As children we are told we can be anything we set our minds to. As American children we are explained that this is CEO, doctor, lawyer or just plain wealthy. We grew up in the twentieth century or the twenty-first thinking this is owed to us. TV gives us images of the “rich and famous” living outrageous lives; making our lives seem small. Slowly we develop a longing. A longing for a life we imagine should be ours, a bigger life. It’s a life we really know nothing about. The images on TV only give us the highlight reel, not the whole picture. Still we long for something we don’t have and we start to ignore all that we do.
My confession is that I have never known what I wanted to be when I grew up. Not a doctor, not a lawyer, not a CEO…nothing. I couldn’t see any future plans for myself. I didn’t even want to be wealthy. I could create fake plans to pacify family and friends, and I say pacify only because people are truly disturbed if you don’t have a future mapped out. It’s like you are broken. I have always been someone who let life carry her along. Don’t misunderstand, I have interests. I have been a goldsmith, massage therapist, yoga teacher, cake decorator, hairstylist, mother, wife and daughter. None of these have given me a TV lifestyle, none have made me wealthy.
My other confession is that sometimes I long for a bigger life. I long to be that famous yoga teacher, whom others look to as a guru or a wealthy entrepreneur making millions on a good idea. These thoughts give me feelings of self-doubt and failure. These thoughts make me feel like I have wasted a good life. Maybe you have these thoughts too?
My third confession is that I live in my hometown, not five miles from my parents, grandmother and sister. My children attend the same schools I did and my folks did. I am a stay-at-home mom and a part-time yoga teacher. I have only a handful of close friends and I love my husband. All these things would seem small and trite to those people on TV.
And now my last confession, yoga has changed my life. Yoga has taught me that life isn’t about big or small but rather rich or barren. My life is rich. When my grandma needs help with something, I drive across town. I listen to her stories of when she was a child (she is 96 so there are a lot of stories). When my mom and sister want to go shopping and have lunch, I go. We drink wine and laugh. They are two of my best friends, we have a great time. My nieces come over when they need their hair and makeup done for a school dance. When they were little they would come over to dye Easter eggs or carve pumpkins. I bake and decorate cakes for the special occasions of my special friends. My dad brings donuts for my youngest son some mornings (donuts are forbidden but you know grandfathers). My yoga classes are small by some standards but I know everyone’s name, I know their heartaches and their triumphs and they know mine. I love to have them walk out of class feeling ready for their day. I love that they share a moment of their life with me.
written by Lisa Evans …goldsmith, massage therapist, yoga teacher, cake decorator, hairstylist, mother, wife and daughter