I’ve been pondering some ideas, concepts, the past month. They’ve been mulled over/hashed with the designer and Jan (my lovely VT). Then I received an email from a beautiful cousin Monday night that caused more reflection. And I’m ready to share.
My cousin confided in me that after she read my post, Becoming a Mother who knows, last week, she believes she, “did everything wrong.”
Rather, I believe, she has done everything right. She and her husband are currently chasing a dream. They have been chosen to travel to renown art shows/festivals in the Western States. Is there really a wrong and a right way to do our life? I don’t believe there is. This path I am following is different from the path I watched my mother follow. Neither is the right path, but it has been right for each of us.
Our ideals, views, and direction are greatly designed and shaped by our family, friends, religion, culture, occupation, studies. This of course, can be beneficial. Yet, how often do we take that moment to look at our life (just our life, influences aside), ponder goals and dreams, and make sure that our life is running accordingly?
Being a woman is not easy. I remember having the desire to receive a letter in the mail that would tell me what life decision to make and when to make them. Wouldn’t that be nice? When I was 16, I wrote myself a letter that outlined some goals and when I would like to have achieved them. On the envelope I wrote not to open till 2002 (my 25th year). Surprisingly, many of the milestones I thought I would have reached, had either not occurred, or not in the order/time-frame I had envisioned.
So what happened? Part of the problem is that I had expected to have finished studies and been married by a certain time. My path was not exactly what I had imagined as a young woman.
While at BYU, the typical Mormon gal had married or served an lds mission by the time she graduated. This was not the path for me. I tried to follow the typical path, but as the time for decisions came, my heart told me that there was a different plan for me.
I graduated from the Y worked, and prepared for graduate school. I began the Graduate Program in Architecture at UNLV. Continuing to follow my heart, I made other decisions that have shaped my current life. Work took me from the University President’s Office, private tutoring children after school, to the Las Vegas Planning Department, and then working as a project manager (landscape designer) for a design build firm. I was married a week after my second graduation. Children came quickly, and I find myself pursuing my dreams:
I am happy with my path. Yes, it has it’s obstacles. Yet, it is right for me.
My amazing cousin. She is following a dream. Supporting, driving her husband’s creativity. This is a good path.
And now my concern. As part of the influence in many feminine lives, are we aiding the search for their path? Their path? Are we supporting the different paths that they may take, realizing that by following their hearts, they will find their true path, their true north?
What can we do to help? How do we rid our society of the so called, “normal path” for women?
- First, realize that each woman’s plan and path is different.
- Find our path. Make decisions and be happy with those decisions and the path it creates.
- Support the women in our lives. The young in search of their path, and those already on their path, to give them reaffirmation.
- Be happy with our choices, and be happy for the choices of others.
Specifically to my lds sisters, there is soo much more to life after temple marriage. As my wise Missionary Prep teacher, Brother Bott, explained to us, “Your mission is your springboard into the rest of your life!” Similarly, our temple marriage is the beginning of a wonderful, fulfilling journey. Yes, filled with challenges, but nowhere near the end of our journey.
Too often we spend so much time focusing on helping the young women in our lives prepare for a temple marriage, but fail to help them know what to do afterwards (Definitely too much to ponder for this post). And also concerning, are we helping them realize that their pathway to a successful marriage will not happen within a specific time-frame or place. Sad as it is, there is no letter arriving in the mail letting them know when to marry and who to marry, what to study, where to work, how many children to have, and what dreams to choose to follow.
But as we support them in their faith and their dreams,
- they will find their true north,
- continue in their path, happily,
- endure the challenges that will surely come, and
- gain the strength that will be required to accomplish their life mission.
What are your thoughts? How can we help the women in our lives? How have you found your path? What would have helped you to more easily find your true north?