On Pondering and Planning


I sat staring out the window letting my mind wander beyond the leaves of cottonwood trees. Beyond the cumulus clouds dotting an otherwise deep azure sky. Beyond the moon. Beyond the sun. Beyond the fuzzy boundary of our Milky Way as it expands away from Andromeda and every other galaxy in the universe (or is it multiverse?).

As someone with a mind prone to wandering there is nothing particularly unique about this scenario. It happens most days at some point or other. I wonder to myself if one of the reasons obesity is on the rise is not just the caloric density of ubiquitous sugar, or the sedentary desk-bound lifestyle of the information economy, but if maybe it might partly be a mechanism for carbon storage related to global warming (or is it climate change?). I wonder what the thought life of a toddler is like in their nascent almost, but not quite, verbal world. Do they think in pictures, textures and smells more so than I as a fully verbal adult, whose stream of consciousness could best be likened to a run-on sentence, am apt to do?  Often, lately, I found myself wondering “what if”…

What if I have spent the last 14 years trying to be a different sort of woman than I am meant to be?

What if I have been trying to fit society’s idea of what a woman should look like, instead of God’s idea of what I should look like as a woman whose heart is found in him?

What if I am not meant to be beautiful like a flower, but beautiful like a mountain? Strong. Independent. Rugged. But still beautiful in my own way.

What if I had stayed the course to major in a hard science in college? Would I have past muster? Would I be finishing my residency now? Or working in research science? Or would I have found myself in library school either way?

What kind of person might I have been if things had been different?

I try not to live a life of regrets. I love my life now. I am very blessed to do what I do, live where I live and to have found a community of biological and non-biological brothers and sisters who care fore me. Yet that one itch keeps coming up begging to be scratched. What if I had pursued science? What if I had pursued medical school? What if? What if? What if?

Yet somewhere in the last few months that “what if”? Has started to become “why not”? Why not pursue science now? Why not try for medical school? Why not see if you really can hack it in the hard sciences? Why not give yourself the tools and the opportunity to seek answers for your questions?

It’s a long road ahead of me. I do not know for certain yet where it leads. I know only the very next step in front of me. And I know that in another 14 years I don’t want to find myself asking what would have happened if I had pursued my dreams instead safety, if I had decided it was okay to not be like most women, if I had believed that maybe God made me for something different, something greater, something possibly better than the “good enough”.

I am not throwing out this fabulous life I have now. I am just adding into it. I am, step by step, moving towards a dream I thought was dead. I can see it there in the distance. It’s injured, barely breathing. It may be terminal, a lost cause, but I won’t know for sure until I get closer. The only way to know is to move toward it.A wise friend told me that, “maybe you needed to go through all of that to truly be ready to pursue this now.” And he is right. Maybe I did.

Another moment spent staring out of a window as the trees quiver and bend in the breeze. Bend but do not break. Holding up against the spring gales that rip some of their fledgling leaves away. But which also carry away the pollen that will fertilize an egg and create a seed and a chance for a new tree to grow.


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