I have to get a job, and not just a job, a career.
It is something I think about all the time. In fact, I think it dominates most of my thoughts these days (aside from parenting, my impending divorce, finances, and asking the question, “WHAT just happened…”), but I think getting a job ties into all those other thoughts so tightly.
I ask myself all the time what it is I want to do. There are a ton of things I would love to do, but none that are lucrative enough to support my family. And let’s face it, that’s my goal right now.
The more I think about all this, the more blank about it all I become. I’m not sure why. I always had ideas about careers that I would love. I always had those thoughts, “well if I weren’t doing this, I would do this…” but as life started happening, marriage, kids, supporting my husband, I sort of lost those ideas. What were they?
The other night I was lamenting this to my parents.
“I should know what I want. I’m 35. I should have some idea of what I want to be, where I want to go, what my dream would be.”
They said, “You did know what you wanted. You had an idea of where you wanted to go and what your dreams were. They were just pulled out from under you.”
I guess I hadn’t thought about it like that. I just managed to beat myself up over being 35 and not having any ambitions. But I did, oh, I did.
I wanted to be a wife. I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to be a missionary. Full-time. I wanted to support my kids by being there for them. I wanted to menu plan, grocery shop, meet friends at the park, clean my house, do laundry, volunteer at school, help out in ministry, greet my husband at the end of a long day with a hot meal. Reading it now, I realize how counter-culture and backwards it sounds, but it never felt that way. It never would have felt that way had I been able to pursue that my entire life. I wanted to be able to fulfill what I felt God was calling me to do, and be. I liked my job title.
But that rug, that I believed I was standing so firmly on, has been yanked out from under me, and I’m sitting here in the middle of the mess it left looking around and wondering where to even start the clean-up effort.
So, whether it’s my choice or not, a new future has been mapped out for me. I don’t have to like it. I don’t have to want it. It just is this way. And it’s time to move forward.
I realized something the other day, I was giving my husband and his choices power over what is happening now and what is to come. Nothing can take away the fact that I am MOM to some pretty incredible kids. Nothing will ever take away the kind of wife I tried to be. I wasn’t perfect, oh my, was I imperfect and broken in my marriage, but I tried so hard.
I guess what struck me today is that I am terrified. I look at my seven year old and his specific set of needs, and how much time of my day, or week, or month, that I dedicate to him, just to make sure he will be okay, and it’s a lot of time and I always counted it worth it because I won’t ever regret doing absolutely everything I could to make sure he succeeds and becomes the man God wants him to be. I don’t know how I am going to make it work. I look at my parents and how much they are carrying right now, and honestly wonder how much more they’ll be able to do. I look at wanting to be independent and then realize, I never really will be again. I will always need that extra set of hands that isn’t there anymore.
It’s like I don’t even know how to begin looking at everything differently. I am so scared to trust it will all work out. I am scared that one sacrifice in one direction will end up hurting in a different direction. I’m afraid I’ll never be able to make the best decision for my family. I’m afraid I’m not capable to fill this role of single mom.
I guess facing this is the beginning of dealing it with. I know once we’re on that path it will feel okay, and the details I worry so much about will be taken care of. I know that because God has already taken care of so much of it. My biggest fear in reaching out for help and walking away from the man I loved, who was self-destructing before my eyes, was how I would ever be able to do life without him, and we’re at almost five months of life without him being here physically, and we’re closing in on a year of him not being here emotionally. Here I am, standing, surviving, and in many ways thriving. My biggest fear was realized, and God has carried us through the debris of that explosion.
Maybe right now that is all I have in the midst of my fear. God is here. God is taking care of us. Maybe that’s all I need right now, well that, and a job.