After getting real with myself last week, I've come to a place of quiet calm. In talking with Husband, he make me realize something: getting to stay home while I figure out what's next is a luxury few are afforded. I don't have to toil away at an in-between job while I take care of Kiddo, rewrite my resume, search for work, build a grad school application, and study for the GREs.
I have a husband who regularly tells me to do whatever it is that makes me happy. And he means it. I can go back to CrossFit or try pilates. I can take a photography or pottery class and explore my creative side. I can start a new blog about the trials and tribulations of getting into grad school. Just the other day he told me we could move again so I can pursue a graduate degree in Marine Biology. I can do whatever it is I choose to do without the constraints placed on so many moms.
I am fortunate, and I try not to let that fact slip by unnoticed. To let it get lost in the minutia of the day-to-day. But I do anyway. The world is my oyster and I've no right complaining. Which I have been doing a lot of the past few years.
On Saturday I attended an all-day CPR class for health professionals. It's required for my grad school application, and a must-have for the healthcare jobs I am searching for. It made sense to be proactive, forgo a Saturday, and get it out of the way.
As I sat there, chatting with my classmates during breaks, I came to realize just how many options I have to consider where others do not. There was a young single mom who settled for a short tech program because she needed a decent paying job fast. And a 20-year veteran dental assistant who was bored in her current position and looking for more. More education and more mental stimulation. Then there was the lady who was unable to bend over far enough to administer rescue breathing and couldn't continue. She was there as a condition of employment and I've wondered ever since if it cost her a job she wanted and needed. (Not to mention the embarrassment of being asked to leave in the middle of class.)
I have a million potential directions to go and it's not too late to try any of them. It's just a matter of deciding which fork in the road to take when I reach it.
I never thought I'd be that mopey person who sees daily existence as her lot in life; something that holds me back rather than frees me to be anyone I want to be. (The latter being the truth.) I've become quite miserable over the past few years, and I'm actively working to change that.
Admitting that I have a bad attitude is hard. Humbling. Embarrassing. And while I don't walk around with a frown on my face, I am often one spilled glass of oj or stubbed toe away from being a sourpuss. Weeks can go by and I feel happy. Optimistic. Chill. But simmering under the surface is a nugget of resentment, frustration, and annoyance just waiting to rear its ugly head. I keep score more often than I'd like to admit.
And while I know that much of our outlook and personality is determined in our first few months of life, I also know that the way I've been acting is not indicative of the true me. Being mopey is contrary to who I am as a person. It doesn't feel normal to be a curmudgeon. When I'm light and happy and let the little things roll off my back... that feels like I'm wearing the right skin.
I probably can't make myself an extrovert. Or Type B. Or anxiety-free. Fundamentally, that's who I am. But the attitude that things are perpetually hard? That can be changed. It's time to act the way I want to feel. To see the opportunity that is all around me as opposed to closed doors.
I think back to a time when, logically, things were harder. I was balancing a lot, my personal finances were highly unstable, I lived in a tiny apartment, and I had zero idea who I was or what I wanted out of life. And you know what? I used to wake up to the flutter of excitement in my belly every morning. I loved my (entry-level) job. I would wake up at 6a on a Saturday and go grocery shopping because I liked the ritual of shopping in a quiet store with a latte in hand. I exercised almost every day after an 8+ hour shift and was happy with my body as a result. I worked with people I liked and had a well-balanced and fulfilling life.
How is that possible? I often wonder. I had almost nothing compared to what I have now, and yet I was happier. Why? Because I was grateful for what I had and saw the potential in almost everything.
I'd like to find that girl again. Because she's still in there.
And because I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in all of this, I'm starting a new blog series based on this desire to be happier and more fulfilled where I am now. I'll be talking about the aspects of building a better life. I am obviously no expert on the matter, but I'm positive I share many of the same concerns as other moms, wives and employees. I'm also sure I can learn from you and you can learn from me.
I'll make mistakes and have mopey days along the way, but the end goal is to unveil a better version of myself. To see the silver lining more often than not. To hold myself accountable to this new mindset.
First order of business: think of a name. Finding Fulfillment, Living in the Now, Look on the Bright Side, and Project Silver Lining are contenders. (I'm terrible at naming things.)