there are two years left - officially - of my time as a mom-on-call, and then i will be free to fly into the next phase of my life. my husband often says, "when you go back to work ..." and i'm left to wonder what, exactly, he means.
we still have 14 years until retirement age, so i know i can't and won't and don't want to just be home anymore. i have talents and skills that it would be nice to utilize. i also, though, have a 20+ year gap on my résumé. how do you sell skills you haven't used since the turn of the century? it seems like every writing job i look at also wants social media experience, and i don't snap, tweet, or tik tok. i haven't used editing marks since my stomach was flat. i am rusty and out-of-date and my brain isn't what it used to be. maybe i try to grow the photography business again? but i hated the business side. i love the creating, and the making people happy part, but when it comes to selling ... ? pfft. terrible.
and also, we are finally at a place where we can take off without any worries about what to do with a kid. what if marc resumes his crazy travel schedule, post-covid, for work and i want to join him in seattle ... toronto ... boston? do i ask some twentysomething for days off?
so i know i don't want a job just to have a job. that sounds privileged and bratty, but i feel how i feel. i've had jobs over the years, and they're fine, but it would be nice to do something a little more meaningful with my remaining good years. i would love to volunteer in various capacities, but that doesn't add to the 401k, so i'm not sure i would have much support for that idea from the peanut gallery. go back to school? maybe. but if i've learned one thing from years of reading about women making their dreams come true, most often what it takes is passion, talent, gumption, and courage ... not a degree.
here's the thing - and it came to me while bingeing three different series:
i want to work in collaboration with smart, creative, supportive women. i don't think i even care what the job is, it would just be really nice to work alongside a community of female energy and inspiration.
the universe and i have had a talk about this; the desire has been communicated.
this epiphany hit me after devouring every episode of "the lost kitchen," "growing floret," and "zoë bakes." all of these showcase a woman with a talent and an itch to do something with it, who finds a way to plant that metaphorical seed (or a literal seed, in the case of erin benzakein) and grow it into something amazing, collecting a tribe of women along the way to make it happen. both erin french and benzakein have built a small army of enthusiastic and brilliant women who are able to find and utilize their strengths to benefit the whole.
i want to be a cog in a wheel like that.
i want to work with creatives, with people who have passion and want to assemble other minds and hands to bring that passion to life. at the very least, i want to work alongside those people if it will push and inspire and light me up, too.
to that end, i closed my eyes and hit "go" on the registration for an eight-week writing course that starts in october at a local women-only cooperative, modernwell, located here in minneapolis. i've long been curious about this place and what it offers, and am finally in a place where i can reclaim my time and life and make it happen. i've also been pondering taking some classes through daily om ... does anyone have any experience with those? there is a hole somewhere in my soul that's been lying dark and ignored, but felt, for as long as i can remember. it's time to shine a light on it and try to fill it. and if it's possible to gather a collective in the process, all the better.
my dream is to write, and marc and i talk about heading into the empty nest years with plans to live one month a year somewhere new; rather than finding a place to move in retirement, we will instead learn a new area and experience life there, four weeks at a time. he can work remotely and, in this dream, i would soak in the energy and inspiration, and write while he is doing his day job. there's an idea, a proposal, in there that i need to roll around and tighten. but i think it will all start with putting myself out there to find that collaborative female energy, to join its fire and embrace. i can't keep turning to my husband with all of my concerns and doubts and ideas; guys are "fixers," they want to give you a plan and pat themselves on the back for saving the day. i don't want or need that; i need a tribe.
we'll see if the universe is listening.