thought that maybe what I needed wasn't to work this craft I am licensed for, but to work so that I can come home to an expanse of grass and trees, a porch, and no streetlights..... I feel like that is a sense of freedom that I am crying inside for my children, these two and those to come, to have every day.
So.... does that mean I need to work a job to stash some money away for that home in the country, so it's a little more within reach a little sooner? Is that my fulfillment, what I was craving that pushed me out of the house and my children into school? (However, let me note that daycare has been fantastic for Rhi and is providing her with an opportunity to expand her social skills and learn a lot. It's definitely been a great thing for her, despite whatever reason it started.)
This job terrifies me in a lot of ways. I am under an immense amount of pressure. But, I have the opportunity to do something I love, yes.

I am still struggling with what is more important, though: working as a hairstylist or working and coming home to that house in the trees, far away from the things I dislike so much about where we are, where the salon is, (things that, in my job, I help people to perpetuate?) right now.

1 comment:

  1. Al,

    I love you and your writing and your family so much.

    I'm going to offer a tiny suggestion and then you can do with it what you will, knowing full well you were not seeking advice or ideas or anything of the sort, but merely thinking and pondering and exploring yourself...

    what if you did what you're doing currently until Jeff is done with what he is doing currently and you both stash away a gob of cash and when he is done doing what he is doing, you two look for that country house and big porch with the swing and the creaky floorboards and charming vast spaces and you being how creative and innovative and wonderful that you a business in the nearest town. Use your craft, something you are wonderful at and have a genuine talent for, make your own hours and build something for you and for your family. I have always admired your ability to make your life exactly what you want of it, to take what you don't want and turn it into something great.