But when people ask what I do, I don't really know how to answer. I wish we could all just say "I work" and leave it at that. Yeah, all of us, mothers or not, gainfully employed or not, because life is work. I wish that a work title wasn't just another way for people to gauge each other's worth because we're all worth the same whether that makes some of us uncomfortable or not.
So anyway. I'm working on things, a number of things, writing and editing and creating things. The thing is, only one of these gigs pays me (currently)...and only a little. So all this work can feel less valid, I mean, if I put the pressure of what I think people think of me on myself anyway. (Which is always silly.)
I need to return emails, I'll say. SO MANY EMAILS. (And then I feel like I'm supposed to put my hand to my forehead to make the point that I'm very busy with my WORK.) I need to do some editing. SO MUCH READING TO DO! (Swings other hand to forehead.) I have this post in me that's just begging to be written-how shall I find the time? (Fans self.)
See? It sounds pretty stupid.
I've said a million times that being a part of the online world, as a blogger and editor and speaker and friend (there! there are some titles! So nice of them to come along and make me feel better!), has been such a beautiful thing for me. I know many many people who are making their dreams come true largely because of how social media has benefited them, how they've found their creative footing and had great successes. And so often, people want to know HOW, HOW did that work? How did those people DO that? What is that called?
And I could try to help people understand by saying something like, Well, they had a well-read really cool blog and they tweeted a lot and they had a lot of fans on their facebook page and so people knew who they were and then they did this other thing and people were paying attention. You know, because of their klout score.
Yeah, I could say all of that and it would be sort of true, but I think the simple answer is that the person had "it" already. "It"--a talent or charisma, a drive and a knowledge and creative spirit--and the Internet was simply an avenue to doors that were shut without all the voices of social media shouting loudly the praises of that talent. But people don't really want that to be the answer I give them. They want a formula, maybe for their own road to success, or maybe just to have it all make concrete sense.
But it doesn't.
So I do my best to believe that I have "it" too and I sit with my words and my creative ideas and I work at them and I reach out to the brilliant people I've come to know because I'm here and then together we work toward bringing these ideas to life and I love it. I get to write words here when they strike me and I tuck other words away for a book and yes, there's always a busy inbox. So I'm working. And I'm believing that this is all headed somewhere because it already has and maybe that "somewhere" will have more of a title, but for right now it just doesn't. It's just work.
Dreams can come to be a reality in millions of different ways and the road is almost always longer than we'd like. The Internet makes us want the success now now now...but it takes time and it takes work. So on the days I have childcare, I say that I'm working, and now I'm working on saying that with confidence. And on the days that I feel like I must be taking something from my children by taking some time away, I say it to myself, I'm working, and then I try really hard to believe that it matters enough to be worth that time away. Because it does.
I'm riding this. I have no guarantees. I have not even close to an enormous paycheck or even a title. But I'm moving forward every day with these dreams that keep popping up, I'm daring to put myself out there and I'm taking risks. It makes me feel more alive than I have in a long time and I know my children feel that too. I still get to hang out with Miles and Asher so much of the time, and I get to have a baby girl who will enter this crazy mix while I do my creative thing on the side. So I wonder sometimes, how I could be so lucky, to land in this online space, a place that makes it possible to have the best of both worlds? They say that you can't have it all, not all at once, and I used to believe that to be true, but now I'm thinking maybe I was wrong.
I am a wife and mother and I'm a writer and a blogger and I'm even a creator, in so many ways. This is all work. I love my work. (wipes eyes)
This post was written largely to me. I've up and had an idea that's become a project that's become a team creative endeavor and man it is WORK. Hopefully I can tell you all about it soon. Today I just needed to think through things out loud. I actually have been feeling peaceful about "doing it all," more peaceful than I ever have in the past. In the past, I was convinced that if I was a SAHM, there was just no way to find time to respond to my creative ideas, my dreams, my goals...that's simply changing for me. And who knows, maybe it will change back? I think that happens to we mothers all the time...
If you're a mom, how does all of this feel for you? Where are you with the 'having it all' conundrum. I don't think there's a right answer. I just love to talk about it.