Soccer Moms & Rap Gods: The Jobs We Do
Soccer Moms & Rap Gods: The Jobs We Do
My first semester of law school was a specific kind of hell. I had never studied so much and under so much stress in my life. One of my professors told our class during finals preparation week that men and women had two options to pump oneself up prior to testing. For men, he recommended watching Top Gun. For the girls? Flashdance.
No offense to those of you who find inspiration in musicals, but watching a group of girls twirling around sweating is not my idea of motivation. That same week, Eminem’s first movie, 8 Mile opened. A group of friends and I took a night off and went to the theater.
“Lose Yourself” became an instant anthem for my study group. The album also still finds itself on repeat on my iPod about once a week. Nobody blows up truth in your face like a rapper. Yup, he cusses like most sailors wish they could, but I’m all in and our love knows no bounds.
2017 was one of the craziest years of my life. I walked away from a full time law practice after almost 12 years. Previously, I have worked the entire time of being a mother, as being a full time soccer mom had not been an aspiration. But my family needed my time this year and I needed a break.
I needed to walk in the woods, give myself over to being only a wife and mom and struggle with my own truth. Two years of nothing but soul twisting tragedy had left a barren ground for hope to grow. The plan was to give myself 365 days of dreaming, planning and just being all in, every day. No matter how small the task, I wanted to embrace it and be hands on.
It is crazy to think 2017 has passed and here I am.
One Year Later
I could make this post a list of all the things I did this last year, but we never learn from what we did. We learn from the experience of what we did. And I have had some amazing experiences.
This time has been some of the best days of my adulthood. I’ve questioned everything I thought I knew about anything. From food to fashion and especially faith.
The only things I know I still love are few: family, friends who are better than family, Jesus, packing a bag, a precocious, french bulldog and rap music.
Why is my list so small? Because I crave truth and my list has provided more truth than my tiny life will hold. I am also not ready to cram my life back full of things I only feel tepid about. From now on, it is full on passion or it gets thrown out.
Freedom Comes In Movement
I lost some weight, then put some on and finally found freedom from weight & pounds. Where does that freedom come from? Weightlessness lies in movement. You feel lighter no matter how small of a movement you make. My resolve going forward is to move more and the weight will take care of itself. The scale can kiss my chubby ass. My playlist brings more confidence than my waistline will ever be able to quantify.
It is abundantly clear that people will be drawn to your vulnerability but will shut off their own. Humans seem to handle the nudity of bodies better than we can the nakedness of an open soul. You have to choose to get naked inside yourself anyways.
If you give of yourself, you will do so at your own risk & for the betterment of no one else but you and those you love. People can stay & tolerate it or leave. You are better off either way, but the reasons for going or staying have to be authentic.
I have watched our country destroy itself and have walked away from family members, not because our politics didn’t align, but because our hearts no longer do. Walking in the totality of who you are never negates the humanity inside someone else. If you are walking in some self absorbed, elevated view of your race, ethnicity or political leanings, then you are walking in cloud of dog shit.
I have wrestled and determined the following when it comes to a polling booth:
I’m the granddaughter of a democrat, the daughter of a republican & a woman who knows her mind well enough to vote on her own. I do not require or rely on a person, political affiliation or church denomination to do what I believe to be right.
Who My Family Has Is Who They Need
I have learned this last year that my family needs more than I can give. My husband deserves a wife who looks like Jessica Biel & my kids need need a Pinterest worthy mother who can cut out sugar cookies into little soccer balls. But no one can read my daughters face like I do. And my son doesn’t scream “mommy” to anyone but me. And no one can type out my mans heartbeats & 15 years of anything is it’s own kind of magic.
I am all my family has and I can lament that or embrace it fully. My 13year old told me yesterday she needs me to live forever-so I am not doing everything wrong.
People will talk about you only as much as you learn your ear in to listen. There will be ones who swear their love to you, but have no idea how to live it out. And that betrayal will burn like a red hot poker to the heart. Try again, with someone else. For the love of friendship and for the consistent dance of perfecting to be human and learning to belong together, continue to try to belong to one another.
You will discover that only a few can handle your truth but everyone will make up what they don’t know about you. Surround yourself with more of the people you can hear you and still confidently call out your bullshit. They bring life and usually wine. Life and wine are best when mixed together and by good friends.
Finding Your Tribe
Writer and Pastor, Jen Hatmaker did a live video about friendship yesterday and it was great. It is her and her group of girlfriends taking their yearly trip together. If you have a group of friends like Jen, pack a bag. If you don’t, find a soul sister. Start with one and then add until perfection. Only your group will know how to grow, kick people out and claim solidarity with one another.
Finding your tribe may take forever or it may take five minutes. No matter how long it takes, keep looking until you find them. Because you need them and they are currently looking for you.
But if this past year has taught us nothing, it is that we women are a collective force of nature. And we need one another.
I have experienced that truth will look different on you than it does on anyone else. It is funny that way. Truth is beautiful to see on other people but it is a bitch to have to face in the mirror. But deal with whatever is looking back at you until you can say it aloud.
Be unapologetically who you are, not only for your soul’s sake, but for the sake of a world that is consistently defining its worth by the number of Instagram followers.
The Jobs We Choose
A job is what you do, a passion is what you lie awake at night staring at the stars about. There will be time for both, but not at the same time. Jobs can be fun, but passions get you up and keep you there.
A lot of my days, my job is being a soccer mom. There are days that what I do is the whole some of packing snacks & driving carpool. And some days it’s attending a rally, dropping off cookies to a nursing home or counseling a friend whose in her own state of chaotic parental/marital/professional mess. And other days, I’m on the other end of a call, begging for a friend’s help, prayers and loving words. You do not have to wear a cape to save someone’s life.
I declared this past year my pure hatred for soccer and all things kids sports. I really, truly, passionately hate it. I pissed off an entire group of people with the declaration that I was the World’s Worst Soccer Mom a few months ago. I even had a coach text and several parents call me. But I cannot take it back. I love my kids but part of my job is to help them discover that there is so much more to living than chasing a ball.
I told my daughter a few weeks ago that God put her with us for a reason. If she had been with a family that was as ball obsessed as she was, she would never learn how to rest. And rest is how we remember that there are not days allocated to us, only breaths. It is imperative to make them deep.
Several of my favorite rap artists released albums this past year. There were more than a few days of blaring music in my car and crying tears of “oh my God, he just said that! YES!!!”
I suppose Rap Gods have jobs too. Most musicians do. It’s not only to create a sound, but it is to inspire a message. I wrote most of this post on my cell phone, Eminem’s new album, Revival blaring on my headset and walking on the treadmill. Music tells us a story and then it tickles us to create our own. I found out my writing process is a lot of bad words sifting through to find the good ones.
I love the words of this album so much, I had my kids listen to a few of the tracks (don’t fear-I bought the edited version). “Like Home” has gotten Em in trouble because it is nothing but political. It also brings me to tears.
One of my favorite pastors says that everything in life is political, so why do we say “don’t get political” as if it is a negative thing? As a soccer mom of two kids, if you refuse to believe everything is political, sign ups for spring soccer begin in a few weeks. Then we can talk.
I’m really over people asking me if I have chosen a word to focus on for 2018. I realize it can be motivating to some people, but it often feels like one more task to do. And I am still ruminating on all the things the last calendar year brought my way.
However, 2018 proves to be as full of movement and change and creation as the ones before it.
In a few weeks, I will find an office and hang out my own law shingle. I would have told you 364 days ago, I would never hang my degree on a wall again. But law was also a passion of mine not so long ago and I want to see if the passion still flames.
Writing and speaking are still my heartbeat. Hopefully several of my combined words will find publishers this year.But my words come best and fastest before the sun comes up anyway and the time between books being released can be terribly boring. I also will continue to speak and travel and controlling my own schedule is one of the biggest perks of working for yourself.
It took awhile, but I have become in tune to my soul telling me I cannot be trapped. I do not like confined spaces around my body or my soul. Again, it is back to movement. I feel this even more passionately about my business and work.
We human are not trains, built for tracks. Our lives are not one path we start and from which we are never to weave and wander. Instead, I choose to believe we are rivers. At times we rage and at times we are but we are always changing, moving, growing, expanding and then drawing back into ourselves. Again, for me, it’s about more movement, less rigidity.
Rap Songs Can Be Worship Songs
After a year, my kids still find me ridiculous. In the car a few days ago, I started to tear up singing a song and one of them rolled their eyes and said:
“You sing rap songs like worship ones Mom.”
“Oh darling child, it is because some of them are!” was all I could manage.
And if you are listening, the soundtrack to my last year is dominated by rap gods. But if you slow it down and focus on the lyrics-it is also a type of worship.
I guess the last year has left me no longer apologizing for wanting it all. I want to dye my hair crazy and drive my kids to soccer practice. And I also want to put on good shoes and head to the courthouse and speak to groups of people about what life means to us all. And that feels right.
If I am only allowed one life to live, then I want to end it just like my favorite household appliance. At the end of every load of laundry, it plays the longest, almost annoying melody. It lasts for at least twenty seconds and is a chirpy, happy noise. It lovingly sings out that it is finished with its previous job. Nothing braggadocios, just a small way of acknowledging that it was here and its job is done.
So I guess what the previous year has taught me is we all have jobs to do. From rap gods to soccer moms and the range of importance of those works are only in the eye of the beholder and the ones they are serving. You can make all the choices or none of them and you still have a job to do. You can complain or demand praise for what you do it but for me, I want to be like my washing machine.
Here is to more movement for me and for you in the next year.
My 1st Children’s Book Is On Amazon: For Free! Click on the picture to get it.