Clarity Unlocks Understanding

In response to my introductory Bend Don't Break post, a dear friend asked me for the definition of solomompreneur.

I wonder. Why do we need a definition?

Because clarity unlocks understanding.

Though both are fruit, when I say apple, you know that I am not talking about an orange. When I say entrepreneur, you know I am not talking about solopreneur. When I say momprenuer... do you know that I am not talking about solomompreneur?

Any preneurship is a remarkable act of courage and passion. They each come with their own unique obstacles one must overcome to succeed. Here's my definition of solomompreneur: a person, who alone, organizes and operates home and business, taking on greater than normal financial and emotional risk in order to do so.

This definition feels meaningless.

Solomompreneurship feels like risk without a net.

Like walking a tight rope with nothing beneath me.

It feels like a vast ocean of responsibility.

Like I am swimming in this moment, tomorrow, next week, and the distant future all at the same time.

It feels like the night sky – never ending.

It feels like climbing Everest while carrying my gear, and my child’s gear, while remembering to put on our oxygen masks so we arrive at our destination safely.  

Solomompreneurship also feels like the magnificent, benevolent, all-encompassing cosmos: an ever-expanding and contracting universe inside us and between us.

Our mother-daughter relationship is a living, breathing, life-giving force that keeps us in motion. 

And when I walk the tightrope successfully, it feels exhilarating, triumphant, and celebratory.

When we summit our mountain together, it feels transformative, thrilling, vitalizing, and invigorating.  

I persist at solomompreneurship because both parts -- motherhood and solopreneurship --offer priceless and meaningful gifts. I am happier, more vital, alive, impassioned, wholehearted, lighthearted, curious, playful, tender, and kind to myself, my daughter, my clients and everyone else.

I am a better person because of the dynamic found in their opposites.

Today, this is what I know about being a solomompreneur: Do more of what I love. Do less of what hurts. Ignore what norms tell me. Look at the familiar with new eyes. My greatest insights emerge in the silence of my day.

Only When I Am Quiet and Do Not Speak

Only when I am quiet for along time
and do not speak
do the objects of my life draw near.

Shy the scissors and spoons, the blue bug.
Hesitant even the towels,
for all tehir intimate knowledge and scent of fresh bleach.

How steady their regard as they ponder,
dreaming and waking,
the entrancement of m daily wanderings and tasks.
Drunk on the honey of feelings, the honey of purpose,
they seem to be thinking,
a quiet judgment that glistens between the glass doorknobs.

Yet theirs is not the false reserve
of a scarcely concealed ill-will,
nor that other, active shying: of pelted rocks.

No, not that. For I hear the sigh of happiness
each object gives off
if I glimpse for even an instant the actual instant—

As if they believed it possible
I might join
their circle of simple, passionate thusness,
their hidden rituals of luck and solitude,
and joyous gap in them where appears in us the pronoun I.
— Jane Hirschfield