Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Free to Be... ME

There's a land that I see where the children are free
And I say it ain't far to this land from where we are
Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free
Come with me, take my hand, and we'll live...

Julie's Hump Day Hmmmm... for today asks us to write about
"Where I'd like to go next." This can be your personal goal, professional goal, cultural or societal goal, political goal...you get the picture. Just tell us something about how you'd like the future to be.

I leaned back in my office chair to think about this; to think about where I want to go, what kind of world I'd like, what I'd like the future to be, and this song jumped into my head.

I didn't know that Free to Be was a movie until I was in college. It was highly disappointing to me, as it wasn't nearly as fun as I envisioned it in my head. When I was a kid we listened to the Free to Be... You and Me soundtrack all the time. I knew all the lyrics, and could even recite all the stories. Marlo Thomas and Carol Channing and Alan Alda convinced me that I could grow up to be whatever I wanted to be. That girls could do anything. That being nice was important. That there was a world where I would be Free to Be ME.

I dreamed of a world where boys could play with dolls and women could marry whom they chose. A world where I would be glad to have a friend like you to make forts out of sofa cushions and ice cream out of snow. A world where I didn't have to buy into stereotypes and commercialism and the false image of a merry homemaker. I could have any job I wanted. My husband would help to change the diapers. Snotty little girls would be eaten by tigers.

Although there are still certainly barriers to break past and glass ceilings to bust through, a lot of those dreams have come true for me, at least here, in this part of the world that I inhabit. Well, not the snotty girls being eaten by tigers part, but as The May Queen ALWAYS insists on being first this is probably a good thing in the long run.

But ultimately, I guess that is what I long for. The chance to really be me... fully realized. In my over enthusiastic, geeky, song in my heart, but now let's have a deep conversation, and then can we please drink some wine and dance on the couch kind of way. A time and place where I know what my gifts are and how to use them. A world where I can work on plays with other crazily committed people, worship in a church with people who are on fire, and cuddle in front of a fire with my nearest and dearest. Where all the parts of my soul are fed, and never at the expense of anyone else. Where I never feel awkward or "too much" or "not enough." I long for a future, for a NOW, where I don't worry about what others think, where I have the time and space and energy and resources so that I can be the best ME there is: full of patience and imagination, short on distrust and anger, aglow with life.

I see a land bright and clear, and the time's comin' near
When we'll live in this land, you and me, hand in hand
Take my hand, come along, lend your voice to my song
Come along, take my hand, sing a song

To a land where the river runs free
To a land through the green country
To a land to a shining sea
To a land where the horses run free
To a land where the children are free
And you and me are free to be
And you and me are free to be
And you and me are free to be... you and me


Family Adventure said...

Lovely post - and I can relate to everything you say here.

- Heidi :)

Suz said...

I've been thinking about this topic myself and I love your answer.

WorksForMom said...

Wow, what a thought provoking topic (especially so early to ponder this morning). I love your response as well!

nomotherearth said...

Hey, I WAS that snotty girl when I did the show!

Still just trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Please tell me I'll work it out soon..?

Anonymous said...

That's beautiful. I hope your journey brings you to that future.

Kathryn said...


niobe said...

I loved those songs. Especially these lyrics, which, for some reason I found hilarious:

Jennifer Joy helped make a toy
And Zachary Zugg helped break it

And some kind of help is the kind of help
that helping's all about

And some kind of help is the kind of help we all can do without

Jennifer said...


A time and place where I know what my gifts are and how to use them.


PunditMom said...

Great post. It sounds like you've taken the first step.

Rimarama said...

What a beautiful post! I especially love this part, "Where all the parts of my soul are fed, and never at the expense of anyone else."

Julie Pippert said...

Amen and BRAVO!

It seems from over here that you have a pretty good handle on it, but I know things are always more.

The part about no worries of too much or not enough? Send that wisdom here when you finish it, okay?

Using My Words

Emily R said...

William wants a doll, William wants a doll.

I couldn't resist. I wonder, did William breastfeed his doll the way Zachary breastfed his panda bear?

Luisa Perkins said...


soccer mom in denial said...

My brother and I recorded the boy baby, girl baby piece into a tape recorder. My mother still has the cassette of us busting up as he says "You're bald. Bald like a ping pong ball."

I just LOVE Free to Be You and Me. My kids? Not so much.

Catherine said...

Today's topic is such a good one...I wonder if I have time to write up one...

Great post!

Candygirlflies said...

Fantastic, PM, fantastic as always.

I grew up with this music, too-- and now, my kids love it.

Have you seen the "Free to be... A Family" book, and Marlo Thomas' new-ish cd, "Thanks and Giving"?
Also superb. My favourite song from "Thanks and Giving" is called "It's The Little Stuff". Makes me weep every. single. time. I hear it...

xo CGF

Aliki2006 said...

This is such a beautiful post--the sentiment expressed, the words you chose--I loved it.

thailandchani said...

Very interesting! While I have some philosophical quibbles, I enjoyed your post completely. It is always interesting to read what people have to say about these things. :)

Victoria said...

Such wonderfully expressed thoughts, PM! Thanks for making me "think" tonight! =)

jen said...

i really enjoyed this - the passion, the whimsy, the love, the hope.

lovely, sister.

Christine said...

this was perfect. and any time you want to jump on the couch and drink wine i'm your gal.

zellmer said...

This post made me really happy. I must go out and get the Free to Be You and Me soundtrack immediately.

And this..."full of patience and imagination, short on distrust and anger, aglow with life." That's what I want, too.

Great post.

Tracey said...

Good post!

crazymumma said...

Do you feel you are close?

Just Seeking said...

This so made me cry! I absolutely loved that CD and movie as a kid and bought the CD for mine. It conjures up soooo much emotion. And what you said in your last paragraph---"But ultimately, I guess..." is so meaningful, such a tearjerker, oh my stars!
I will be back to read you. Between you and Mary Alice and Jen M, oh man, I am so inspired to be a better me. Thank you!
Thanks for stopping by my humble blog!