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 Zoo. I’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.