I used to be a stay-at-home mom before I had my first job. It was a fixed contract and a couple more followed before I secured a position with a long-term contract. Six months in, I became pregnant with my second kid and was put on paid leave from very early on, the third pregnancy followed while I was still on leave for the second kid and that’s why I quit my job. I did not want to block a position for close to three years and decided to leave on good terms.
I stayed home from 2008 until 2016. During that time, I was very content in my bubble. Not always, but in hindsight, I was happy. In 2012 I took up writing and wrote novel-length stories, many of them, back to back. And they have potential. They are filled with typos and grammatical errors though and I would not write that way anymore either, but back then, it was a huge creative outlet. Find those mediocre stories on Wattpad for free.
But as I said, I was in my bubble and I was not very interested in life or politics or society. I mean, I was never a stupid person, but I was just not interested in the world.
All of that changed when the kids got older and it got harder to make ends meet monthly with only one income. It was decided that I had to leave my comfort zone and find a job.
And I did. I found a job in October 2016, I only stayed there until mid-January 2017 and in February 2017 I started work at the nursery that I mentioned often before.
It was not a conscious decision, but with the beginning of my “career”, my creative writing came to an end. I tried a couple of times to come up with an idea, but I settled on short stories and poetry ever since then.
I noticed that it’s only been 5,5 years since I have a regular job. That’s not a long time. But I changed a lot. I read more and I am interested in many topics. I am stepping out of my comfort zone daily and with the new job (starting in 12 days) I will do a lot more of the stepping out… I also love to work. It gives me another kind of purpose.
Sometimes I wish for it to be 2012 again. I was living in a nice house with three kids who were 7, 4, and 2. I had a husband and life was okay. I did not have my own money, of course, but I was happy in my bubble. I took a bit of care of the house – not too much, I am not a good housewife, and made memories with the kids. I listened to some music, (show tunes, soul, and boybands in 2012 mainly – Boyzone, Ronan Keating, John Barrowman, Etta James, Otis… – you get the idea). Basically, I existed without living, but also without a care in the world.
(while I wrote that paragraph, I noticed that I started this very blog in December 2012)
My world changed on September 15th, 2015. Nothing was ever the same again. And I cannot say what happened. It’s just that day.
I am overthinking too much now, and the older I get, the weirder I get. I have so many quirks and eccentricities that I am quite reluctant and scared to meet new people and allow them to see me. It takes months before I open up to someone. And truth be told, most often, I stand back and observe and keep my guard up. I want to change it, but I can’t.
You are going to hate this answer.
Because I often know things people don’t. I know facts about topics in conversations, I remember details at work co-workers oversee or forgot, that’s just me. And it doesn’t make me more likeable. Hence, I stay quiet unless I really have things to share or if I can/need to prevent a mistake from being made.
And this will sound conceited
People seem to like me. They ask for my opinion and seek my company. They try to involve me in this or that and get my knowledge. And sometimes, I open up for a moment. But then I go back to my taciturn self and seem distant and cold.
Ever since I quit my job and am waiting to start the new one, I am a much better housewife. I neglected my chores for a long time, doing a bare minimum. But these days, I seem to be full of energy. Stupid thing is, I notice my arm when I am doing too much lifting and pushing and shoving things around. (Surgery march 2021, complications unhealing and still dealing with the aftermath and an arm that constantly tires out and hurts like all…)
My initial thought or reason when I began writing this was that I wish for the times again when I did not overthink and when I was a bit more stupid. When I let the world turn, and I did not care. I am not passing judgment that this or that is better. Being at home is great. Going to work is great too. In the end, everyone decides for themselves what they can do and how they live. It is not my place to tell anyone to stay home or to go to work. I don’t know your circumstances after all. Personally, I am just grateful that I had the opportunity to stay home for such a long time, but I am just as grateful that I was lucky and quickly found new jobs. I think it was good for my kids; to see that it may not be easy but with a little bit of weirdness and faith in yourself, you can succeed.
Some days, I simply care too much. I had a rough day today. Nothing happened, I was just a bit more emotional than I usually am.
But tomorrow is a new day…