I turned thirty-eight this year. Thirty-eight. 38.
I turned thirty-eight this year and I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be.
Years ago, I thought that by the time I was thirty-eight, I’d have a family that included two children, two dogs, a cat, and a husband. I’d have a stable job that I enjoyed doing and everything I worked so hard for would be paying off.
Today, at 38, I have one fabulous toddler, one dog who is my main girl, no cat, and a loving and supportive husband.
What is missing from my life is not the second child, the second dog, or the cat. It’s the job. It’s the career. It’s the stable work I enjoy doing day in and day out. I work part time assisting kids and while it’s not consistent work and not exactly what I want to be doing, it can be rewarding. The problem is, it’s not where my heart is.
You see, I have a degree in psychology but it’s meaningless these days without a Masters and twenty years of experience. While I have over twenty-years of personal experience in mental health and over five in professional experience said field, it is not enough
Perhaps I’ve been picky along the way, refusing to apply to jobs that advertise for weekends and evening work. However, since having my son, I haven’t wanted to work these shifts. I want to be with my family at these times. I don’t want to miss out on anything. My son is at daycare during the week so if I work evenings, I miss out on my time with him. If work weekends, I don’t get the family time.
Perhaps this pickiness has cost me the career and stability I’m now longing for. Perhaps I’ve been selfish and looking after myself instead of my family. Whichever way it goes, I’m at a point now where I want more. I need more.
You see, I want something that is mine. I want to be more than a wife and mother. I want to be the one bringing in the pay-cheques and feeling like I’m contributing more to our future. I want a title that belongs to me and that I’m proud of. Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud wife and mother, but is it wrong to want something for myself? Is it wrong to want to be more than mommy and wifey?
It’s disheartening when I compare myself to others. It seems like my family, friends, and neighbours have it all. I feel like a failure when I compare myself to them, as I am still on the sidelines with no consistency. All those people on Facebook and Instagram seem to live perfect unblemished lives. But that’s what social media is all about, no?
My husband reminds me that I should never look at my neighbour and ask “why do they have more?” I should ask, “do they have enough?” But in my mind, everyone appears to have enough. Everyone but me.
I’m not where I thought I’d be at this point of my life. I don’t feel like I’m a good enough roll model for my son. I don’t feel like I’m good enough, period. My anxiety and depression eat this shit up, of course. When I get in these moods, they tag-team and bask in my misery. It becomes a mission to get out of the funk. It also drags the rest of my crew down.
So, I took up writing to help me work through this and so far, it’s helped. It’s given me my own identity. It’s given me something that is mine. Karen the Writer. Karen the Blogger. Sounds nice to me!
I enjoy writing because I can express myself better through written words. I think, maybe this is what I’m meant to do. I think, maybe this is how I can reach and help others. I think, this is how I can follow my dream.
I may not be where I wanted to be at thirty-eight, but I have found a niche for myself. I can assure you that I will be trying my hardest to keep it mine.