We are taught from an early age to go to school so you can get a good job to make money and with that comes a sense of accomplishment. When I was younger, I did both. I worked while in high school and college as a way to earn spending money but I never had a job that filled me up inside.
Knowing that one day I would become a mother was the thing that kept me in the game. I went to school to get my master’s degree while working full time. I wanted to do something in my life serving others but it wasn’t the restaurant job I held for ten years that did the trick. It was not my passion but I needed it to find the thing that would bring me joy.
I didn’t particularly excel in any specific subject so I chose a major based off of what other people suggested and it was fine. Never once in my youth did I see myself as a writer. My English grades were acceptable but nothing I would write home about, so I never gave writing a second thought. The only time I wrote was either in my journal or when I had to for a class assignment. For that, I would put it off till the last possible minute and turn in something mediocre at best.
The one time I remember really acing a paper was my freshman year in high school. I can’t remember what the assignment but my paper was on the Olympics. Every two years, I go all in for two weeks watching the games when they are on tv. I don’t know what it is, maybe the camaraderie, the friendly competition or the coming together of people around the world to participate peacefully in sporting events. Either way, my love for the Olympics produced a perfect research paper because it was something I had a deep passion for.
The day I became pregnant I knew I had my out from working in the corporate world. My job after the baby was born was to be mom and that excited me. It was a position I had never had but I somehow knew I would be really good at it. This may have to do with the fact that becoming a mother was something I had envisioned for years and years. Instead of dreaming of a career, I pictured my life with a handful of kids. I worked my restaurant job up until she was born and then I took a hiatus. I didn’t know how long I would be gone but my gut instinct was telling me it wasn’t quite time to let that job go.
Sure enough, I went back to work once a week for another 18 months. I told myself that it was nice to have the extra money for groceries or to be able to get out and have conversations with adults. In hindsight, I was convincing myself to look at the positive aspects, but I missed my baby and to make matters worse I didn’t like the place I worked. I wasn’t excited to go every week, in fact, I hated it: the commute, the work and dealing with the complaining from both customers and co-workers. But I kept going back until our second child was born even though I started my own business from home that I liked and was making money.
As soon as I became a mom, I felt the need to always have some work at home job to make extra cash. I didn’t have to work but I felt this urge to stay busy, to earn extra money for our family, to always stay on task and maximize the time I had. I learned to work in the pockets of my day when the kids were napping or in between doing dishes and laundry. What it has taken me almost 10 years of parenting to realize is that my mind is constantly churning with no break. I’m anticipating my next move, making sure that everything is done and always working whenever there is a pause in the day.
During downtime, my brain is creating another project to be constantly filling the gaps with something new. I find myself consumed with the notion of being busy. I think I am doing a thing I enjoy but that is not always the case.
When it comes down to it, I love spending time with my family doing fun things, living life and pursuing my own passion of writing because I come alive when the pen hits the paper. Being able to share my personal experiences with others allows me to influence them to give a big ol’ fat YES to themselves.
The only time I feel myself truly slow down is when I sit in my closet and let the words do the work. I surrender fully to my thoughts and allow whatever is in there to come out. I get to be in the here and now expressing myself without judgment and that fills my soul.
The thing I struggle with is the hustle and keeping constantly busy to brand myself. As someone who is real and open, I like putting myself out there, but have trouble finding the fine line between building networking relationships and becoming solely dependent on social media. I create meaningful content from my life experiences to share with the world and while I am a big supporter of utilizing social outlets to connect, I also crave simplicity.
I am intentional about my writing and the way I live my life reflects that in my work. I can remember always being told that in order to have money I need to work. Even now as my husband is making more than enough to support our family, I still feel the urge to contribute financially. But what I have come to realize is that my contribution to our family is huge and is actually the thing I wanted most out of life growing up.
Sure, some may see me as a simple housewife but there is so much more to me than cooking, cleaning (cough, cough) laundry and looking after the kids. I have a passion deep inside of me to serve others through my writing but on my own terms.
So I can fully enjoy the time I have with our young children, I will stop looking for things to keep me busy. As I see it, I have two and an half years until my youngest is in school full time, meaning I have their full attention at my fingertips. I am able to be in tune with their current love languages of quality time and physical touch. Instead of always having to do something more I have the option to not only say yes to my children but YES to myself.