What’s next for me?
This past summer I thought I had my next move figured out. I wanted to go back to work. Easy as that. I was done with this stay-at-home mom gig after nearly four years, and I desperately needed a career to fulfill me again.
I even went “all in” and started asking former colleagues and friends for leads. I met with a former co-worker whom I simply admire, and we shared our career struggles over lunch – her as a new working mom, and me as a long-time stay at home. I had coffee with a college professor and mentor, a brilliant man who I had not spoken with in nearly five years, and tried to figure out the best path for someone in my small town, work history gap situation. I had a phone meeting with a fellow college alumna, a mostly stranger, who is currently working in a field that I think I would like to enter – travel planning. I went so far as to reach out to her boss to try and see if there was any availability at the company.
I got no response.
I applied at various Authorized Disney Vacation Planner travel agencies. I filled out applications in Comic Sans font, for companies with ridiculously cliche names. I got one response, only because I mentioned that I could quote 98 percent of “Moana” in my email. I know I could do it better on my own, as my own business, but for the life of me I cannot figure out how to make that happen. I’m all ears for tips on this one, BTW.
I applied with a professional organization in Indianapolis for a part-time job. It was an organization I used to win awards from while in college, and a job I was more than qualified for to say the least. I got an interview.
And then I had a panic attack and turned it down.
Where am I going?
I spend my days giving away my professional talents for free. There are some stretches of time where I am completely content with where I am – I’m a mom of two, who directs a county-wide color guard program on the side. I design emails and graphics for my in-laws’ dance studio, and for the local marching band. Occasionally I’ll do some PR or media relations work for a local company who don’t understand the metro media market, or I’ll freelance a small town newspaper article for a group who doesn’t have anyone to write for them.
But is that really all I want to do with my abilities? Or is that enough?
When I watch television, or follow successful enterpreneurs on social media, and I always notice peoples’ age. Did you know Mandy Moore, the star of my favorite hit TV show, is 33? I read some uber successful blogs written by people living dream lives by galavanting across Europe and getting paid to do it, who are literally my age. Hell, the Kardashians have nearly zero talent (yet, I watch their show) and they’re all like 35. How? I watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on repeat today with a teething toddler while wearing yoga pants and wiped more boogers than I can count. Yeah, my kids are happy. But am I truly happy?
I haven’t been shy about my struggle with stay-at-home mom life. Some days I love being at home with our girls, and others I feel like I’m being suffocated – and I feel like that’s a normal thing for a SAHM to say. And now that we’re 110 percent DONE having kids, it’s hard not to wonder what is coming next for me.
Make that 150 percent DONE.
I don’t really have a way to wrap up this post, other than to say that I’m open to advice. I’m open to encouragement or critique. I need pushed, one way or another, into my next phase. Do I embrace my current situation, or do I continue to make moves to the next chapter in my career? Do I even know how to do that?! Lord knows I’ve had four years to overthink this, so your comments are very much appreciated.
And, this is 29. The year I makes moves, or stay put. The jury is still out.