I don’t think anyone would have ever called me a happy child; nor an unhappy one either. I was serious, ambitious, focused. Although I don’t think anyone could see it, I did, however, long for happiness. I believed that the fulfillment of my big ambitions would end in the ethereal happiness that I thought. I don’t think that I was entirely wrong. I still chase happiness. For me the happiness is in the fulfillment of a goal; I’ve never been particularly enamored of the “journey”.
That said, those big ideas have certainly changed over the years. Some faded away entirely like a pleasant but no longer relevant dream. Some still burn fiercely but now smolder under the surface of adult responsibilities like advocating for my trans daughter’s healthcare and cleaning up the shit of my elderly cat. Some have changed form so much I cannot recognize them; they hang like a giant glowing question mark in front of me and yet even though the outcome is unknown I want to get to the endpoint so badly I founder around desperately trying to figure them out.
Life has been necessarily small the past few years. Small children, small life. With each child I remember feeling that around age three and half something of their babyhood slipped away; irrevocably lost. Of course, with the first two children I was immersed in another baby. But now my Baby, my last, is three and half and I can feel the change in her and in me. I am looking outward again. Dreaming bigger. I feel an almost overwhelming ambitiousness, yet I know not what it is for. But I am hungry. Hungry to move on. Hungry to grow up. Hungry to be somebody; somebody besides the mother of small people.