Monday, April 13, 2009

Rebirth, reinvention...take your pick of "re's". It's time for me to have one.

You know that saying, "This is the first day of the rest of your life"? Well, Friday was that day for me.

The day was cold and dank. Slightly sprinkling, it was a dreary spring day. In and out of the office most of the day, I walked back in the building in the afternoon with my sons and my husband to retrieve the last bit of my belongings from my cube. My boys helped me carry out the boxes, and I cried when we got into the car. But as we drove away and my husband put a gentle hand on my knee, we both knew they were tears for fear of the unknown, rather than for what was lost. I was happy to be leaving "corporate America". I am just scared for what is ahead. This had never happened to me before. He looked over at me and said, "Well Beez, look at this as the first day of the rest of your life."

Last month I was told at work that my position here in Columbus was eliminated. I worked as a production specialist for a marketing team. What that means is, I worked on collateral materials. Not brain surgery, but it put food on the table.

But I don't want to get into the job itself. This whole wretched experience of losing a job is about more than the job itself. It can feel like a failure of sorts. And a loss of identity. Evoking moments of imagining what a loser your kids and your husband must think you are that you can't provide for them anymore. It's like vacillating between moments of sheer panic and serenity. Moments of accepting what has happened and moving forward, to literally puking my guts out.

I notice that my oldest son, in times of change or crisis, gets very concerned about sustaining normalcy, with things like meals and laundry and who is dropping him off at school. When my husband was really sick last fall, he looked at me like I was an alien in the kitchen who couldn't muster up the where-with-all to put together a plate of mac 'n' cheese. Granted, I don't do the cooking, but I have noticed there is a deeply rooted relationship with his dad that represents a sense of security that I have no business treading into. My husband has been the stay at home dad for almost 3 years now, and with my job situation, it's likely going to change.

So where do I go from here? Stay at home mom? I wouldn't hesitate to say that the role of full time caregiver may be a ship that has sailed for me, but I would bet it will be one that will be fulfilled in some form or another over the coming months.

My husband is looking for work, and he said to me that he almost welcomes the thought of getting out of the house. Part of me thinks it may have been to assuage my feelings of hopelessness at the moment we were discussing the "next steps" of our situation. He'll be turning 50 years old next month, and I can't imagine someone who has been out of the active workforce for a while could be enthusiastic about the kind of prospects that are out there for employment. But, we continue to remain optimistic.

One thing I do know, is that I'm going to seize the opportunity to develop my new business, Revelry Press.

(**Shameless plug: http://revelry.etsy.com**)

I am going to give this business a try. It's something I've done before, and so it can certainly be something I can do again. It's just a little odd to be thrust into having to change things when you didn't ask for them to change. Even though a large part of me wanted change, wanted to get out of the daily rut of an unfulfilling job, the change can be scary. Like someone kicking you out of a nice comfy bed, even though you know sleeping your life away is bad for your health.

Ten years ago I would have thrived on this fear. Now, with a mortgage and 2 kids later, the fear is really that... fear.


(*Note: Photo above was taken by me in 1993 and the layered effect was done in camera... before Photoshop! I worked on this in college and printed it myself.
Specs: Ricoh manual camera, 52mm lens, Kodak T-Max 100 speed black and white film.*)

5 Comments:

Blogger Alissa said...

That's an awesome photo! Digging through my boxes of old photos I found some ghostly images of me flashing myself mid stride in low light.

I'm sorry it feels like a fail to you. It's easy to forget all the years of working hard and providing that you accomplished. So don't forget that!

I know the fear. It will be okay. Breathe. And don't forget to lean on people when you need to.

And Revelry Press makes some awesome good stuff! Plug plug plug!

10:05 AM

 
Blogger Amy Phillips-Gary said...

I love the photo Kate! Best to you and your family as you go through these transitions.

10:07 AM

 
Blogger Heather said...

I really hope this can turn into a positive change for your family. I completely understand the fear though.

That image is really stunning.

8:27 PM

 
Blogger Mayberry said...

I know it is scary, but you are so brave, and talented too! Lots of luck.

And I just bought something @ Revelry!

8:29 PM

 
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, Kate, I'm so behind in my reading, and now wishing I wasn't. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I remember my husband feeling much the same way when he was laid off.

We must get together soon and chat about all of this, OK?

4:01 PM

 

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