by Kim Lally
Remember when you were little and all the grownups asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I never knew how to answer that... First, would I know when I was a grown up? I guess I am now, and in casual adult conversation, people often ask, “So, what do you do?” The answer came easily when I had a defined job outside the home, “I trade bonds for Citibank” or “I am a first grade teacher” But, as a stay-at-home mom, I was perplexed by how to answer that. What do I do?
One day I heard myself respond, “Oh, I am just a mom.” WHAT? Did I just say that I was ‘just’ a mom? Isn’t that among the most noble and fulfilling roles ever? I was tasked with raising good humans, loving them unconditionally and feeling their hurts a million times worse than they felt them. Nothing ‘just’ about that.
So about those kids - well they started to grow up. And leave for college. One down. Then the second. Gulp... One more at home and the years are flying by. I was holding on for dear life. Big Gulp.
After a college dropoff, the hives set in. Suddenly I was covered with red itchy patches. Everywhere. I did all sorts of investigative work. I went gluten free. Dairy free. Nightshade free. I gave up wine and cookies and eggs and nuts and coffee. (Note - not chocolate. Let the record show I never give up chocolate).
I joined a nonprofit providing microgrants to women in Africa. I went back to school to take my prerequisites for med school. I volunteered in the hospital. I was desperately seeking a purpose. And relief from the hives.
Then I took a yoga teacher training. And I found something I had been overlooking for a long time. I didn't need a label, a title, any letters after my name. I discovered a passion.
My passion for wellness & health in all things - be it animals or children, bodies or minds - had been there all along. To realize it took some hives, then hospital volunteer work, add in some anatomy classes and then that yoga teacher training. And now, I own a beautiful yoga studio with world class teachers. Each step on the brick road filled my nerdy brain with countless facts about bodies and minds, as well as fulfilled a desire to spread wellness to others.
Many of us yearn for a purpose. To feel fulfilled. To find that magic. But maybe the magic is actually in the journey. For me, as each experience began, other options unfolded. Being open to each new idea meant wandering down many paths. Some not so good. Discovering the passion is the journey. We look under each rock and around each corner. We may never grasp that elusive pot of gold for with each step closer, it is ever evolving.
So now, many years later, I think I have found the answer to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answer: “Living my passion.”
- Kim Lally and her husband Bob are the owners of Nest Yoga | Oakland. Bob manages the finances and is number one handyman. Kim does the rest. They have 3 grown children and two dogs. They make a good team.
by Kim Lally