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Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Off Switch I So Desperately Need

My mother has told me that I need an off switch for my brain and she's right.  I think too much.  I don't have the ability to enjoy life.  My father asked me recently if I was ever happy.  My job starts on Monday at 6:30 am and I don't want to do it.  With such an early start on Monday, it's quite possible I won't see Eliza at all during that week.  Five days without seeing my daughter is not a life I want.

I really want to work.  My mother started to work full-time when she and my father split.  I became acutely aware of how much happier my mother seemed as a working woman.  Her job provided her with a real sense of personal accomplishment.  She was a reporter for a local newspaper.  Growing up, I dreamed of being a writer as well though I thought I would do better than a local newspaper.

Now I'd happily take a local newspaper job but I can't seem to make anything happen with my writing.  On one hand, I haven't tried as hard as I could but as I get older, the chances of anything happening with my writer grow slimmer and slimmer.  I took a magazine writing course earlier this year and wrote a wonderful essay about my three miscarriages.  It has since been rejected or ignored by every magazine I've sent it to.  At More Magazine, they sent a kind personal rejection which would indicate that it will get published somewhere but my follow-up with a different story idea was ignored.  

I continue to write for my freebie magazine and hope it will pay off in some sense.  So far, I've only managed to accrue one good clip.  They'll publish a personal essay if I write one they like so I've got to get on that.  

I want Eliza to know a happy Mama, not this odd basket case that I've been for the past two years.  Part of what was missing when I was home with her was the working me.  I don't mind my job as a script supervisor, I simply don't want to do the hours anymore.  It feels great to be in demand, even after close to three years out of the loop.  It also is flattering that they're willing to let me job share with a great friend.  What other kind of job offers some one two weeks off a month?

But being completely unavailable to my daughter for five days in a row is not the kind of mother I want to be.  Although my mother worked, she was always there for me.  I could call her, in an emergency she could be home for me in an absolute emergency.  She only worked 15 minutes away.  

How do I get to where I want to be?  With a decent job, a home for myself and Eliza and the ability to have dinner with my daughter most nights?  I feel like such a failure.  I'm 40 years old and this is the best I can do.  A career where I make less money than I did when I started, work longer hours and will never get promoted.  It can be fun, there's still elements that I love about being on set but who else would work 80 hours a week for entire seasons and never get promoted.  And the skills I've acquired on this job aren't translating into another position.  

So I made an extremely bad career choice, now how do I fix it?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I've been in your shoes...staying in a relationship because it was easier both financially and emotionally. But its not good for yourself or your daughter. Sometimes taking the biggest step...moving what it takes to get all the other small ones to fall into place.

Good luck and remember you're not alone. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and jump.