Friday, January 30, 2015

Living the life you love and loving who you are

After moving to Jacksonville this summer I decided that it was time for me to head back to work. At the time, it was a decision based solely on finances; the kids were attending a private school that came with a hefty tuition and it made life easier to have the extra income. And we were sending them to the private school because a) Noah was on a (seemingly endless) waiting list for a Waldorf inspired public charter school and b) the traditional public school we are zoned to did not seem like a good fit for our family.

And so I put myself out there. I have written previously about how inadequate I felt about my resume  since being a stay at home mom for six years. As it turns out, I had no problem finding a job. In fact, I had five to choose from; ranging from Dental Assistant to Marketing Assistant. For the first couple of months, while we were settling in to our new home in Riverside, Jacksonville, I would take both kids to school and head to work. I felt enormous pride in myself for actually getting a job and was paving a path to continue my education to further my career in that particular area.

I felt enormous pride, but not an ounce of joy.

As the fates would have it, over the Holiday break we received a call that a spot had opened up for Noah at the charter school. I was elated. For one, the school itself seems like it was tailor made for my boy. Second, that meant we would no longer have the hefty tuition each month. For a brief period I continued to work and send Amelia to a different, much more economically practical, part time preschool.

Again, I felt enormous pride in what I was doing but not an ounce of joy.

Why was I having such a hard time enjoying these blessings? In all honesty, I missed my time at home with the children and I had a hard time finding that work/life balance. My personal 'to-do' list was rarely attended to and the outward appearance of my home mirrored what I felt like inside on a daily basis; chaotic.

I had a hard time telling people that I was not happy working. I felt like quitting would be viewed as a failure, or lazy, or really really ungrateful. So, naturally, I talked about my options ad nauseum with my loved ones. One night, one of my greatest and best friends asked "Well, what is your dream job? What do you WANT to do?"

I was asked this same question on almost every single interview that I went on. And the answer is always the same and has nothing to do with teeth or marketing. I want to be a writer.

Writing, obviously, has always been something that I love. But how could or would that translate into a career? What if I really am no good? I switch up weather and whether almost every time, how can I even consider being a writer?!

Sometimes in life you are shown a cliff. And you can either stand there and enjoy the view, imagining what it would be like to fly. Or you can leap. Deep breath, eyes opened, free fall off that cliff and see where you land.

I have chosen to leap. I want to live a life that I love; I do not want to live a life that seems like the right thing but does not feel like the right thing. And I am so grateful to have the ability and opportunity and support to leap. Jeff is the most supportive person in my life; he says without pause but with earnest "Things always end up the way that you want them to. When you set your mind to it, you can do anything."

And so I applied to be a contributor for a couple blogs. And those couple of blogs said 'yes'. Can you believe it?!

I will be writing over at A Parenting Production with a few other fantastic ladies. I am so excited and can not believe I convinced the creator that I am a writer. Don't tell her about the weather wheater thing.

I will also be writing occasionally for another mom blog that is based out of Jacksonville. I will announce that one later. I am really thrilled about this one! It's a big blog, with great woman and writers and fun events. I have that 'little fish, big ocean' thing going on, but in a good way.

The feeling of actually taking that leap, to actually say that I want to stay at home with my kids and pursue a career in writing, I don't think that I have ever felt more like 'myself'. I feel exposed and raw and open to judgment, but at the same time, totally secure and full of joy.

Speaking of exposed and open to judgement, part of this whole deal is writing a bio and providing a head shot to go along with it. I searched my computer and hard drive, and as it turns out, I do not have a single picture of myself without one of my children. Kids are awesome distractions in photos, no? But a picture where MY FACE is the only thing to look at? I avoid those. But choosing this path means putting myself and MY FACE out there.

Luckily, one of the moms in Noah's new class is also an amazing photographer. Megan Johns is fantastic; she could tell I was uncomfortable and put me right at ease. I'm not kidding, y'all, the idea of a picture where I was the only subject matter terrified me. But I am so pleased with how they turned out. She snapped a few for me the other morning, after we dropped the kids off at school, in the wooded play area. The school is magic, and so is Megan. I mean, I barely look like Jonathan Taylor Thomas in this picture.

I plan on living a life that I love, and loving who I am; including my resemblance to a 90's child actor even though I have crazy grey hair. That's a combo not everyone can pull off, you know. 

1 comment:

  1. Best wishes and prayers for joy in the journey. If this is any indication, you will rock it.