Monday, December 8, 2014

the dance of ambivalence.

I feel it at every turn lately.

The duality is maddening. I'm thrilled and thankful every single day to be home with my girl. I'm not exaggerating. Every. Single. Day.

But. A few things are eating at me. (Read: eating me alive.)

First, I did this - quit my job - without a financial plan other than scrimp, save, siphon from my savings, and get a different job at some point. We're doing all right overall; we're able to make the mortgage payments and put dinner on the table. Still, it creeps in here and there, the fact that I have no income. It's big things, like that I'm not contributing to retirement or a college fund for Rowan. It's also little things, which bother me more than I anticipated...like not being able to eat at my favorite restaurants or buy new clothes.

Second, the comparisons I'm making between myself and others are out of control. I'm jealous of my mom friends who work part-time at jobs they're passionate about. I'm jealous when my dad mentions that a sibling recently joined the "six-figure club". I'm jealous when my old roommate gets a hefty promotion. I'm jealous when I see families taking vacations...even just a weekend away. I'm jealous when I realize that my peers are crawling out of student poverty and jetting right to selling their starter homes and choosing country clubs.

Third, I'm just - ambivalent. It's the strangest feeling: I can carry on through an entire day feeling like I'm living my Oprah-approved Best Life, the very life I barely dared to dream of this time last year. I'm a stay-at-home mama. Unreal. But - and I knew this from the get-go - this. is. not. financially. sustainable. The obvious answer is to get a job...something part-time, low-key, with way less responsibility than my previous position. Just get a job! Duh.

And I can't. What the hell job am I supposed to get at this point? I'm thirty-four. My "career" crashed and burned, and it's doubtful I'll ever be able to salvage anything from that wreckage. I have no freaking clue what I'm supposed to do now. Obviously, there are things that my lack of talent or training preclude me from doing. I'm not going to be a math professor or a tennis phenom or a cancer specialist. What scares me is that I can't get my shit together to apply for the other jobs, the ones I know I could do. Office jobs, or something with kids, or...you know, whatever.

But I can't, because I don't want to. I want to want it.

And that's where I'm scared that I really messed up. I poured all of my resources into the fields I felt passionate about, and I burned out early. Now what? Do I just have to do something I don't want to do? Early childhood and social work - that's where my talents, training, and background are. That's all I've got. Without those...I don't know. I don't know myself anymore. Becoming a parent totally rearranged my identity, which was a mind-warp for sure, but leaving my career? I feel like that made me lose my identity.

If it's a matter of making ends meet, then you do what you have to do, right? Definitely. And I would; I will. But I can't ignore the duality: the fact that I'm so proud of myself for leaving a toxic situation and living my dream, but that I'm also so, so, so disappointed in myself. For succumbing to burnout, for giving up, for having to start from scratch, for having no direction. In the six months since I quit my job, the pride has mostly outweighed the disappointment. Lately, though, the fear and anxiety (and, fine, the jealousy) are surging. I need to know what's next, and it's a big fucking abyss of NO VIABLE OPTIONS.

Bed. Bed is the only viable option when it gets like this. And if you know of anyone who's hiring a Pinterest board curator or couch tester, do me a solid and let me know, k? Thanks.


  1. Uh hello, post I could have written. Coffee, ASAP.

    1. Think someone would pay us to get coffee and be angsty together?

    2. That's sounds like a reality TV show that we should totally pitch. If we knew how to do that sort of thing. Which I don't think we do.



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