(My mother always spent lots of time in the car–once we got out 🙂 As a mother myself, I’ve taken this practice to new levels.)
In these getting re-aquainted with myself years that follow early parenting, I conduct long interviews in the car. Here’s how it goes~
I hear something interesting on the radio–an expose on a current issue or a song that stirs a sleeping memory, and I turn down the volume, and respond, as if being interviewed.
Usually the interview is personal–about past loves or past careers, other times it addresses topics like parenting or artistry or life in Vermont.
Often the interviews continue past the time it takes to get where I’m going, so I sit there, in the car, and continue talking (to myself) until I’m finished–or I pick up where I left off once I’m back.
That I am willing to admit this odd and self-engaging habit to someone other than my spouse is a sign of my coming of age–in three years I’ll be 50.
Ever since I stumbled upon an article entitled, The Fuck You Fifties, I couldn’t wait–and I was only 40 then–just beginning to discover what it is that made me tick…before becoming an adult, a wife, a mother.
When I look back, some of first demonstrable passions of mine were–people, music and learning. As a young girl, I organized the neighborhood into a club that picked up litter, went to the movies, and put on variety shows. In Sunday School, I memorized the most bible verses, sang in the children’s choir, and shared my thoughts with any one who cared to be enlightened by them–or argue them.
I was in sixth grade, when I stumbled upon my first career inclination, seemingly outside the aforementioned passions:
I was so captivated by the work of the Leaky’s and with what archaeology could tell us about people of the past that I arranged to buy my social studies textbook at the end of the year rather than part with it. I can still feel its cool, crisp pages under my fingers and the rich photographic color of cocao beans at a farm in faraway place called Central America.
Though I never did become an anthropologist or an archaeologist, I did teach sixth-grade social studies, and I still like chocolate and pictures of cocao beans.
This was the topic of my most recent “car interview.” Given my lifelong study of living and my documentation of this study through journaling, writing and now blogging, I wondered: Could I find a way to claim myself as an anthropologist after all?
The interview ended with the posing of this question, and picked up, here, in bed, where I am nursing a viscous cold (another rich place of self-discovery for mothers.)
I’ve searched Wikipedia to discover just how many different fields of anthropology there are, and the closest fit I can find is “cultural anthropologist” but that wasn’t quite right–which is unacceptable when one is approaching 50. So I’ve decided to create my own sub-study in the field.
Which will be determined at a future interview…
Kelly Salasin, September 2010