Monday’s poetry prompt brought me back to this question–specifically, what do I want to be when I grow up? Or maybe I should ask what do I want to do when I grow up? More generally, what do I want? And that leads me to three sets of questions:
What do I want?
What do I want to do?
What can I do now to get me closer?
I’m not good at any of those. I feel like I haven’t figured it out yet–or I have an idea but it isn’t sustainable in the real world (as in, it won’t pay me money for food and rent or health insurance–revisiting The starving artist–fact or myth).
I often think I just want to wake up and read poetry and write poems all day–with a break for eating. (I also want to be able to eat and drink as much of whatever as I want with no repercussions.)
I want to be a better wife and mother and friend (always room for improvement).
I want acceptance and recognition and I want to belong. Very human and pretty boring, right? And not directly under my control.
But what can I control? What I do. So what do I want to do?
Wake up and read poetry and write poems all day. Write kick-ass poems, poems that resonate, poems that leave the reader glad for having read them.
I want to share what I learn with anyone who’s interested.
I want to find more/new ways to get Into the Rumored Spring out into the world.
I want to do good work–work that makes the world better–and what is that?
I want to ask questions, explore answers, and listen to what other people–yes, you–have to say.
I want to fix up the family room (yep, that’s on the list).
I want to speak Italian.
Please note that even with all these wants, I am deeply grateful for what I’ve got. It’s just that I’m 52 years old and I feel like it’s high time or past time for me to start heading in the right direction.
With the exception of the family room and Italian, these are all pretty vague–general statements that don’t provide details. The next step is to dig into those details–with the idea that if I know what I want to do, I have a much better chance of doing it, start to finish.
In my planning a May list of things to do, I need to find things that will help me get closer–and then I need to do them. And I need to ask a lot more questions: What will help me write those kick-ass poems? What’s lacking? What kind of good work do I want to do? What do I need to learn so I can do it? Can I do any of this before I retire?
What do you want? What do you want to do?