My Pickle

The past few weeks I’ve been having an occupational crisis. The first hints occurred when I declared to Tony the other day that I was going to law school to “be like my dad.” As I rushed downstairs to let Tony know what I was going to do (I had already looked up admission dates at the U and was strategically planning out childcare in my head), he was playing video games and I got a whithered look accompanied with an “Uh-huh, cool.” If you didn’t know Tony this could come off insensitive, but if you know me, you also know I’m kind of prone towards giant declarations (I prefer to think of myself as adorably impulsive): “I’m going to paint the whole house this week!” “I’m running that 10k! (in one month).” “I need to go to Hawaii or I. Will.  Die.” <– that one came true, we just booked Kauai (!) and I think this was less of a spoiled need to simply tropical vacation, but more of a desperate compulsion to escape crappy life circumstances. The only solution I could think of was an umbrella drink, a book, and a beach.

I think most of my major life decisions are made on a whim. I decided I wanted to go to grad school in one evening, took the GRE’s two weeks later, applied to one university, and sixty thousand dollars later I have a fantastic degree that I feel, some days as I’m doing laundry or pushing the grocery cart down the aisle, like a moron for not using right now.

I’m currently going through a ‘whimmy’ phase. Tonight I looked through jobs and school programs, while all at the same time acknowledging how hard it would be to do those things with a baby, but still wanting them very much (Would you like to watch my child for free?) It’s hard finding your identity as a mom, especially if you’ve previously found it in school or working.

I think of things like, “If I have another baby, and then wait for them both to be in school, and then go back to work…will I still be….smart?” I’m not sure. Or, if I waited that long to go back to get my doctorate and counsel, would I be too old? I feel like I might be too old. It’d be nice if life were significantly longer, with more time, more childcare, more money, and less pressure.

(Interestingly enough, I’m not sure where this fits, but there is an occupational crisis scale and several studies looking at people who suffer from ‘occupational crisis’s, and most of them were women in the psychology profession…(twilight theme music…)

So, while some of my whims are truly that, just whims, some aren’t. It’s really hard to tell the difference. Do I really want to work or go back to school right now, or maybe I’m just looking for something to make me feel like I did when I was in grad school. If I’m really honest, I loved studying, I love solving problems and writing papers. I loved my internship, I loved running groups and counseling…it was just fun.

For now I’ll lay off cruising the internet looking at admission policies and scholarships and deadlines…I really think we are a grass is greener culture, but hopefully I’ll soon figure out exactly it is I’m looking for.

That last paragraph sounded a lot like what a drippy background narrator would say during the intro to a WB show, but you get my drift.

 

I need to go to Hawaii. Among other things.

My mom and I stood in her bathroom tonight trying on wigs that she bought for the impending head shave, and I realized several things.

First and foremost, I don’t really make an attractive blonde.

Secondly, I always thought I’d deal with crisis better.

I also thought I was really okay with it when Tony and I cancelled our vacation to Hawaii in December. But I think the thought of sunshine was actually really keeping me going for a while. Tonight, as Tony and I drove up to Mount Vernon, I looked outside at the cold, dark, gross brown snow, and then back at Tony, and

told him that I really think its an emergency that we take this trip. Apparently the crazed look in my eyes prompted him to agree. I think its okay to need some sun. I’m rebooking this weekend.

Lastly, I’m not sure if I know what it looks like to deal with things “healthily” anymore. I always thought a counseling degree would prepare me better to handle adversity, but apparently counselors are some of the craziest people out there. Oh well, at least we’re entertaining as we socially circle the drain.

I haven’t dealt with this whole ‘cancer’ thing that well. Then again, I’m realizing that I don’t even know what that would really look like. I’d really love for someone to tell me what it really looks like to deal with a parents illness in a good way, besides grabbing a glass of wine and not thinking about it.

But for now, until someone brilliant gives me all of the answers, I’ll peruse deals to Maui and pack my shorts.

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