Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Word

“A promise is a cloud; fulfillment is rain”
-Arabian Proverb

Reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth M. Gilbert for book club has forced me to stop and ponder. Regardless of what I think about the story, I find myself in a similar search. In the memoir, her friend declares that every city—and every person—has a word. Rome’s is “sex,” the Vatican’s “power”; Gilbert declares New York’s to be “achieve,” but only later stumbles upon her own word, antevasin, Sanskrit for “one who lives at the border.”

So what is the word that defines me? Gilbert describes is as the word that you find yourself thinking about as you walk down the street, or in Atlanta—drive down the street.

So my word?? Fulfillment. A feeling of satisfaction at having achieved your desires.

I’m young, newly married, and just setting up myself in the world. So who do I want to be? It’s not about living up to someone else’s dream. But what are my own dreams? And now I spend my every waking moment trying to understand them.

What kind of job do I want to do? I earned a degree in design, and I love having an excuse to be creative. But I hate the business aspect of my current job—the fact that your clients dictate everything. And I hate that I’m just promoting the sale of poor quality, Chinese-made crap. And I hate that I’m constantly waiting on someone to tell me what to do. It’s gotten a little bit better since I’ve managed a couple projects of my own, but in general, that’s the way this company is run.

So now that I’m off my rant… What do I want to do with my career? I want to help children. I want to have a sense of autonomy. I want to be creative. I want to make a difference. I want to see the results of my labor. I want to have lunch dates. I want to live nearby. I want to play it somewhat safe. I want to make enough money so that our family doesn’t live hand-to-mouth. Where does that leave me? What are my choices?

But fulfillment extends past my job. It seeps into my relationship with my husband. It includes my plan to wait to raise children. It affects how I decorate my home. It inspires me to continue my search for a higher being.

So fulfillment is a symphony that I conduct. The journey may last a lifetime. But the path is mine. And the destination is never far from my mind.


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