I took a very rare indulgence in turning on The Today Show for a minute this morning, and I watched a segment on the Super Mom of our generation and why she's depressed. It got me to thinking...
When I got married, I knew what I wanted. I wanted that 50's housewife life where I stayed home to keep house, cook dinner, and care for a load of children. I loved the idea of being that woman. I could relate to that woman.
What I didn't realize until a few years later was that homemakers in the 50's were mostly depressed; popping pills, sticking their heads in the oven, and mixing bleach with ammonia in the bathroom. I could also relate to that woman.
A few years after that, it occurred to me that that woman wasn't permitted to have any sort of true passion or self. She was expected to be extatic about keeping the household in order. That was it. Organizing the Mister's suits and keeping track of his golf bag; making sure little Jimmy made it to his ball game; teaching Suzie to sew and cook and be just as perfectly pretend happy as her mother. After a while, it probably occurred to her, too. This is it? This is my life? What about me?
While I loved being at home with the house and I did enjoy cooking, it just wasn't enough. It was more like I was doing all those things to keep busy. To keep from really feeling anything. To keep from thinking about how I was essentially doing nothing.
What that woman needed was a passion. I found mine in writing. It didn't matter if I was good at it. I just loved funneling thoughts through a pen. It made me feel free. It made my heart speed up, almost like I was doing something completely frivolous just for myself.
So that's it, I think. We get caught up in what other people expect of us, what they think we should be doing, the socially acceptable version of importance. We don't put enough stock in what we need for ourselves.
It's not frivolous at all. It might be the difference between putting a roast in the oven, or sticking your head in.
What's your passion? When did you find it?
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