Pondering Roles.

Changing roles from mommy to photojournalist was harder this time. I wasn't quite as anxious for adventure, for a break from normal. Normal was feeling pretty good actually. But there was definitely the desire to help and the excitement of learning more about what philanthography might mean for my future.

But those knee kisses he gave me at the airport. Oh, I didn't want to leave.

I wrote this in my notebook while flying east: "I think I'm slowly settling into my new role, like something gradually melting into a puddle. My tension releases."

Parenting is fulfilling, yes. But there's something inside me that wants short-term fulfillment -- it's that something that wants to make sure my life is worthwhile. It feels like such an urgent need as I'm setting off on an adventure, but I'll tell you, when my job is done and it's time to come home, being a mom feels like the most important thing I could ever be doing. And so, the conflict within me. Always the search for meaning in life, the desire to do something that matters.

I'm pretty sure everyone deals with this at some point. Life isn't always clear cut and obvious. 

And so there I am flying east across the fifty states, starting to feel so alone, so relieved of responsibility for others, so awakened to feelings inside me that usually don't get the time of day. I write: "I'm afraid of all the emotion and heartbreak...can I do this again? Can my heart handle all the seeing and loving and sharing and then moving on?"

And my seatmates ask -- why are we going to pull teeth? won't that actually cause more harm than good? And as always, helping others seems more complicated than simple.

But we keep trying to help. There's just something inside us that burns. 

And so I hug the knee-kisser goodbye and try to be brave and talk to strangers and get to this faraway land where hopefully I can make some small difference and use this life I've been given. And I pray I'm doing the right thing.
Sunrise in Mabaruma, Guyana