Thursday, January 18, 2007

Blond Girl, Know Thyself

I was talking to my neighbor, Star, the other day when I realized that she knows me in a way that no one ever has before - including myself.

Since I graduated from high school eons ago (ok, 23 years ago - OH Lord!) I have worked as someone's employee. The only breaks I've taken were three dismal months of unemployment when I was 21, three blissful months of unemployment when I got married and chose to spend time getting to know my husband and three enchanted months of maternity leave when we welcomed Sweet Girl to the world. The rest of the time (various medical leaves aside), I have gotten up in the morning, dressed, dropped off my child and gone to do the bidding of "The Man". In fact, I worked right up until two days before we moved to Illinois.

For two months after we moved here, I worked part-time. I dropped my child off at school and then came home in time to pick her up or meet her on our street as she walked home. It was an unusual benefit to not worry about finding a daycare that would offer an after school program. While I worked part-time, my transition to "dis-corporated" began.

Almost two months ago now, I stopped working part time and started looking for full time work. Normally, I wouldn't leave a job without another one to replace it, but I did it to accommodate my employer. I expected to work temporary while I found a new job. Turns out that there is nearly NO temporary work in this town. I've worked once since Thanksgiving. Each week has been a deepening of my faith and belief that God has a plan for our family... And my search to find it!

During these two months of continued "dis-corporation", I've been a mom. I've been a neighbor. I've been a homemaker. For the first time, I understand what it means to do laundry during the day while I clean the kitchen and wait for my child to come home from school. I've experienced going out for a cup of tea with a friend for the fun of it. I've been able to get up and go shopping with Princsiss at the drop of a hat. I've been able to take the time needed to get our finances in better order than they've ever been before. Most of all, I've been home for Sweet Girl every day. I help her with her homework and read stories. We play games and talk about what to have for dinner. If it weren't for the constant money worries, I would totally love this lifestyle.

Who is this woman?!?!!

In the midst of this identity/financial crises, the answer to LOTS of prayer came: I started the year with four job possibilities, then three and quickly narrowed them down to two, as I wrote about in my last entry. Champs and I have discussed the options 9 ways from Sunday (that, my friends, is a "Midwestern colloquialism") and together we determined a plan of action. The decision is final now. I am a freelance writer. Who knows? I may fail spectacularly and in five months find myself right back where I am now, looking for a job. I don't think I will, though. I have the organizational and strategic skills to run a business and the passion and talent to write. As the stereotype goes, now I'll be able to work in my pajamas. Well, kinda. It will be awhile before the project I'll be on will start and I even longer before I start getting paid. Therefore, I must find a part time job to work now and as I start my business. I'll drop it when the time is appropriate.

As I make this transition from someone else's employee to my own boss, I am becoming acquainted with a woman I've never known before. I will be able to be relaxed where before I was stressed. At the same time, I will have to exert a control on myself that before was structured by my employer. I won't be able to drop everything and go shopping at the drop of a hat, but I won't need to get anyone's permission when I need a day off. I won't get paid sick pay, but I will also probably work many times from my bed when I'd rather be sleeping. I'll be the marketer, accountant, manager and writer all in one. It's mind-boggling, actually.

I'm afraid this post has been a bit of a rambling stream of thought. I can't help it. Each new thing I learn about this journey I've embarked upon is like holding up another mirror to see if I have that quality in me. Check back with me in a year. I think by then I will have become a totally different woman. I wonder if my friends in Minnesota would recognize me?

Probably. No matter what I do, I'll always be Champ's wife, Sweet Girl's mom, a devoted Christian and, oh yeah, let's not forget: The Blond Girl.

Here's a few comments from this post:
princssis said...
Glad you found yourself. God knows what He's doing. If you had this opportunity when you first came here, do you think you would've been as open to the idea? Maybe you needed time to transition into it. The lifestyle, I mean. Realizing what it is like to be home for your child and relaxed! As I've told you privately, even if this isn't as lucrative as you hope, the fringe benefits are worth trying! God Bless!

kenju said...
I think you have made a great decision. You can write very well and it may take a while to land a free-lance job that can show off your talents, but I think you have what it takes to do it! Good luck!

Anonymous said...
Woo hoo! I'm so glad you're taking the leap, and I'm looking forward with great anticipation to getting to know the new you! I know all the most important parts of the old you will always be there.
(...9 ways from Sunday? I'm about as midwestern as they get, but I don't know that one.)

Star said...
Good for you.When one door loses, another one opens, but you still have to walk through. My mom used to say "six ways from Sunday"

Carmi said...
I'm proud and impressed to see you evolve in this way. It's a place and a transition that is all too familiar to me. So if there's any advice I can offer to help you in the days or months to come, please feel free to drop me a line.

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