I was going to be Carrie Bradshaw long before I ever read Sex and the City. I was going to be a fashion magazine editor living the high life in NYC, or maybe an ad exec in Chicago or a photographer in Seattle. I was a pretty damn good actress in high school, the lead in all of the school plays, so I fully planned on being at least nominated for an Oscar at some point as well. (I always HATED Nicole Kidman because from the first moment I saw her in Days of Thunder and I KNEW she was going to steal all of MY roles…)
I always knew I was going to go to college. I dreamed of Columbia or Northwestern, but did not want to be saddled with the student loans so I ended up at the best state school. I wonder every day what would have happened if I had been able to go to the 4 year Master’s in Journalism program at Northwestern. I guarantee I wouldn’t be sitting here.
I was going to be a career woman. It was expected of me. I graduated in the top 5% of my high school class, I was English student of the year, and everyone had such high expectations of me. Yet I spent my morning shop vac’ing my house, cleaning the cat puke up off the porch and fetching the moppet processed fruit snacks. Right now I SHOULD be heading out to local wholesale club for my bargain groceries.
Instead I think I will type here for a while so I don’t explode. Or perhaps implode would be more accurate. Folding up into myself because I don’t really exist for anyone except maybe my DS, my DH, and my parents….
So, while in college I changed my major from journalism (because I discovered I could write—at least at the time—but I could NOT spell to save my life) to advertising. I loved the creative aspect of it. By the time I realized that all of the jobs were in the sales side it was too late and I just wanted to graduate. I had to get away from the college town, the disintegrating long-term relationship with the “bad boy” and start my life.
I still have not found what I want to be when I grow up. I know I don’t want to work in retail again, no matter how high up the food chain. I sure as hell don’t want to work in anything related to the bridal industry again. I do want to help people and make a difference, but not as a hands-tied social worker again. I DO want to make sure I can make my son the most amazing person he wants to be. SO that’s what I have been doing for the last 4 years.
My mom was a homemaker until I went off to college. I hated her for it. I resented the fact that she gave up her life, her ability to be something, to vacuum the floors every day. Her days seemed like they just floated off the ditto machine, one after the other, nothing to distinguish them, nothing to look foreword to, just…nothing…. (God, I LOVED the smell of fresh dittos…) Make breakfast (alternate between pancakes, oatmeal, waffles, cream of wheat, all from scratch of course); get the hubby and kiddo off to work/school; vacuum 1200 square foot house, mop, dust, make sure there is not an item out of place. Make the house perfection. Laundry. Maybe eat lunch (usually too busy to finish). Clean the pool; work on tan; do aerobics. Watch some soaps. Wait for family to come home. Shower. Make dinner (homemade meatloaf, spaghetti, the usual). Clean up. In bed by 7:30. Wake up at 5:30 a.m. And do it all again.
I just could not understand how she wasn’t insane.
Maybe she was.
Yet here I am. Career-less. A bit hopeless. Filled with loneliness. And I HATE to clean.
I have googled some of my best friends from high school. They all look great and seem to have fabulous careers in the big cities. Lawyers, internet gurus, communications consultants, political advisers, radio personalities… I feel as if they would be so disappointed in me if they saw me now. I didn’t escape our childhoods. I’m back in the suburban safe bubble we longed to escape, only in a different city. I think they would be so disappointed in me. I think they would hate me. And sometimes I hate myself for that.
But I have to remind myself what I have that they don’t. I found my “soul mate” (I think) and have been happily married for…8 1/2 years now…wow… I have the most amazing son, who is smart, sensitive, funny, and adorable. I CAN stay at home with him, raise him to be the best man he can be, not ship him off to daycare for someone else to raise. That would have broken my heart. I haven’t had to miss one step, one word, one potty training mishap. Okay, perhaps it would have been nice if I could have dumped him off at a potty training school for a week to have him come home fresh, clean, and diaperless. My floors and washing machine would have thanked me for sure…
What are the chances those fabulous career women would look at my life and want to trade places? Are they longing for a home of their own, a kind husband, 2 cats in the yard, a few moppets running around, and the ability to enjoy it all….?
I just don’t know. So that’s one of the reasons I enjoy my cheap wine at the end of a long day. In a big plastic wine glass. What can I say…we’re on a tight budget, have tile floors, and a bouncing little boy. Need I say more?