Place in this World

Once, my mother told me that everything in her life had been so easy: she moved from her father’s house into her husband’s house, and she never felt unsatisfied, because she never fought the inertia of her life.

Most people probably react to that statement in the same way I did: You’ve got to be kidding.

It was the summer before I turned twenty-one, and I was a few short months out of a relationship I had expected (unhealthy as it was) to last forever. I was raw, lonely, ungrounded, and all of life felt like a struggle to stay above the current on a river I wasn’t sure was leading anywhere.

Most of us struggle for years, through adolescence and sometimes several versions of adulthood, to find our place in the world. Almost all of us suffer fits of envy and insecurity when friends or family members hit a windfall, reach a milestone, or find success. It’s not that we begrudge them their triumph; it’s just that we question the choices we’ve made, and we wonder if we’re really where we’re supposed to be.

I have those days. And I have the days when all the things I love are also things I feel I need a nice retreat from. And yet, I have to consider myself blessed in that all the things I *am*—wife, mother, musician and writer—are also what I *do*. How many people get to spend their days doing exactly what they would do if money was no object?