Mid-Week Deep Thoughts

Why is it that so many people my age can’t stick to one vocation? Or, they don’t feel a need to take one path, rather, explore many. Is it that we’ve been given so many opportunities that we’ve become oversaturated and overwhelmed, growing up in a world of instant gratification?

I get it. I like to dabble. I have a side hustle. I am a “multipotentialite.” See what I did there? People of our ilk rationalize, start a new movement and create labels for the once indefinable or seemingly inexplicable. I love being able to be a writer, event planner, DJ, photographer, foodie, decorator, mom and yogi. But I can’t help but wonder if it’d be better off to be an expert in one domain rather than pretty good at multiple disciplines?

I work with a lot of Millennials. Although I am on the cusp, I identify more with the Xennial crowd – closer to the Gen Xers. Millennials get a bad rep for being entitled and shirking responsibility. But I consider myself an ardent rule follower, responsible, and feel a sense of duty. Sure that might make me nerdy and unpopular, but it satisfies me. Hard work validates me. And variety excites me. But I worry that my true calling might slip through my fingers because I don’t have the self-discipline to pursue just one passion.

Maybe Sylvia Plath had it right when she wrote of the fig tree anecdote in the Bell Jar, published back in the ‘70s. Was she predicting my lost generation of people so used to immediate satisfaction that they can’t make up their minds – or does history just intend to repeat itself?

Hemingway’s post-World War I lost generation was disoriented and directionless – mine might just be a little overzealous.

 

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Me, trying to be a photographer...

License to Chill

Never in my life would I have thought I’d call having a baby liberating. For the first six months, I felt like a slave to my precious and helpless little infant as the primary source of liquid nourishment. And now that he’s a toddler and eats any food in sight (with only five teeth!) I still lament being stuck at home from 6 PM on – chained to the kitchen sink or the couch out of pure exhaustion from chasing and cleaning up after him.

But I am making motherhood sound so grim. In the past year and a half, I’ve learned so much about myself from becoming a mother. While I have certainly stretched the limits of my capacity to love, my child has also given me the freedom to be silly, relax, let go of the idea that everything needs to be perfect – a license to chill, so to speak.

Every time he grabs my face with his clammy, chubby hands and brings it so close to his that our noses touch, my heart melts. I also squirm a little bit because the way toddlers love to mash food in between their fingers is revolting, and now it’s on my face…but the point is, I can now set that aside and be present for us to bond.

Sometimes he tries to shove his tiny dimpled finger up my nose, or reveals his two gapped buckteeth, like tiny tic-tacs, when he throws his head back and belly laughs. I can’t help but forget about everything else and get wrapped up in his sweet silliness. I play along to his ruckus music making and find myself coming up with the most asinine voices to try and make him laugh while we read – anything to get him to curl up in the triangle of my lap as I sit with him cross-legged on the floor.

I’ll admit, this didn’t just happen overnight, it took time to let go and follow his lead – and to trust myself that I wasn’t going to ruin or scar him by inviting a little bit of disorder into our lives. My mother still continues to remind me, “You know you can just let things be messy for a little while and it’s no big deal.” I holler back, “I know I can, but I just don’t WANT to, mom!” So I force myself to revel in the chaos, find the fun in the disarray and cherish the memories in the mess, even if only for a half and hour at a time.

I’ve learned that the number one rule in raising a kind, compassionate human being is modeling those same values and just using a dash of common sense.

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Greek Isle Adventures

Greece, from the word Gre, meaning friendly people and Ce, meaning of the Aegean Sea. Only kidding, but that was the typical response you’d get from most Greeks when you asked how to say a Greek word or phrase. 

For our honeymoon, we visited Santorini, one of the southern-most Cycladic islands in Greece. Santorini is know for its sunsets, fava beans, tomatoes and white wine, but we also found the friendly people to be a major attraction. Me: “How do you say cheers in Greek?” Waiter: “Yamas! Ya meaning toast and Mas, meaning to our health.” And drink to our health we did. And we ate, oh did we eat. 

The food was incredible. I’ve never tasted a tomato so sweet. Nothing like the mealy, cardboard “vine-ripened” imposters you find in U.S. supermarkets. Santorini used to be a volcano, so the landscape with sparse, craggy and steep. In between the stretches of blue and white dome-roofed, stucco buildings were stout lime green tufts of grape vines that perforated the clear sky. The black sand beaches and clear water varied in a spectrum of royal blue to turquoise depending on its depth.

We hiked, we boated, dodged tourists, and explored every nook and cranny of the island. Ramsey and I always try earnestly to seek out an authentic experience when we travel. It’s not always the easiest way to vacation, but for us, it’s worth it. We met Spirios the Catamaran captain, Yorgos the blue-eyed Bulgarian waiter who didn’t want to be caught with a smile on his face, Yannis the shoe maker of 57-years/guitarist, Cristina the accordion player, Maria and husband of Tzanaki tavern who invited us into the kitchen and shared homemade wine, Kostos the fanny-packin’ bus attendant, and Oikos the errant dog who led us on a grueling hike (we gave him that name). These wonderful people made us feel like part of a big fat Greek family for 10 days.