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I wish I was a cat

November 5, 2009

Because then I would have nine lives. Well, nine might be a little much. Really, I think just four would be perfect. Then I could do everything I want to do. It is my last semester in college, and my whole life is ahead of me. It’s time to decide what to do with it. Actually, I’ve already decided, but as I look back on all the classes I’ve taken and all the different things I’ve done, I am finding there is always more I wish I could do. I am shocked that as a freshman, and even into my junior year, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and now there are just so many things I feel I would love. So, if I had four lives, what would each of them be?

In one life I would choose to be a writer. I would write beautiful creative nonfiction essays that would be published and read by many people, I would write poem after poem that allowed me to express my true self. I would write all day in an office with a big picture window overlooking a river and lots of big, tall trees. In this life, I would have all the time in the world to write, and I wouldn’t feel insecure about my writing. I would confidently send my work to publishers and accept rejection slips gracefully. And best of all, in this life, I would publish a memoir of my life that readers would be able to connect with and that would immortalize my name forever.

In another life, a different path, I would be an English literature professor. I would stay in school forever and learn and read and analyze great books that I love. I would read Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy and other Victorian novelists, I would read women’s memoirs, I would read postcolonial literature from India and Africa, I would read Modernist poets and Romantic poets, until at some point I decided on one area to specialize in and then I would write my thesis and do my doctoral work. And then I would teach, and get to talk about the books I love all day long and try to instil that same excitement into the minds of others. And all the while I would get to do research. I would travel the world looking for primary sources in old, dusty libraries and find treasures like original, handwritten letters and journals of the authors I love. I would have new ideas and discoveries and publish them in academic journals and then present my ideas in conferences.

The third life I would choose, closer reality, would be to be a librarian. I would work in a library, maybe a public library in a big city and I would help people. I would answer questions people have, about anything at all in the world. I would show them how to use internet resources, I would help them with their research. And best of all, I would  help them find books. I would know about so many books and so many authors that I would be able to recommend anything to anyone right on the spot. I would spend my days among shelves and shelves of books, helping people to find and enjoy them. I would decide which books my library should purchase and read tons and tons of reviews about all the latest and greatest books. I would also provide access to movies and books on tape and all kinds of electronic and audio-visual medias. Most importantly, in this life I would be helping people.

Lastly, is what I believe to be the greatest life a person can have, and that is to be a mother. In this life I would have children with my husband, and I would stay home with them. I would play with them, read to them and teach them to read, I would watch them grow and learn and inspire their natural creativity and unique and individual personalities. I would teach them the gospel and how to pray and help them build their own testimonies. I would be there for them when they needed me, when they fell down or got hurt or when they just need someone to talk to.

I know that this last choice is the hardest thing anyone can do with their life, but I know it is the one I want to do the most. As I get ready to graduate and I think about all the different paths my life could take, I am so glad I have always made the path of a mother my priority. I am so grateful that I have a husband who I know will support me no matter what I decide to do. He is willing to take the heavier financial strain of providing for our future family on a one-parent income, but he would also be supportive of me if I decided I still wanted to work part-time as a librarian while we have kids. I am so happy to know that no matter what life I have, I will have Michael by my side. And plus, I like to think that maybe I will have the chance to do all the things I wanted to do once I get to Heaven someday. Because there I will have one life, but it will be a life that never ends, so I should have plenty of time!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2009 5:24 pm

    Your lives sound like fun!

  2. JoAnn McLean permalink
    November 8, 2009 10:28 am

    You are such a deep thinker. I am amazed. Yes, number $ is the hardest, but the most rewarding.I’m sure you will be able to do some of all four paths you would like. They just won’t be done all at once. There is a season for all of your choices.

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