When Hubs and I decided that our lives would not be complete without someone to constantly clean up after, we started “trying.” Today, I blush at the idea that we told everyone we were “trying” like it DIDN’T mean “we’re screwing in a messy way and hoping to get pregnant!” “Hey mom/dad/boss/random person! We’re fucking!”
We didn’t get pregnant right away. This flew in the face of the belief I had held since 5th grade sex ed– that if I even one time had unprotected sex even one time or even thought about sperm or penises or even heavy petting I would get pregnant with a litter to rival Octomom.
But it didn’t happen right away. In fact, it took almost a year. (That’s a lot of wet spots, yo.)
What started out as a natural, fun process quickly became a laborious chore that involved thermometers, graphs, bizarre post-coital yoga poses, and many, many tears. At one point, sitting there with yet another frowny faced pee stick, I turned to Hubs and said, “if someone could tell me that within the year we would be pregnant, I wouldn’t be so upset every time we’re not. It’s the NOT KNOWING if it will EVER work that hurts the worst.”
Obviously, eventually, we did make a baby. And karma had its way with me by rewarding my worry with two unplanned pregnancies after that.
All this to make a point: I am trying to go back to work full time.
I know that in this space I rent my garments (and yes this is the correct past tense of “to rend one’s garments,” I totally looked it up) and gnashed my teeth about my baaaaaaaaaaaaaaabies and how I just wanted to be home with them and I was missing sooooooooo much! And I wouldn’t change a thing about the past four years. (Four years! WHAT?!) But Squeak is nearly ready for kindergarten. The kids are in school all day. And from a financial perspective, it is time. Past time. Kids’ activities and appetites have outpaced our ability to remain a one-income family. (And yeah we’re not technically a one-income family since I have a PT job and a business and stuff but let’s face it, it ain’t a real salary.) I also started to really *miss* working, specifically working in my chosen field. I missed making a difference, having an impact. I missed wearing grown up shoes.
I have (mostly) loved these days. But this was always meant to be a season, not our lives. And that season seemed to be drawing to close.
To that end, long about October, I started applying for jobs. Specifically, one job. It was this one perfect job, a dream job, that made me finally take the plunge.
I never, ever in a million years contemplated that I wouldn’t even get an interview.
For that job, or for more jobs after that.
As Autumn turned to Winter, and then Spring, I applied for, and was rejected from, MANY jobs.
It has been a long, soul-crushing slog as I navigate the constant annihilation of my self-worth and sense of competency. In October, I would have told you that I am a valuable, well-educated asset to any department that might hire me. I would tell you about the national awards I have won. I would tell you my success stories. And I would tell you that taking this time out has seasoned my skills, my perspective, and my abilities. Not made them moot.
If you asked me today, I would probably just make a squishy sad Oliver face and say, “Please, sir, may I have another job?”
There have been many times in the past months when I have second-guessed my decision to re-enter the workforce. Wondered if this might be a sign that I should wait until all the kids are in school. Or the economy improves. Or or or. But this is always tempered with the feeling that I have somehow, unexpectedly, become untouchable.
Nightly, I toss and turn wondering what I could do differently. What might be the reason. By all accounts, I was well-respected in my past employment. I have the proper degree, the right experiences, a beauty of a resume and I interview like a beast.
I don’t know why. I just don’t know.
Any theories are only theories. Folks try to make it better, but the platitudes don’t do much for me, either. Sometimes, I want to go back to that woman four years ago, with her humongous pregnant belly and no humility when it came to her belief that she would always be able to be hired, and punch her in the face. Then I realize I just said I wanted to punch a pregnant lady. Even if that lady is myself, it’s still not ok.
I just never really even considered that I wouldn’t be able to get back in. This search is the first time ever in my professional career that I have not at least gotten an interview for a job I applied for.
If you told me that, within the year, I would have a job, it wouldn’t hurt so much each time I don’t get one.
But for right now, I gotta tell you, it stings like hell.