Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Are You Crazy?



This is the response we get from most people when we tell them we're adopting again.  Or that we have a new dog.  (That's right--we have 3 now.)  Or pretty much anything else we do that's a little outside of the box. 

I'm guessing some of you get the same response whenever you set out on a path that deviates from the norm.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If you're anything like me, the best things in your life have been the things you never thought you'd do.  Things you thought were out of reach.  Things that to everyone else seemed crazy. 

But that's the beautiful thing about life.  We each get our own.  We get to decide what we want to experience.  Where we want to go.  What footprints we want to leave behind. 

When I was in college, I decided to major in English.  If you knew me, this wasn't a surprise.  I was the kid who always had her nose buried in a novel.  My favorite Christmas presents were new books.  However, when I decided on my major, I got the same response from almost everyone.  "What are you going to do with that?"  (BTW-twenty years later, that response hasn't changed.  My students still get that.  This makes me Sad.)  I didn't tell them that I wanted to be a writer.  "Coming out" as an English major who didn't plan on teaching high schoolers was hard enough.  

So I kept my nose down and spent several years loving what I studied.  I read Shakespeare.  Whitman.  Austin.  I mingled with other bibliophiles who were crazy enough to pick a "useless" major.  After all, if you can't make money from it, it isn't worth anything, right? 

Wrong. 

I view life as a series of experiences.  Maybe it's all the time I've spent in the hospital, thinking about my own mortality, but I don't want to get to the end of my life and realize I played it safe.  I want to be worn out by life.  I want to wring every last drop from it.  I want to love hard and cry hard.  For me, that means doing something when I'm moved by a child who needs a home.  Even if that child is a little "different."  Even if I already have four kids at home. 

We are all passionate about different things.  For some, it's the environment.  For others it's art.  For others it's poverty or homelessness.  Whatever it is, I believe we need to embrace those pieces of us that seem a little "off" to others.  When we do so, we make the world a better place.  The beautiful thing about it is in the course of doing so, we realize our full potential.  There is great peace in this.

So the next time someone says, "Are you crazy?" when I tell them we're adopting again, I'm going to smile and say, "Yes.  I am." 

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