Friday, August 14, 2009

Dreams, Rivers and Legacies

I have so much on my mind tonight that's hard for me to think I'll even begin to touch on everything. I've been kicking around blog posts in my head all week, and I haven't had time to write a single thing since I'm writing a huge brief for work and by the time I'm done with that every day (and um, night), I just don't have it in me to blog.

This week was my three year anniversary at my job. My boss told me about a year ago, when I was juggling a few different offers on the table and uncertain about any of them, that "it takes three years to build a legacy." I kind of laughed, and told him that I was sure he'd tell me in three years that no, it actually takes five years to establish a legacy so that I'd stick around and keep helping him out ;)

But his words struck me on Thursday night as I mingled around a reception before a mini-conference/dinner was being held at our local university. I had come straight from work, my contacts were killing me and I was sucking down my cold beer (in a lovely, fancy glass of course) as if it were nectar from the heavens since I was in a suit and we were outside in the sun. I felt frazzled and a mess, and figured that no one was going to approach this crazy person.

But they did -I found I knew several of the names and faces there, not necessarily putting them together, but as people sought me out to tell me they'd read some of my work, or to ask my opinion on certain things, I heard those words whisper in my ear. I built a legacy at this this field, more accurately. It occured to me that I can't ever be sad or regret this move, or not taking these other offers (knowing what I know now about both, I'm glad I didn't take them). Because 3 years is something to be proud of...and I need to remember it.

On that same note...when you accommplish a goal, you set a new one, and it's time to think about what's next.

And speaking of that. Somehow today, on the way home from work, my radio stumbled upon that old Garth Brooks song about how your dream is like a river and how you must follow it like a vessel, til the river runs dry. You know the a bird upon the wind, these waters are my sky? Never reaching destinations until you try? (I haven't been drinking, I promise.)

Well. I would surely love to chase my dreams like a vessel and "follow where it goes" and soar along great heights until I reach my heart's true desire. And it all makes for a great song, and a lovely cliche. If only it were that easy.

But life is messy, and very real things get in the way of our best-laid plans. A sick grandparent can change everything. A tanked economy, a love interest, a career, anything at all can do this. All of a isn't just about you and your dream vessel, sailing along the river.

Maybe I sound awfully bitter. And maybe I am, a little bit.

Because the freedom I felt several years ago just out of college just isn't the same anymore, as my need to settle becomes more and more obvious in my heart. Going back to DC, living in a shoebox apartment that I pay $1500/month for just makes me...tired.

I want a house, I want a yard. I read all these blogs by mothers all day, and I watch my friends raise thier children, my sisters raise thier children, see cute kid pictures be thrown up on Facebook...and, all I hear: tick tock.

But, I want my career to move up, too, and I want to meet more people, be young while I can--that all is synonomous with a move at this point, or so it seems. I can't skip the chapters in my book to get to the end. It just doesn't work that way.

It is a consistent struggle I have, and one I hope to find peace and resolution on very soon. But in the meantime, I wait, and cast out lines and hope to get a bite.

Til the river runs dry.


Ms. Moon said...

You've done a lot to be proud of. You've accomplished things I never will. Be proud of that. Remind yourself of that.

Maggie May said...

Hard work is something to be inordinately proud of.

May said...

Three is the magic number! This post was just so satisfying. I love a job well done, a sense of accomplishment. I love that you can acknowledge where you've been and feel your present and look toward the future, all at the same time.