My son and I were recently having the discussion which I’m sure every parent has with their children once they become adults. And that is what to do with their life once they have reached an age to become independent. I don’t think any child becomes totally independent regardless of their relationship with their parents whether it be financial or spiritual. There is that connection that exists from the moment they are born. Everyone wants to feel secure and loved and parents seem to be the first place one looks to find that bond.
I look at how my life has gone and sometimes question what would have happened if I didn’t meet a certain person or taken a specific job. My career has had it’s ups and downs like I’m sure many have experienced. It has been a cookie cutter collection of many places and adventures. I can’t say it is exactly what I thought it would have been but looking back I could have done a lot worse. Sure, I had my disappointments and as the old adage goes “If I knew then what I know now…” has crossed my mind more than I would have liked. But all in all I have been to incredible places and experienced a lot of once in a lifetime opportunities. And all of that done without ever having a full time job.
Which brings me back to my conversation with my son. Part of me completely understands why he has a bit of the gypsy in him. He is my son, after all and has watched me carry on without ever having a guaranteed job any longer than four or five months. Yet as his mother, knowing that times are different now and the world is not the same as when I was starting out, I want to know that he will choose a career that will make him happy but also safe and secure. And in writing this I realized my mother felt the same way for me when I was trying to find my way. She also told me that times had changed and I would probably have a tougher time.
Which leads me to believe that none of it is easy. Life is not easy. It is challenging and unpredictable and exciting all at the same time. It can knock you on your ass and it can make you sing with joy. And it is how we deal with whatever happens on any given day that keeps us living. I’m always told it’s about the journey because once you get where you think you want to be there’s still more. And more.
So in the end he will have to figure it out his way. I can try to guide and suggest and even blatantly tell him what to do or what is the best way but ultimately it is going to have to be his way. When I’m gone I want to know I have given him the tools in life to make it work no matter what. My sister sent me a quote from Robert Frost about life. “In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” Amen to that.