The sand is light brown, the vastness of it daunting. As I walk on it, the grittiness of the crunch in between my toes surprises me. It is as if I am walking on sugar, as soon as I take a step forward, my footing slips and I attempt to regain my composure. One quick move and I slip, lose my balance, just as my palms try to cushion my fall. I sink into the sand, but without thinking, I breathe deep, and will myself to get back on my feet.
There are times when we all sink. Lately for me, I don’t completely understand my purpose outside of being a wife and a mother. Part of my ambivalence and the reason for my struggle is that I didn’t expect to be where I am today. In my twenties, I remember an encounter with a thirty something lawyer, who had three kids. Of course this conversation gravitated toward where she worked and what type of law she practiced. To my surprise, she said, she stopped practicing law because she felt like she needed to be a stay-at-home mother. At the time, I was appalled, thinking about how she could give up her law practice and how those hard years at law school were lost.
This is a conversation that almost ten years later happened to me. The conversation was a little unexpected and it did sting some because it forced me to confront my own purpose. My own mother asked me if I was going to return to the legal practice and didn’t I feel like I had wasted my education. My stomach sank, knowing that I spent so many years attaining my law degree and practicing law and for the last four years, I’ve divorced myself from this role. I told my mom that I am writing and that I am working on my novel. The last few months, though, I’ve had writers block and haven’t really worked on it. So in one sense, I felt like I was giving my mom a line just to defend my decision to leave the law.
I feel that sink, the plunge of the stomach, wondering what I am meant to do in this life. The substance of the conversation with my mom hasn’t escaped me because it made me reflect on my own purpose. What am I doing? Where am I going? Is writing my true purpose? Should I go back to the law? I don’t have answers to these questions right now.
I know that the sand I am stepping in isn’t quicksand. There is a chance to regain my footing. To take a step. It is just a matter of finding a way out of the sink.
How often do you think about your purpose? How do reconcile where you thought you were going to be and where you actually are? Do you feeling some days that your are sinking? What are ways that you get yourself out of the sink?