I have been a bad teacher this spring break, in that I haven't done that much work. One of the most difficult things about my job sometimes is that the work continues to pile up, but this stretch off I need to attend to the other facets of my personality: myself as a human, myself as a mother, myself as a wife. Do you ever find it difficult to juggle the responsibilities you have? This is one thing I think about as I get older -- how many selves am I? How do people learn to balance all of the different demands that life has for them? I hope that I figure out the answers to these questions someday.
I have never pretended to be perfect: I am as imperfect as they come. But even though I feel that I mess up on a daily basis, I am still deserving of happiness. What "the dream" is has shifted over the course of my life. I wanted to be successful, as in have my writing published and my expenses covered by a benefactor when I was younger. Then my focus shifted to activism, to feminist and womanist thought, to queer politics and riot grrrl, zines and emo rock, then back to hip-hop and consumerism. I was challenged by a college friend to finally realize my dream of becoming a teacher in 2007. That's a fun story, ask me sometime.
I never wanted to get married or have kids. I thought that teaching would be enough fulfillment, that I would have my students, colleagues, family and chosen family to guide me through the ups and downs of life. I was upset that others looked upon my life as "incomplete" if I chose not to marry or bear children. However, life had secrets in store and I am often a passenger in fate's vehicle.
I never wanted to be an adult - do adult things like buy cars or houses. I wanted to travel the world (and still do) with few possessions, learn language and art forms, drums and dances of cultures on peaks and in valleys of remote world-corners. Suddenly, I am thinking of interest rates and retirement funds, saving for a down payment, things I never thought I'd see myself go for. Have I fundamentally changed over time, or have my dreams changed?
Just yesterday I was talking about buying property with a barn, so that we can have livestock and host parties, so that my DJ retirement plan can come to fruition as my husband caters his astounding food in a farm-to-table venue. Where did this dream come from? This is far from my original desire to live in a brownstone in Brooklyn and publish words about the Q train for volumes of best-selling chapbooks.
What happens when the dream shifts? When you're not who you thought you were, or you want something different from what you swore on before? Do your dreams stay the same when you change? Tell me your dreams. Tell me your diamonds.