Monday, July 17, 2006

Slipping Through The Cracks

I'm in a perpetual state of wondering what I'm going to do with my life. After graduating college I had a major freak-out which was quelled by a marriage proposal and a job in the PR industry. Once I figured out that an office job was never going to make me happy I suffered through a bout of the "what-nows" which lead me to play the young-and-care/debt-free card. I waitressed (for about two weeks), worked at Library Limited and then started temping so Paul and I could go on our many travels. Through all that time I knew the other shoe would drop. I would have to find something with a little more meaning and direction, not to mention pay, not just because that it what you do as you get older, but for my own sense of fulfillment and purpose.

Enter Phoebe...and 17 months later Moses...and 18 months later Oliver. I've had a pretty clear vision of what my job is--and enjoyed it thoroughly (most days) for the past seven years.

This fall I'll have two kids in school full-time and one in preschool two days a week.

I feel a major freak-out coming on.

I've been trying to think of be-my-own-boss scenarios that would allow me the flexibilty I'll still want (7:00-8:30 am and 3:15-6:00 pm are still important times). I came up with the very part time...I'll call it a supplemental income...idea of hosting day camps...maybe through the YWCA. I could do it during the summer. I could do it over school breaks so that kids have something to do for a couple hours in the morning over Christmas & Spring break. I have a name for it...are you ready? Crafter School Special. I'm so proud of that! We could reconstruct t-shirts and stencil and do all kinds of hip-crafts. I love that stuff. I love teaching. It just might work.

I was talking all this over with my mother on a recent visit and her first response was, "Crafts? You should do a dance camp." And I looked at her with confusion for probably three seconds before it clicked. The thought that ran through my mind was this: I FORGOT I CAN DANCE.

How in the world is that possible? I forgot I can dance? I never really took dance lessons growing up--maybe a year of ballet and tap--but I pretty much danced constantly. For three years of highschool I was in the swing choir (an hour of school devoted to dancing, singing & performing) and on the pom-pon squad (go pommies!). I did a lot of choreography and teaching with both those groups--not to mention the high school musicals (not High School Musical--nothing so hip as that--just high school musicals, generic and lowercase). I taught umpteen dance classes at camp, which included choreography and teaching dozens of girls at a time between the ages of seven and 14 routines to the latest Christian Pop hits (It's a big, big house with lots and lots of room). Even after Paul and I were married I got paid to choreograph for the Kirkwood Swing Choir. When we moved to Idaho I did all the choreography and ran the dance rehersals for the Alleluia Children's Theater. All theese things I loved doing. I always found dancing and choreography especially to be an exciting creative outlet. When we first moved to Nebraska I thought about starting a Christian children's theater because the my experience in Idaho was so fantastic.

Then I apparently forgot.

It totally slipped my mind...floated off into the past as if it never was.

Maybe songwriting has taken over all my creative thinking. Maybe playing guitar has crowded all other artforms involving music out of my brain. It would be far more tragic if I didn't have any creative outlet....if I was sitting around doing subtraction all day (I know, I know...I saw A Beautiful Mind...and I learned the valuable lesson that math can be a creative and innovative as any artform...but still...yuck). But it seems really sad to me, not just that I've basically given up on something that was a huge part of my life and that I enjoyed so much....but that I didn't even NOTICE. I didn't even see it was gone or MISS IT.

It begs the question then, that if I don't miss it and didn't notice, does it matter? But it must, right? To let a thing like that dissappear from my life? I don't necessarily need to jumpstart my old passions, but it seems important to acknowledge them, give them a place in my memory.

I wonder what else has slipped through the cracks. What else can I do? What else did I love? WHO else have I forgotten?

I'll turn the question to you: what are your forgotten passions? what have you forgotten you can do?

I'm going to the beach Ha HA! I probably won't be able to post. But I do have a substitute blogger. Tune in and see.


Hope said...

What a great post. I love the topic, I love the free form, pseudo-stream of consciousness, all of it. Bravo. What have I forgotten to do? Well not now, but I´ve gone months and years without hardly singing. I´m not great at it, but I can do it and yes, it does fall through the cracks. I wish I were talented like you so go..for us both, sew creativity and I´ll cheer you on from the sidelines. Great post.

*** REBELDE - Nosso Amor *** said...

olá, muito legal seu site, muito bom mesmo. Parabéns!!!

Anonymous said...

Howdy Emily,

I got your blog address from Jill formerly Dunkerley now Hegdal, who is a pastor down the road from me here in South East MIchigan (the SEMI synod). So, I've been enjoying the reads that you're putting out and got caught by today's post (or rather, the most recent one). I suppose I should probably fill you in about the gruesome details of my life (HaHAHHA). But, for now, this will have to suffice. I have forgotten to write. I finally learned to do it well after Valpo and I haven't really kept it in the front of my brain (for maybe obvious reasons, like life happened when I was making other plans). Specifically, writing about some of the interesting (to me, anyway) stuff that has happened along the way, like pondering the meaning of "How You've Grown," which the Ten Thousand Maniacs sang on Our Time in Eden, which I didn't even know how to say out loud until you asked the question a looooooong time ago in a galaxy far far away... Anyway, I guess that's my entree... I have forgotten to ponder and write about some of the questions that are worth pondering.

You bet I know ya,
Carey M.

emdunbar said...

jiminy christmas, it's carey mack! with a 10,000 Maniacs reference and everything! i asked you about a maniacs song? back in the day?

how lovely to hear from you. i hope you are well. go write something.