For 12 years I let a job define my life.
No matter how much I hated it and no matter how much, at times, it seemed to hate me.
I hated getting up to go in for the verbal abuse that was sure to be handed out by the customers of the retail world.
I hated being a Type A personality that needed to do everything myself so I could be sure it was done correctly, even though it meant complaining later about having to do everything myself.
I hated knowing that, in this repetitive line of work, everything I did was just one more thing that would have to be done later, over and over, again and again, and sometimes for no reason whatsoever.
More than that, I hated myself for hating it that much and never having the courage to break free. To try to do something more. To pursue something meaningful, even if it was only meaningful to me.
There’s no time. I have the kids to take care of. We have bills to pay.
If not that, it was always something else.
I’m not creative enough. It’s too much pressure.
What if I’m not perfect?
But the thing is, I’m not perfect. And it’s only too much pressure if I put that pressure on myself. Certainly nobody else out there is expecting me to be perfect, so why should I be demanding it from myself?
Writing used to be a very large part of my life. Somehow I lost it when life got bigger and messier and more populated. Diapers, nursing and exhaustion rushed in and took over the small spaces left over after 40 hour work weeks consumed the majority of our waking hours. Soon I wasn’t even aware anymore that I missed it.
Then, in the middle of September, I gave birth to my fourth son. I also lost my job. Well, I didn’t lose it. It’s still there; it’s just that someone else is doing it now (though surely not as well, right? Sorry, that’s the Type A speaking..).
The past four and a half months have been amazing. And liberating. And (gasp) I found out that I can still write.
So, while I will have to eventually drag myself back out into the public and find an outside job, something more than wet nurse, mommy and chauffer (but, honestly? I’m ok with that being all there is for now), I’ve learned something very valuable.. and I’m redefining myself all over again.
And no matter where I end up I am not going to let anything (or anyone) do that for me. Not this time.