I am working on being able to define myself as who I am and not what I do. I am a mother of two and wife to a Spanish ex-pat living in the great American Midwest. I am a writer and a baker and a good friend and sometimes a great cook. I have been an educator in various positions over the past 10 years. Ever worked so hard at your job that you don’t get to the things that top your priority list? That’s me.
And that’s my reason for the deep breath and the bold step forward into unemployment. Unemployment’s a step forward? I know. Check your logic. Think again. Back up. (Wo)man up. Keep on keeping on and stop yer whining, right?
Not this time.
When I had Elias, my second son, almost four months ago, a switch was flipped. The kind I can’t reach myself. The kind that’s un-flip-off-able. (How is someone who would write un-flip-off-able qualified to blog, you might ask? Excellent question – and perhaps the subject of my next entry. Stay tuned.) I felt the all-too-familiar rage at the fact that I would have to leave this amazing creation of mine with another to return to the world of work, though I was luckier than so many other superwomen because I got to spend an incredible ten weeks at home with him. But I only had five weeks off with my older son and returned back to work and grad school and survived, and he’s turning out okay. So what’s the problem this time?
One of my many theories about our complicated modern world is that part of the reason so many of us use prescription drugs and see therapists and still feel “off” is that we’re trying to make fit what doesn’t. Stifling jobs, toxic relationships, unhealthy schedules – there might be a pill for that, but why should I need one?
The trail I am attempting to blaze for myself is heart-led. Heart-led suggests a sentimentality that does not apply here. What I mean is that I have loved loved loved my job and felt energized and driven and inspired by my students even on the toughest days. And then the switch flipped when Elias first burrowed his slimy self into my shaky, exhausted body, and the job I love love love is no longer what I am supposed to be doing right now. Not the right fit. Stifling. Even toxic. Sure, I could check in with my therapist and medicate my heart away. Or just hold my breath and plunge.
So at the risk of sounding disgustingly privileged – I know how lucky I am to have choices, even risky ones – I am choosing to plunge. This blog will be the story of that plunge and hopefully of surfacing safely with my family intact and better for it. I welcome you along for the ride.