I want to stop wanting things.
Wasn't it the Buddha who said that the freedom from want is what leads to nirvana? Maybe it was Kurt Cobain. Someone said it, at any rate. In an effort to free myself from them, because my wants keep getting in the way of what other people want, a short list:
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I want to not have everyone else's schedule hold my own schedule hostage. Whenever the Diva is sick or there is a childcare issue, it's always my life that gets tossed in the crapper. I suspect that this wouldn't happen if I worked in a big, shiny office tower rather than in my living room. I also suspect that this wouldn't happen if I made more money, which brings me to my next want.
I want to be paid more, dammit. I know that money can't buy happiness or love or satisfaction, but it can buy some respect and validation. When I tell people that I write for a living I want them to be impressed, not immediately assume that its just a hobby, that I sit around and drink tea and compose rhyming couplets about my cats. This is my vocation, not something I toy with when my muse strikes. I've been doing this long enough to know that you have to be your own muse.
I want 24 hours that are my own.
I want other people to realize that I am actually doing something when I am home all day. I am going to punch in the neck the next person who says "oh, you are just so lucky to be able to spend the day with your daughter and work at the same time." Anyone who has tried to do anything with a toddler in the house can attest that forming the simplest of sentences while you are being climbed or poked or talked to or screamed at is impossible. Writing and baby-minding don't go together, at least if you want to do either one well.
I want people to know that I love my daughter more than my own breath, but that sometimes I just want to be me and not just Maddy's mommy.
I want everyone to know how fucking hard this is, this working two full-time, round-the-clock jobs simultaneously. I want someone to put their hand on my shoulder and say
"You must be tired. Let me take some of the load." And I want some help that's actually helpful.
I want to make it clear that I'm running out of hats and rabbits.
I want my wants to be just as important as everybody else's wants. Someone else can be the one who compromises, for a change. And I want the person who compromises to not make a big deal about it, like they are doing me some enormous favor that I can never pay back.
I want to be free from having to squeeze my life into the margins.
I want to not feel guilty for putting my baby in daycare. From her pediatrician to my family-everyone seems to get off on making me feel worse about wanting more than mommyness than I already do. I wish I were content and could live only through her, but I can't. And I know that I shouldn't rely on other people to confirm my self worth. Yet I do, and I feel guilty about that.
I want to not have Cheerios and corn flakes crunching underfoot every time I walk across the living room. It would also be lovely to not have to step around blocks and balls and books.
I want to be a man in my next life and have a wife, a real June Cleaver sort of wife who will take care of me so that I can work. I want to be 30 pounds lighter and beautiful. I want to be a swan.
Still, more than anything, I want to stop wanting things that I can't have right now-and this is the one thing that I want the most, which is just sad on so many levels.
About the Author:
Adrienne Martini has been a theatre technician, apprentice massage therapist,
bookstore bookkeeper and pizza joint waitress. Eventually, someone started paying her for her words and an editorial mercenary was
born. She has written theatre reviews and features for the Austin
Chronicle, blurbs about tofurkey and bottled water for Cooking Light and a piece about
knitting summer camp for Interweave Knits. She is a former editor for Knoxville, Tennessee's
Metro Pulse and recently picked up an AAN award for feature writing. During the day, she fields freelance gigs and crams
knowledge into the heads of college students in Upstate New York. At all hours, she is mom to Maddy, and wife to Scott. Email Adrienne at: firstname.lastname@example.org