Thursday, September 10, 2009


(pic of me on the Pasados Safe Haven Website)

While watching a preview for "Blind Side" and then the movie"Julie and Julia" the other night, I think I was finally able to put a finger on what had been slowly scratching at the back of my mind and soul the past few months.

Like Julie (in the movie), I've been very slightly anxious about my upcoming 30th birthday. While I believe I've done a good job of following my priorities in life, I'm still left feeling like I've let the ball drop somehow. I guess I expected to have accomplished so much more by now... But what?

Because I'm certainly not complaining. I have a wonderful family, healthy and vibrant children, a secure job, lovely pets, a safe and cheerful home in the woods, and pretty much live the average American life. So what the heck could be missing?

Although I'm sure this may sound absurd, I had some kind of "Eureka!" moment while watching the "Blind Side" preview. Seriously. I almost started bawling at a PREVIEW. And then when our movie started, I felt a little like I was on some kind of mental roller coaster ride headed to some BIG ANSWER I'd been looking for. And then I found it. My "Calling," if you will; the reason I truly believe that God put me on this Earth; the very ball that has been dropped the past few years.

So here it is: I have a NEED to collect strays. Stray people, stray animals, stray ideologies. Ever since I can remember, I've had some pathological need to rescue. It started with birds or mice my cat drug in when I was a little girl. Then it was my sisters, although I don't know what I thought I was rescuing them from. ( they were smaller than me, therefore in need of my services I guess.) Then stray dogs and cats, wildlife, teenage peers who had it rough, and then I became a teacher and coach almost exclusively because it would give me an opportunity to make a difference in the world by reaching out and saving all the rebellious, suffering teens I would encounter. (think of "Dangerous Minds." Very influential to my career choice.) And for a while, I did.

I continually filled my days with animal and people rescue. I might stay up all night to coax a feral kitten into my box, or monitor an ill cow at a sanctuary. Or summon a policeman to brainstorm with me on how to safely extract one of my favorite students from a gang he was desperate to leave without being "beat out," by his peers. I was busy, I was exhausted most of the time, but I was also happy.
And then one of my major life dreams came true. I became a mom. Being a mom answered every maternal yearning I had every had. Here were little humans who needed my attention and care. It was (and is) my responsibility to make sure they felt all the love, confidence, and security that I had to offer them. If I was tired, it was ok. It was because I held a child all night. If I was hectic, or gained weight, or had a messy house... it was all ok. I had a child in my arms who wanted my attention and we all know that the time will pass when my children crave my company to such a degree.

I sank happily into mothering my kids, and lost the need to mother elsewhere. I was fulfilled in my act of fulfilling my babies.

But, as with most true cravings, it has crept back. I believe that, once again, I am ready and needing to "bring in some strays". I'm still every bit the mom my kids need, but a little bit of the old me has been trying to poke its way through my haze of attachment parenting and all-consuming adoration of my children.
I remember what else I love to do. It is perhaps my one true talent and reason for being here at all.

My goal?

As I approach my 30th birthday, (and real, unquestionable adulthood!?) I'll once again go back to my roots and attempt to do what I do best. It isn't every day that you realize your life passion, after all, and I think I'll feel more settled and be a better mom if I let myself do what I was made to do. What better example can I give to my children? There is no better fatigue than that gained by opening your heart, dirtying your hands, and lifting someone who needs it.

To bring this full circle: "Julie and Julia" was about finding your passion and running with it. It was about love, silliness, and the art of tenaciously doing what you were meant to do with joy and giddiness. No Apologies. If you haven't seen it - GO NOW. And bring your menfolk. They'll like it too. (but don't go on an empty stomach... or plan on stopping for cheese and butter on your way home.)

Do what makes you smile from the inside out. It will light you up so that you can shine even brighter for your loved ones at the end of the day.

What is YOUR calling?

And Mom, don't worry - I won't bring any more cats or dogs across the state. I know you're all loaded with my furry finds as it is. :)


Becky said...

This is something that stirs my soul too. It truely is something that I believe I was put on earth here too for. My good blog friend Lacey and I have found that we have this and common and therefore created our very own emblem called T.R.A.S.H (you can see it on my is the kitty cat sticking out of the trash can..Lacey made that!) It stands for Totally Rad Animal Rescuing Hero's. We found that we both had so many stories to share of these little souls that would cross paths with us that needed our help and we did.

I really think someone like you deserves this award and should copy it from my blog and proudly display it on yours:)

And if you come across someone with one of those Trash labels on their blog, you will know you are friends:)

foxy said...

How great that you've found that again! I'm still wondering what my special purpose - er, passion - is... besides crafting, anyway. I keep thinking there's got to be something more that I should be doing.

As you for, there are a TON of needy 'strays' out there. I'm sure they'll be happy to have found you. And I agree, what a better way to teach your kids to love and help those in need but by hands-on experience. That's truly awesome.

Cheers to you today, girl!

Sabina said...

I enjoyed your post so very much - some of it sounds familiar as I currently have a stray momma cat and 6 kittens in my house. Life is about being true to yourself and I believe kindness must follow too. You are leading by example and your family is all the richer for it!! Have a wonderful day ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥!!

Lacey said...

Hooray for T.R.A.S.H.!!! ;-)

I think it's great that you're returning to your roots. It takes a wise woman to realize that there's ALWAYS more out there to accomplish, no matter how much you've accomplished already! And, of course, I couldn't be happier that you love strays! Yaaay, strays!