What Are You Willing to Struggle for? Fulfillment involves effort, trial-and-error, failure and learning.
On a surface level, and because I cannot think of a better answer, my children. I will struggle through and for my children. Learning that selfless type of sacrificing was the gift of motherhood, however. I was a person before motherhood, and I continue to be one beyond it.
Attempting to answer this right now in a way that is beyond my children, however, is… beyond me. I am deeply in the throes of toddlerhood these days. Much of the time I am mentally worn, exhausted, tired, and overwhelmed. Struggling (beyond the struggle right now that is making it through the weekend sane and in-tact) is a worrying thing for me to consider.
So, to answer the question, I am willing to hold on and struggle to make it to my kids’ bedtime. I am willing to struggle until I get that chance to breath, to sit down, and be me – not mom, not nurse, not chef, no maid – or the million other identities of motherhood. After my kid’s bedtime is the one period during my day in which I can be selfish, listen to my own needs, and do *exactly* it is that I want to do. For that, and for who I can be who I need to be for my children, I will struggle through.
Do I somewhat cringe at the selfish type of person this makes me feel like? Yes. Will that change my answer? Not likely, if I am being honest. Right now, the capacity I have for struggling is limited to that which fosters my own survival. That is not something I can’t be sorry for. In time, I hope, want, and need this answer to evolve. To think beyond me and to the world at large.
What Did Your 8-Year-Old Self Love Doing? Remember the joy of doing things for the fun of it? No rewards, no impressing anyone, just for yourself.
I collected rocks around this time. I loved rocks. I had a rock tumbler, and dutifully I collected prized stones that I hoped would tumble into treasures. I used all of my (paltry) allowance on buying those shiny, colourful rocks at those wooden cart kiosks you’d randomly find in stores in the 90s. I’d hold my rocks, sort them, and keep them in special boxes. Rocks were my *thing* and to this day they are a small pleasure of mine. I sadly let my greater love of rocks die at this age, however, when a friend of my father’s tried to quiz me about what were the types of rocks he had found, stating that I should know it, and I shamefully couldn’t answer. I didn’t feel worthy of loving rocks anymore at that point.
Playing secretary was my second love. My mom, who was my dad’s secretary for his door company, had this giant wooden desk at home full of ledgers and papers and pens and highlighters and those old school printing calculators. I would sit there and pretend the afternoon away. Organizing the bits, pretending to take phone calls, writing down pertinent information, ensuring everything was organized. I loved that sense of order.
Lastly, there was an off and on stint around this age with interior decorating. I got obsessed with organizing my room in certain ways and ensuring everything had a proper place. I decided I wanted to do interior decorating for a hot minute as a result. I didn’t realize at this time that it wasn’t the decoration I was there for (I’ve always been terrible at having a cohesive aesthetic). I was there for creating order, sense, and peace in my environments.
What Makes You Forget to Eat? When are you are so immersed in an activity that time passes without you realizing? Psychologist call this flow.
Housing systems in video games (must have a social element/*fuck* The Sims). I find it in the placing of items, the tweaking for perfect alignment, the striving towards some type of cohesion (even if my sense of aesthetic may suck) – it is gloriously soul nourishing and fun.
Spreadsheets. Sorting data. Learning from this data. Fixing and organizing meta-tags, adding in missing information to systems, and creating a clearly aligned cohesive system. For my brain and it’s OCD’ish needs, but also, for a world of more beautifully aligned spreadsheets and data. :>
Writing. While it’ll never be book quality, making meaning onto pages like these. The purposeful stringing together of (carefully chosen) words to create the metaphor/soliloquy/meaning I was going for, and my personal realizations and becomings in its wake.
Lastly, reading. Fictional fantasy/sci-fi nerdery. Following the lives of strong female leads into other worlds and existences that I could only dream of.
How Are You Going to Save the World? You may not end world hunger, but you can make a difference. Instead of focusing too much on finding yourself, lose yourself in something larger.
This question. I have sat with it, wrestled with it, fought myself against it, left it, returned to it, and struggled with it. I’ve never been able to answer it and for too long I’ve let that *be* my answer. But… the following quote has left me in pause.
“It’s fine to struggle against the constraints of human nature, hoping to mitigate the worst of what’s to come, but it’s just as important to fight smaller, more local battles that you have some realistic hope of winning. Keep doing the right thing for the planet, yes, but also keep trying to save what you love specifically—a community, an institution, a wild place, a species that’s in trouble—and take heart in your small successes. Any good thing you do now is arguably a hedge against the hotter future, but the really meaningful thing is that it’s good today. As long as you have something to love, you have something to hope for.”
- Jonathan Franzen
I’ve got something to love.
So, think globally, yet act locally. And if I follow my heart, it leads to helping fight the fight of protecting BC’s endangered old-growth forests.
Learning how I can *utilize* my skillsets (particularly those in my second and third answers) in this regard to best help, however? That learning journey awaits me.
If You Knew You Were Going to Die One Year from Today, What Would You Do and How Would You Want to be Remembered? How do you really want to spend your time? What do you want your legacy to be?
One year, hey?
I’d want to spend it loving. Loving my children, loving those in my life that matter to me, and loving myself (and possibly as loving trees, too, ‘cause I am me and I am a *little* extra).
I’ve never thought or believed I needed a legacy. It feels presumptuous. Beyond those in my life that are important to me, I do not need to be remembered. I am no trail blazer. There are far greater acts and efforts that came before me and will follow me. Let them have the stage.
But, in those minds of those I care for, I hope to be remembered as a light. As a hope. As a supporter, defender, and lover. As someone who was good at her job, loved what she did, always wanted to learn, and tried to help others. If they also happen to remember me as a (loving) troll, doomsponge, and being far too eager at times than I ought to be, that’s okay, too. :>
Perhaps these are not the highest of ideals to achieve for in what I leave behind for the world… but, they are me. <3