Building My Life According To Someone Else

True, it has been handed down from generation to generation that women ought to shape their hopes and dreams around finding the ‘right one’. We hear over and over again, “Oh you’ll know the person who you are meant to be with. It just happens without you even knowing it.” Just keep waiting.

My second book, Everything That’s Been Waiting, covers all of the ways women, sometimes men, wait for someone to build their dreams on. Where does this come from? How long does this inner dream, even life imagined, develop?

It’s around the age of three or four that little ones are read fairy tales and nursery rhymes. These stories, most of them, have been handed down through the ages for children to entice their imaginations and foster the ability to come up with stories of their own. And, that we do.

None of this is bad; in fact these types of stories have been handed down for generations. We found them, heard them and made them our own.

Wouldn’t it make sense then that we build our lives according to the way things are ‘suppose’ to be? I mean, some of us got married, had children, stayed home with our children (of course the best mothers did) and then everything would be okay. We thought that was the way it was supposed to be, what we were supposed to do.

What happened when these lives that were dedicated to family, husband and children left us worthless to others? Others that had competed in the workforce and kept up with the husbands.

I recently gave a talk at a meeting of Association of American Women in Europe, Paris. Most of these women had come over to Paris because of their husband’s job. One woman said she had left the US for love. She was still on the high of it.

The others had been left to fend for themselves and their children while the husbands went to work, not skipping a beat. They did it because of supporting their husbands and keeping the family together. The problem is not about supporting the husband and family, it isn’t about being a victim or circumstances, it is about depleting ourselves into someone else without noticing how little of you is really left.

What is lacking, what is needed is support for each person to remain grounded wherever in the world they are. In order to do that one must have a system of support of like-minded people who are willing to give and receive this support. With the society so mobile in the US and around the world wouldn’t it make sense to start this conversation? It isn’t against anyone as far as husbands, children or wives. We focus on non-isolation. What would it be like to have lives of our own yet be married with children?

The culprit here is anxiety. ‘What if’ fears come in to haunt us? Fear keeps us stuck, alone and listening to our own minds come up with any way to not get the help and support we need and deserve. So ‘Everything That’s Been Waiting’ focuses on these very issues. No longer waiting for things to get better, or the right time to change things, we begin to take action to change within ourselves. We cannot do it alone. Any change within a person takes courage and action.

Let’s begin the conversation about positive changes that are not against anyone or anything. Let’s be accountable and responsible about what coping behaviors we have that don’t work any longer.

No one else has to or can do it for us. We make our own decision to no longer wait.

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© 2016 by Debra Whittam. All Rights Reserved