I recently got in touch again with a friend from college. She just got married last year. Since she graduated, she's gone to graduate school at a prestigious university, worked for famous corporations, and travelled all over the world (if you're reading this, Diana, I love you anyway). Jealous a little? Um, yeah.
I told Mark about how finding out about her life stirred up all the why-don't-I-have-a-cool-life longings inside of me. "Why don't we ever do anything fun or ambitious?" I said. Now, now, you might think, surely you occasionally do something just a teensy weensy bit amusing. No, we don't. We sit at home and place bets on which one of us will fall asleep before 9:00 first.
Mark, being the practical one in the family (meaning he sees the obvious while I'm still in dreamyland), said, "Does your friend have any children?" Silly man! Thinks that kids change everything!
But, being me (and the kids having an exceptionally whiny, obnoxious day), I have to look into every possible career and academic alternative to staying at home. I get on the internet as soon as I can and find out about GREs and employment applications. If I wanted to, I could do anything!
Then reality (which is conveniently forgotten in the ambitious wannabe rush) catches up with my dreams. Going to school or work would mean finding child care for two mama's boys. I don't have the money or the heart for that. And work is just that...work. It's hard and stuff. Then, today, the baby was sick and I thought about how glad I was that I don't have to call in to work to take care of him. And that I can write from home, but we're not so broke that I have to write from home.
My life is pretty good right now. But every so often, I have to explore all my options to make sure.