Ten years later…

Okay, so I wrote this post on my job huntin’ site. It’s about the stuff I’ve learned by living amongst stay-at-home moms rather than through analyzing them in research reports, a task that was ironically, a big part of my former job.

The post idea was spurred by all this reflecting on what-in-the-heck has happened to me over the last 10 years. I swear, I used to feel so foreign in my suburban surroundings. I didn’t know how to be a mom, give my days structure, make friends, cook, or have a hobby. Nothing felt right or familiar or as I expected.

Now ten years later, I’ve gotten used to being at home. I’ve ushered my kids off to school successfully (enough), made great friends, cultivated some interests and adjusted to the pace. Dare I say, I enjoy it.

I remember how I used to love going to work, carrying my latte and tote bag. I loved the big windows in my office and the cold bottles of Evian in the conference room down the hall. I felt at-home in a black suit. I thought nothing of giving a presentation. I could draft a Powerpoint “deck” in a single afternoon. I had business cards, a title and an assistant.

Now I sit in reception areas waiting for interviews, and I feel completely ridiculous. I don’t like the smell of offices. The fake, piped-in air seems toxic. I see stress on faces that race past the waiting room, and my stomach hurts. I’m tortured with my inability (or desire) to button-up myself up into a business persona. I’ve spent the last ten years speaking frankly and cracking self-effacing jokes. I’ve forgotten how to wear a poker face or use terms like “circle the wagons” without laughing.

So I ring my hands and force myself to keep trying. Maybe this adjustment can be different. Maybe it will take less than ten years, two nervous breakdowns and 92 desperate blog posts.

Yeah, so…got any advice for me? Anyone? Bueller?

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9 thoughts on “Ten years later…

  1. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a general fear of change and a giant, blinking, neon red sign of doom.

    Aside from how you feel in the offices, does the change feel generally right? When you think about going back to work, are you excited amongst the nausea, or just nauseous?

    Getting used to something doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Make sure it’s healthy.

  2. How did I miss your other site??

    My advice would be to seek a place to work that doesn’t require a fake business persona at all times. Who doesn’t like a self-effacing jokes? Somebody I wouldn’t want to work for, that’s who.

  3. No advice whatsoever. The same thing has happened to me in the last four years. I cannot imagine returning to the office life. When I was in it, I couldn’t imagine life at home. It looked to be so boring. I hope to return to the land of paycheck earners someday, but I know it will be different. I’ve got crazy dreams and ideas. Good luck to you. Oh, and promise one thing: don’t stop blogging.

  4. You’re so brave. I have “retired” and went nearly crazy when I was first home. Now I can’t imagine going back to work. Best wishes to you and I hope you continue your personal blog.

  5. I feel like we’re in much the same place. Although I’m not zipping myself into black suits and waiting for interviews, I am sifting through papers and folders representing dreams and ambitions…and I don’t know where to start. You’re right with the hand-wringing and stomach pains–it’s hard!

    Keep writing, keeping doing the work of searching, and you’ll get there. Your success story will encourage my own journey 🙂

  6. I am the same to everyone I work with as I am to my family, friends, etc. Whatever is not meshing, i say it in plain terms. I so laugh at some of the terminology (not in the moment, but afterward I always say, seriously?) Things like “I had to lap out that hole to get the bore to fit.” or “I need to get a female fitting for this male connetor from Service Pipe Supply”.
    ou are not that career woman from ten years ago. You are a Mom, you have wwent through the ‘shadow of death’ as it were to give birth to children. Your experience makes you the same person deep down with a new wardrode and new priorities. Too much time is wasted with those nerve racking shows of who can one up the other guy. And your FP post from today shows you got that loud and clear. I am pleased to have gotten to know yo a bit and am looking forward to future engagements! The Best and hugs to your family! AmberLena

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