Recently I've come out of whatever post-partum, delusional state I've been in for the past two years and decided two things:
1. I am not happy with the way I am living my life now.
2. I've got to start making changes now, rather than waiting for a decade to go by and hitting my mid-life crisis like global warming is hitting Minnesota right now (it's mid-winter and 45 degrees here).
To make the changes and move my life in a positive direction, I also have to move on, forgive and forget. Ah, but forgive and forget what, you might ask? Hold onto your seats kids, what I am about to tell you is not well known, even by my friends, and up until today only by my immediate family. Here's a little history - after less than 2 years at my company, I was promoted to my dream job, and a year after that got a very favorable review acknowledging my success in the position and their excitement for me to continue. I was newly married, expecting a baby, and in a great place in my career - what more could I have asked for? I'm soon going on maternity leave and trying to tie up all the loose ends before leaving. A month later, less than two weeks before I go on maternity leave, Iget a new "boss" (not to replace me, of course, I was assured).
Then bam! out of nowhere it hits - with a four-month-old son, I was fired from my job for "not fitting in". Did you think I was going to say for blogging? Oh, but that's so 2002 and I've learned from other bloggers' mistakes. Had it actually been for something I did, rather than a personal vendetta, I could have evaluated, improved, and moved on. Instead I was left with a lame excuse and fired by someone who had been my boss for less than 5 months - with 2 of those months being maternity leave.
At the time, it was a perfect excuse to tell friends, "I'm taking some time off to be with my son". True, well, partially. While I can't disclose any details, I can say I was able to take that time off without worrying about about cash flow. Although my husband thinks I should have really put on the screws so we could worry even less, for a longer period of time, I just wanted to be done with it. Even saying this is probably too much, but well, sue me if you can nail down how this post causes you monetary damage.
I tried doing the stay-at-home mom gig, and it was fun, freeing, and utterly exhausting. And also, just not for me. I also discovered that I need outside accomplishments and stimulation (when your only conversation is what color the poop was today, you starting wondering if you need to get out more). But I still wanted to be close to my son and not spend 80 hours a week in an office. So while I didn't take the first job offered, I took one that was close to the house, 9 to 5 hours, and one that promised working from home occasionally (ha, don't believe that one unless you get it in writing).
An ok job, in an ok, blah, suburban company. Nice people, nice environment, so nice I could puke from the gray walls and cubicles to match. Not my thing. The one good thing that came out of it was what I like to call my "Internet education". It's the reason I started blogging and how I ended up in my current job, so I can't complain too much. I worked with and found a great friend, who knows more about the inner-workings of the Internet than I could ever hope to learn. So when a perfect (and I mean, the stars aligned, angels sang, time-stood-still sort of opportunity) job just happened to be listed on Craigslist, I emailed, met, and accepted it within less than a week. I swear I wasn't even looking for a job yet.
Fast forward 7 months to a much better job, people I enjoy working with, and silly as it sounds, exposed brick and colors on the walls! Ah, I can breathe again. But still not moving in entirely the right direction. Have the right job, the right family, but something is just not clicking. For over a year, I had wanted to write a letter to the woman I saw as a mentor at my old job (actually she was my boss almost the entire time I was there, but didn't have the balls to attend the termination meeting). I kept telling myself to forget it, move on, wait and the urge to write will go away. But after so long the things I wanted to tell her were still on my mind, so I finally sat down and wrote.
And, wow, just getting it down on paper felt so good. Damn! (Yes, the swear is needed here.) If you are harboring any sort of ill-will or things left unsaid type of emotion towards someone, find sometime to get it down on paper, posted in your blog, or in your podcast. However, I take no responsibility for things that happen after that and I recommend you have someone else read it before sending it along to the recipient.
Did you think I would stop there? Nope, not a chance. After sitting on the handwritten version for a couple of weeks, I typed it into the computer, edited it several times, and took that final step. I put it in an envelope, licked it closed, and stuck a stamp on it before I could change my mind. The best part, I have absolutely no regret at all, in fact, I don't care if she never answers, because, at least I got to say what I needed to. This is not a "I-hate-you-my-life-sucks-its-your-fault" kind of letter. It's a letter explaining my dissappoinment, saddness, and lack of confidence in myself as I came back to who I'm really meant to be.
And that change I'm making, it's coming. For the past two weeks I've actually used a planner, putting down in writing what I need to get done, professionally, personally, and family-wise. Have I done everything on the list every day? Not a chance. But you know what, I'm getting there, one step at a time. Here's to more change to come and finally putting the past where it belongs!
Happy 2007 everyone - what have you always wanted to change? Start now, because no one is going to do it for you!
This has been a guest post by Kat: Woman, Wife, Mother trying to do it all (sometimes). Remembering that perfection is overrated and technology is worth every penny, but it's even better if you can get it for free. You can read her every day over at WOWIMO.
Thanks for the post Kat!