Tuesday, June 12, 2012

No Limits

My daughter is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. The opportunity to move home with our grand daughter has provided her with a chance to have some time, explore and try a few jobs on for size. 

This morning she was talking over some training/school opportunities with my husband.  Amy loves physical work.  She is not the type to sit at a desk.  It would drive her insane.  Her current job is setting up and tearing down stages before and after concerts.  While working she has met a few people that do the iron work and scaffolding.  She expressed an interest to John about trying to get into an iron worker apprenticeship program.  As an union commercial electrician John did his best to discourage her.  He regularly works with the iron workers.  Knows the state of the economy & how the trades are struggling with lack of work.  He was trying his best to convince her it was a hard life & brutal trade that would break her down physically, making her old before her time.   

I understood he was being protective.  He wants a easier life for her, and she is a woman.  Bless his macho chauvinistic heart, he just cannot imagine her as a iron worker.

That annoys me.  I say all the more power to her! 

Sure, it is a hard, dirty job.  I don't think that should limit her.  She always enjoyed playing in the mud.  A little dirt and hard work never bothered her.  If she makes the choice to pursue that type of job, good for her.   She should be encouraged to do whatever she wants in life.  God only knows society will shoot her down enough.  Her family shouldn't.

This evening I was cruising around on FaceBook and came across a quote my cousin posted.  It spoke to me and reflected exactly what I was trying to explain to John.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them ~ Bruce Lee

We already limit ourselves.  I want my kids to see a world without limits.  Rules and laws, of course, but no limits for themselves and what they can achieve in life.

I have lived my life surrounded by self imposed limits & conformed to the expectations imposed on our generation and sex by society.

Too many times I hear "you should not do that, you should not think that, you should not want that."

Who says I shouldn't? 

Before: Living life to please others and conform to what I believed they wanted. For example:

  • I ignored my heart when I chose medicine over art. (self imposed financial expectation - nursing paid better than art)
  • I married the wrong person because I felt like no one else would want me. (self imposed limitation of self esteem)
  • I sought to please another person when I took a job in accounting, where every day I felt trapped in a cubical, slowly eating away my soul. (expectation of earning power)

Today:  Living to be happy & blessed by the support that surrounds me

  • I spent my entire day on a tractor, my butt hurts but my mind is happy.  I am content to look back and see exactly what I accomplished.  
  • Having my arms shoved elbow high in a sheep during lambing, being covered with alfalfa or other unmentionable has made me happier than any damn spreadsheet or P&L statement.   
  • Caring for our flock has given me an awesome tangible sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, through nurturing and seeing the fruits of my labor reflected in the health & contentedness of the animals. 
  • I accepted a job that pays me 1/3 less than what I made in an hour at my previous job.  I am blessed to have a husband who supports me and my choices. Who cares if I have a high powered position that makes oodles of $$ when that is not my priority in life?  Who am I trying to impress? 
  • Each and every time I accept a photography client I am doing something I love, an expression of my art & passion.  
  • I have the best of three worlds.  Farming sheep, training dogs & photography. 

Hopefully one day I can make enough money to make a serious contribution to our finances.  But for right now I am not going to let limits, expectations or self imposed rules tell me what choices to make.

What price is happiness?

My wallet may be bare, but my heart is full.  

 I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.
~ Louisa May Alcott


Ann said...

I love that last quote!!! Good one!

Anonymous said...

I have two kids in their early 20's and in counseling they about careers you might as well do what you like as there are no careers that are "safe". So, my daughter is going to school to be a graphic design artist and my son is an apprentice lineman. Both are happy and like what they are doing.

At least with a trade you don't start out in the huge debt!

Anonymous said...

I was an iron worker for about 5 years, it is brutal work and if I had a son I would try to talk him out of it.

I do like the trade route, how about electrician?

Versailles Rose said...

I would also suggest stagehand apprenticeships. Union stagehands are very well paid, and VERY well loved by the musicians, actors, etc they serve.