My secret life.

Tiger and I were just hanging around the other day talking about that piece of ourselves that is out there leading a whole different life.  She is living in Paris, working at the fromage (cheese) factory by day and dancing at the Cabaret by night.  I might be in Paris with her, training as a chocolatier.  Or maybe I’m working in a warehouse studio on cement and welding projects.  Or in  a dusty little bookshop as a bookbinder.  Or as an eco tour guide/biologist at the The College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. 

I don’t think it’s just restricted to mothers to harbor these secret fantasy lives.  I’m pretty certain that Brian’s other life is as a bike shop owner/canoe guide.  But it does seem like there is something about motherhood (and marriage for that matter) that causes us to sacrifice or put on the back burner our own intellectual, emotional, and physical selves.  Sometimes motherhood and marriage gives us the excuse to put these things on the back burner, because how scary is that to really face your desires and really take a chance on them.

I think these mental gyrations started with reading the essay titled Run for Your Life in Marjorie Williams book The Woman at the Washington ZooI’ve also seen the commercials for  Secret Life of a Soccer Mom on Discovery channel, where the mom gets to live out her dream career.   And the thing is even if you love your family, and really have a sense of fulfillment in caring for them (and I really, really do) is it really so selfish to want some alone time or something that belongs entirely to oneself?  I’m just saying.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna Yamaura says:

    Thank goodness I am not the only pebble on the beach with those mental gyrations either. My secret identity??? A jet setting conference translator.

  2. irma wiese says:

    hi jackie,

    I read on angry chicken that you did the ecole chocolate course. I have been thinking of doing that myself. Can you tell me how that worked for you. I’d appreciate any information you can give me.


  3. no, i don’t think it’s selfish to want some alone time, or to spend time doing something you love! i think that maintaining your identity outside of mom/wife is the most important thing you can do for those that you love.

    but that being said, i think i am more selfish than others. i am just not ready to give up my independence and ability to travel, or spend my money freely. and i’m approaching my mid-30’s as a single girl without the prospect of a family at this point! selfish me.

  4. I have always, always loved that little fantasy world. As I age, it is more and more a dream about being comfy someplace with a beautiful view. I’m dreaming of a time when my “to do” list has nothing but pleasurable experiences on it.

    By the way, I’m still contemplating my “four things” tag thingy. I may be taking it too seriously. ; )

  5. Melinda says:

    “…because how scary is that to really face your desires and really take a chance on them…” OUCH!

    yessss, I think I’ll just keep hiding in all that entails of family life/official day job please, thank you, much safer here…(tho’ a lot more laundry & carting everyone about…) with the occasionally random “flickring” with whatever goofy project-o-the-day I have brewing…

    lovely post Jackie, you might actually be one of those gen-u-ine “bloggers” I’ve heard do much about…BTW, as you well know, no profound answers from my court on this topic…

    P.S. I would like to hang with Tiger at the Caberet just once tho’…

  6. Kajsa says:

    I’m working hard on dreaming less and living it more, but I still have to work on my clothing. The woman in my fantasies dresses tastefully in carefully chosen clothes, and always remembers to look herself in the mirror before she goes out… On a meeting.

  7. Melinda says:

    …BTW, your links list is great! Keeps me busy all day long…

  8. Hahahahahaha! I just read your post about my cooking the plastic thing on my roast….and reminding me that I gave you a hard time about missing something on your paper cutting. Touche!

  9. Maybe the answer to our mama dreams is to carve out that little space we dream about each day. Closing the door to my little studio space (half of our computer room) gives me a piece of that dreamy life. I still have all my responsiblities and am very much wedded to the life I am leading with my family, but that small bit of time gives me the freedom to explore. I am not ready to leap into the life of a full-time artist, but each piece I work on gets me a step closer.

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