My friend, Rachael and I were discussing by the poolside while watching the kids swim. I asked her, “What would you do if your kids reached that age when you don’t have to look after them as much?” Rachael said she would write poetry. We recalled what we did before we had kids that were shelved temporarily because time and mommy duties did not permit us. Or is it a case of allowing circumstances not to allow us? I joined open mics and weekend mountain climbs before whereas I couldn’t imagine myself doing those now with a 9 year old and a 6 year old waiting for bedtime stories. In the future, if I could carve up the time, I’d love to participate in the improvisation workshop offered by SPIT after office hours once a week because it might work better than any other therapy I’ve had.
Today, another friend, Justine demonstrated that it is possible to make extraordinary combinations, not merely juggling acts but being in the flow zone of creativity. Justine is a homeschooling mom of two kids (both under 11), runs a business, does freelance work and continues to write poetry, books and takes one Coursera course after another. I peeked into her design projects online and read her poems. Superwoman envy. Wonder woman inspiration.
Claiming Alexandria: Poems About Life
I’ve always wanted to take advantage of MOOCs but never had. I have another friend, Boots who also collects Coursera course certificates not as a display trophies but just like Justine, they’re simply both lovers of learning. I’ve always wanted to write more poems so as a step towards that direction, I grouped the ones I have written since this blog began into a new category, Poetry. Mostly quite bleak but I hope there will be some brighter ones down the road.
Reading Justine’s poems made me think of stretching time like putty in my hand — that if I wanted it enough, I’d make time for whatever it was I wanted.
I had a difficult conversation one night ago about dreams and much as the person supported me in my dreams, he still delivered the blow that its scale (perhaps impact) is small. It’s just going to help a tiny group of people. It’s not like a real business that could be scaled up and reach masses of people. There is a level of truth to what he said. What we’re setting up is probably going to help around twenty to thirty young people, and sixty or more if we get to expand. We’ll be making (barely) enough just to be able to run the model but not much after operational expenses. Making a difference in the life of one person ought to be enough but the person I was talking to made me feel it wasn’t enough. But why should I be affected when it is a non-profit venture from the start?
Because we were also discussing this in the context of other dreams not yet attained and other things too complicated, too conflicting, too muddled in my mind to write about at 1:43 in the morning.
When I wake up I remember this video about an 18 year old girl, Maggie Doyne who realizes she doesn’t know herself and decides to travel. She ends up spending her life savings earned mostly from baby sitting, on buying land in Nepal to build a home for orphans. She placed her own money on the land and raised funds for the building. Watching the video is an encouraging reminder that what I’m doing may look crazy, insane, impractical to some people: I’m not 18 anymore and I have a family to support. Blowing savings on a dream may not seem wise but there is also that risk of not risking that may even be a bigger blow.
The video is also a stark reminder that you can’t do anything alone. You have to galvanize other people who believe in the cause and who share the dream. That’s what I wish the person armed with both belief and doubt, can understand. What’s the use of telling your children “Anything is possible as long as you put your heart and mind into it,” when you don’t live it yourself?
Maggie Doyne: You Can Do Anything