I don’t know if you guys heard, I mean, I only tweeted about it and shared it on Facebook like ten thousand times with all caps freak-outs, but I was on Huffington Post for the first time last week. Am I bragging? Fuck yeah! It’s made me reflect a bit on this whole blogging thing, as has the whole rock-smoothing I’ve been doing. Pardon me while I navel-gaze even more than usual.
One of the biggest things that is now covered in lava and can’t be restored is my legal career. It’s pretty hard to hold down a job when you’re in treatment, and honestly, the stress of finding a work-life balance is more than my stress box can hold now that it’s got two big ass trauma rocks in it. I’m mourning that loss, in ways I didn’t realize I would when I decided to take a disability retirement. It was a part of my identity more than I realized. It feels really raw and for a while I felt kind of lost and alone about it.
Then I pulled my head out of my ass and realized two things. First off, shitloads of moms have to go through that loss of their career all the damn time in this country, because of the shitty way we treat parents in the workplace. I know other lawyers who left their careers to be parents. Daycare is fucking expensive, and even more so if you work in a job that requires long hours and doesn’t respect that the child care center closes at 6PM and charges $5 for every minute you’re late. The forced-from-your-career thing doesn’t just happen to lawyers either, it happens especially to low-wage workers for whom daycare literally costs more than they make. That makes me feel mad about losing my career instead of sad and alone, which is somehow easier.
Secondly, one of the things I got from being a lawyer was a sense of purpose. My work made me feel useful. There were many, many days when I just felt like a bureaucrat, but there were also days when I’d talk to a parent whose kid was struggling and they’d cry on the phone and tell me thank you for being the first person who listened and tried to help. Those days were fucking amazing, and I was missing them a lot. And then BAM! Huffington Post, y’all, and I had other bloggers sharing my words on their blogs and on Twitter. MY WORDS. And saying how my words made them feel less alone, or how they were going to approach their friend with cancer differently, or how moved they were.
Oh hello sense of purpose, it’s nice to see you again! Turns out you weren’t destroyed by the lava, you just floated downstream in it and landed someplace new. Damn, sense of purpose, you’re STRONG.
I don’t have a ton of readers here. The Hubs keeps joking about how his wife is “famous on the internet.” In fact, the other day he said, “Not only do I know someone who’s famous on the internet, I’ve SLEPT with someone who’s famous on the internet.” Famous isn’t really what this whole thing is about, though, I mean, I’m not monetizing this blog and casting a wide net isn’t my goal here. It’s about me sharing my thoughts, and hoping they mean something to someone else someday. That the someday turned out to be last week? Yeah, that felt fucking AMAZING.
Which is why I want to say thank you, to all of you who read this blog, and to all of you who’ve said such nice things about my writing. It means so much to me, and to my sense of self-worth, that what I have to say means something to you.