Here I am 10 days into the 2014, wondering if this is how my life is supposed to be. If it is I am not really complaining, but it will just take a little adjusting mentally on my part and a whole lot of adjusting financially for our whole family.
“Starting over” seems like a relatively simple phrase to anyone who may just glance at it on a page or even just say it, but when you are physically going through it like me; it seems like the hardest thing you’ve ever had to deal with in your entire life. And I’ve had my trials and tribulations already in my life and I understand the levels of hard, excruciating and downright too much to handle. But even though there are not really that many factors working against me for failure, the most outstanding factors sure are doozies — depression, stress, isolation, and (my own personal favorite) repeated and often anonymous rejection.
Remember when we were young and playing on the playground, some of us in our catholic school uniforms, and we had the chance to yell, “Do Over!” if you wanted to start the game over or someone’s turn over. Why can’t life be like that when something goes horribly wrong or completely in the wrong direction then you originally expected? I guess that’s why life isn’t simple and it’s actually really hard, and sometimes sticky, and gooey, and nasty, and sometimes oozing with gross stuff that no one wants to touch. But it’s your life so there’s no turning back. So you either deal with the gross ooze and get some ointment or powder or whatever it calls for to clear it up; or you let it sink in and consume you.
So my ‘gross ooze’ is having to ‘start over’ and find a new job without being at another at the age of 36 (almost 37). And who am I, a wife and mother of two little boys and one stepdaughter (who is now a woman). I am a woman who has spent the majority of her professional career as a writer always in some form of communications whether in journalism, public relations, or marketing. And for a short time (and maybe even still a little now), I let my gross ooze fester and make me question my whole career, my ‘talent’, and my passion for writing. But leave it to the holiday season, my two boys and my husband, who happens to be my rock too, to help me understand what truly matters in a person’s life; who gives a crap at this point about what some person thinks I can’t do, especially when they mean nothing to me now. And when I’ve done that ‘thing’ my entire life and been told by many that I’ve done it well. Except I know cleaning away my ‘ooze’ needs to also be about what I know that I can do, what I know I’ve done, and what I know already have standing in front of me to support me through this.
I would love nothing other than to find that ‘perfect job’ with the ‘perfect company’ where I can plant my feet for the rest of my professional life and I can one day retire and watch my children’s children grow up and be that grandparent watches everyone. And I hope that happens. But I also know that perfection is in the eye of the beholder and my ‘perfect job’ could be torture to someone else. And some might’ve believed my previous jobs were close to perfect from the outside and questioned why I would want to leave but high school games, double standards and the continuous snide remarks were enough to one day make me say something that I would have only regretted in the long run. Why become that person I know that I’m not when I can just leave and try something new if the opportunity exists.
So now I’ve been living the ‘stay at home’ mom life for just over a month. And while some things I could definitely get used to — afternoon naps, the laundry is almost always caught up, front row seat to watching my kids grow up, constant kisses and hugs, an empty kitchen sink free of dishes are all a major plus. But financially, our family just could not withstand it. I love my children though more than words can express. Sweetpea and Pooh Bear, well, they are two very energetic boys with two very different personalities. When I left my other job, it was Dec. 11 and I had barely even noticed that it was the holidays with everything happening in my professional life. It made me feel almost selfish with a two- and a four-year-old because I know these kids will only be young once and nothing is more important than my children. Leaving when I did was actually a blessing in disguise because it helped open my eyes to so much more.
So here’s to the New Year! Here’s 2014! May you end better than you started. May your days be filled with new adventures, stories, people and profit. And may you always help me find my way back to what matters most!