Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The dream preferred over dreams deferred
I made the decision to resign from my job as a preschool teacher recently and I have never felt so sure of anything in my life. I chose this path mostly out of sheer exhaustion from spending the majority of my day time hours away from my children and my ultimate goal of being a full time writer and birth-worker. Making the choice to leave my job as a preschool teacher was not difficult at all. I knew I would miss the children and even some of the friends I had made but when I considered the fact that I had a "steady" paycheck, yet it wasn't even beginning to cover my expenses entirely, it really made me ponder; What exactly was I sacrificing to keep this job? I experienced stress on a daily about feeling so overwhelmed at work, knowing I had more work once I reached home, each and every day. I felt totally unfulfilled and frustrated at the direction my life was going in. And my main reason for moving on was that I felt so stagnant in my place of employment. In 2010 I returned to college to complete my studies towards an English degree. I felt so proud when I graduated, knowing that it was a major goal I accomplished while still juggling motherhood and other responsibilities. I applied for jobs all over my city and other cities; hoping to increase my chances of getting hired. It wouldn't be hard to get a good job, right? But that was just it...It was hard, it took time, interviews and traveling to and fro to make getting a job finally happen. Throughout my life, I have worked in many fields; health and wellness, retail, childcare, sales, office settings, and my personal favorite as a labor and postpartum doula. I must say that with the exception of working as a doula and in health/wellness, most of the other jobs I have held almost never felt like my "calling." Things would always go well in the beginning, I made the most of every job I have ever held, working to the best of my ability, going above and beyond my scope of experience, yet always feeling so out of place eventually . It's as if my passions of what I really wanted to do were being squelched by what I "had" to do as a functioning member of society. I had to work a 9 to 5 so I could be responsible and pay my bills. I had to have a job; what else would I possibly be doing during my day? What could I do though, if my job was still not enough for me to make ends meet? Well, I could work extra hours, go back to school and get more degrees to make more money, or I could get a second job. The thing is I have indeed carried out all of the above at one point or another in my life. And time was the biggest factor; I just didn't have any. When would my children see me if I was out working M-F all day? They needed me, especially after school. They needed me to be there waiting with a smile as they arrived home from their day, they needed me to remind them to relax once they arrived home from school; unwind from the busyness of their day and just "be." Since leaving my recent position, my days have been spent reading up on freelancing, writing more often, brushing up on my skills as I learn from other writers, finding a niche and promoting myself as a poet and creative writer through consistent networking. My afternoons have been spent picking up my girls from school, helping them with homework, or God forbid, ditching the homework (for at least an hour) in exchange for the occasional afternoon of playing at the park with friends we haven't seen in a long while. Sometime we will go to the library in the afternoons to change it up with the homework routine. I will definitely say that even before my job as an infant teacher came to an end, new beginnings started to surface for me. Many of the families that I came to know began calling me for individual child care as needed and now I do it as often as my schedule permits. I am happy about this opportunity for it allows me more flexibility with my hours in the day, I'm still able to see the little ones I came to love through my job and then the added benefit of making money. If there is one thing folks should know about me it is that I don't take this thing called motherhood lightly. I cherish the memories I have made with my girls, knowing one day memories will be all that I have of their childhood when they are off living their own lives. I think of how many subjects, subtitles, stories, poems and more that I could write about motherhood and the journey that it has been for me thus far. I think of how exhausted I always was when I'd arrive home from work, trying to fit in a nap just before starting dinner but feeling guilty for doing so if I did. I worked not as just a "preschool teacher" but as a woman, mother and doula to the children in my care. But knowing that my spirit needed growth, growth that could not be attained through my job, propelled me to rise higher than my fears and what ifs. I wouldn't even say I threw caution to the wind when I made this decision; I know that I made the right decision. How could more time spent with my family, more time spent making my dream of writing full time a reality and more time spent relishing the little things I was too busy to notice be wrong? When I turned 35 in June, I composed a piece about needing to move on and do what I love...I told myself I would leave my job by my birthday, but didn't. As major issues with work began to surface, and my hours fluctuated, I still held on to my position, awaiting some sort of miracle. But the miracle would not come. Not through my job at least...In late September I had an epiphany; a longing clear as day to begin taking the steps towards resigning. I had voiced my feelings to some people, but didn't reveal that I was indeed going to move on. It didn't become real to me until I had actually said the words out loud, to myself and to the world. Second guessing myself would be futile as I had already made the decision internally, I just had to take the necessary steps.
My dreams are calling and they have been put on hold for long enough, so has "enough" time to do the simplest of tasks such as spend uninterrupted time with my girls, writing, which I have been doing so much of lately! I even found the time to buy more soil for my plants! I had made a mental note in my head months ago to buy soil, and work on my little garden; but never had the time. Having more time was also the catalyst for writing two new ebooks on Amazon.com. Devoting some much needed energy to complete this major goal made me feel like I was beginning the start of something promising. I also have a goal of returning to school for midwifery; my latest venture in the realm of birth-work. Birth is another topic that I enjoy writing about with fervor, passion, love and experience...almost as much as I love reading about it. The sky is truly not the limit with me as far as my writing is concerned; my writing soars beyond the sky as does the options for what I can choose to write about. Writing is like an energizing and releasing experience at the same time. I am feeling quite confident about where my life is going, I have a stillness and a peace that all I have been longing to do; is coming to fruition as I type this. I am embracing the fact that I will be able to make money doing what I love as a job. There is a such thing as sacrificing and it can yield positive results if one knows when to do it and why. As mothers we sacrifice our time on a daily to be there for our children, watching them grow and sparkle from our involvement in their lives. But yet we end up sacrificing our time in jobs that take away our sparkle, our passions and our dreams. We end up sacrificing time away from what makes us smile, reserving it for special occasions, holidays and family trips. We don't have time during the week to "catch" up on life, it has to wait until the weekend; if that...We are worth so much more to ourselves and especially to our children. My children have been seeing a lot more of me during the week and I have taken advantage of interacting with them more on a daily basis. I have seen a positive change in all of us as a result. I'm also less stressed believe it or not. I would rather listen to what my heart has been saying all along then continue on a path that has no growth. And I have to grow; it is imperative to my dreams and my spirit.