Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Living the Dream

I've joined the Knitty Secret Pal 6. I usually have bad experiences with on-line secret exchanges, for some reason my Secret Pal always looses my address half-way through, but hey, I'll try anything fifteen times. Plus Knitty outs you if you're a bad secret exchanger.

In the process of signing up I had to answer a million and three questions about myself including my natural hair color, cholesterol count, and if I were a fruit what would I be? (starfruit of course, isn't it obvious?) Alright only the last question was on the list, but really fruit? One question that did give me pause concerning dream jobs. What is my dream job?

As a child I wanted to be a singer, or an actress. That was in the dark ages before you could do both, and Madonna was just crazy for trying (she's a singer, what is she thinking trying to act? Desperately Seeking Susan was held up as proof that you shouls not attempt both). Now everyone is both. Whether they should be or not. But at the time, back in the dark ages, I thought I had to pick one or the other. I just couldn't decide between the two. I couldn't focus my energy on one path or the other due to indecision. Which is just as well, because I lack star talent as either.

At twelve I decided I wanted to be a psychologist. Not a psychiatrist, a psychologist. I didn't want to go to med school to be a psychiatrist. Psychologist was good enough for me. But I didn't want to work with "bored housewives". I wanted to work with really crazy people, preferably cannibals or serial killers, you know, people with real problems. What a shame I didn't realize you can't get near cannibals without a med degree and a certificate that proves your own sanity as well (two thing I lack). I would have studied harder in college so I could go to med school.

When I actually entered the work force I ended up as a regional manager for a white collar company. I enjoyed it. I was pretty good at it. Despite being a social outcast for my entire school career I had a flair for handling the challenging clients that the previous manager lacked. Even if they didn't get their way they went away feeling vindicated for their perceived injustice. Most of their complaints were pretty petty and easily rectified if the previous manager had simply got off her butt to fix them. I was adored by Owner and Clients alike. It wasn't a bad gig. But somewhere in the middle of my step-stool climbing (it wasn't' really a ladder) I had Pork Chop. And things changed.

As I was listening to people complain about the temperature in their office, or the fact that someone had once again drained the last of the decaff without starting a new pot at four in the afternoon, I was suddenly bored. I no longer cared if Fed Ex lost their package, and I was frustrated that they expected me to find it instead of phoning Fed Ex themselves (which is how I found their packages) I suddenly found these people tedious and boring. I wanted something else for my life than coordinating building repairs and billing for phone time. I wanted Pork Chop. I wanted to be home playing with her, cuddling her, loving her.

I realized *gasp* that I wanted to be a housewife. I actually wanted to be a bored housewife, the epitome of everything I despised at age twelve. I wanted to learn to cook more than ramen noodles and macaroni. I wanted to stay home and raise my children. I did quit my job and stayed with Pork Chop for a few months. Then we moved and I went back to work for a different company, but still in the same field, just on a smaller scale. It wasn't a bad gig, but it wasn't where I wanted to be. I think my employers could tell my heart wasn't in it.

Then I had Meaty, and during my maternity leave I was downsized. Position eliminate. Poof, job gone. Despite the financial challenges this presented I was ecstatic. I went crazy cleaning house, having dinner on the table when The Greatest came home. I ironed shirts, and made homemade decorations for Valentine's Day out of construction paper. I wanted The Greatest to see how wonderful it was having me home so he would let me stay. And he did.

In short. I've got my dream job.

This was a bit of a revelation to me as I filled out the Secret Pal 6 exchange forms. I HAVE my dream job.

So when Pork Chop spills blue nail polish all over the carpet, and Meaty dumps out all the doll toys so he can put a train in the bin and push it around the house, and Bird covers herself from head to toe incherry/vanilla yogurt chanting "Bubble, Bubble, Bubble" I've decided to make my mantra "Living the dream, I'm living the dream."

Even if when the dog pees on the floor again my dream feel more like a nightmare to me.


Chris said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing. I hope your Secret Pal is paying attention!

Lynda said...

Here's to living the dream!! Amen

Tam said...

OH. MY. GOSH. How wonderful it is to read your post. I swear we were separated at birth! ha I went through the EXACT sequence of "what do you want to be when you grow up" thoughts and ended up the same place you did. I have 4 little pumpkins who get "neglected" while I'm reading blogs and knitting. I wouldn't miss being here for anything. After my RDA of "Oh. (pause) You stay at home. What do you DO all day??", I can't tell you how refreshing it is to read your post. :-)

kimberly said...

Thank you for saying the things I'm not as talented as you to say! I've been on leave from work for 5 years, and although I'd love to stay right where I am with the kids at home, I may have to go back in the fall. ugh
One day a friend from kindergarten (preschool here) came home with us and when her mother picked her up, she sat for a bit to chat. The mother asked me if I had ever worked. I couldn't believe it, did I look pathetic? Just because she was a single working mom who left her kid in kindergarten from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every single day so she can work, and I don't, doesn't mean I'm not as valuable. That's the feeling she gave me. I definitely think it's the most important job there is. Luck you!!

candsmom said...

Wonderful post and amen, sister! The perfect blend of touching and funny- insomnia or no, you've still got the touch. Having gone through similar life decisions, I completely get it. Being a SAHM was the LAST thing in the world I ever pictured myself doing at 18, but here I am, loving it and living the dream. It's an amazing and empowering thing to be able to consciously choose this path. Crisco rub-downs, blue nail polish notwithstanding, we're still livin' the dream, girl. Take care! :-)

Areli said...

I love this post. You put into words exactly how I feel about staying home with my three little ones. Thanks.

Amy said...

I had to re-read this today because I'm having one of those "not living the dream" kind of days...thanks for the shot in the arm that I needed.