The following is a guest post from my dear forever mom, who has had an exceptionally challenging few days so I offered my blog as a sense of refuge from such hardships. Please humor her and welcome her, as this is certainly something new for both of us.
It all started nine months ago tomorrow. Dear baby Carter, as Wiley calls him, was born and everything changed. When I say everything, I mean everything. I had no idea how badly I would want to become a stay-at-home mom, I had no idea how badly I would want to nourish him for as long as possible, I had no idea how on Earth I could ever have loved something so tiny so much.
Since then, I have taken a significant pay cut to switch jobs to doing something that allows a lot more time with Carter, embraced breastfeeding in all its challenging goodness, and loved Carter to the moon and back. And, in general, everything has been absolutely charmed since I made these decisions. Sure, there have been proverbial mountains to climb, but they have been nothing I couldn’t handle thanks to the support system I have come to know and love.
So today, when it happened, I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. I’ve said for months now I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Everything has been going too well. Unlike Wiley, who I know makes a point to find a silver lining in absolutely any negative situation, life has hardened me to such things. In 2009, I lost my dad and a job I loved within two weeks of each other. I know it was all part of God’s plan, because it enabled me to throw my heart and soul into helping my mom straighten things out and be there for her as she has been there for me all of these years. I was honored to do it.
But that’s not the point. As a generally happy and optimistic person, I had always made a point to bring the same happiness and optimism to whomever I came into contact with. The events of that year made it harder to do this, to live the life of joy I once knew.
Finally this year, I thought it had almost all come together. Being with Carter more is a gift. The job is great. Money is tight, but it ultimately doesn’t matter confronted by the truest and sincerest joy I’ve ever felt. And today it happened.
The letter came out to myself and everyone else that works for the newspaper group with which I am affiliated. The voluntary separation letter. ‘You can leave if you want to’ is what they say. ‘And if you don’t leave, we could lay you off’ is what I hear. I know it sounds terrible, but in my short life this is already the third (or it could even be the fourth) time I’ve seen a letter like this, so I can say with some authority that it is not good news. Believe me. I read every painful word of the information they sent and it’s true. It. Is. Not. Good. News.
And I am not sure what is coming next. I have a bachelor’s degree in communications and psychology from a reputable school. I have a master’s degree in clinical psychology from (an arguably even more) reputable school. Writing is my real passion, and the opportunity to pursue something I love while maintaining balance in life means the world to me.
So it has happened. The other shoe has dropped. Today I stand at yet another turning point in life, and for the first time I am trying to keep an entirely open mind. Because, in a way, it all started nine months ago tomorrow. My life changed forever the day Carter was born. I can’t believe the person he is becoming. Or the person I am becoming as a result. So yes, I will pray. And I will keep an open mind. If Carter has taught me anything, it is that sometimes life-changingly amazing things come in small, unassuming and unexpected packages. Maybe all I need to do is wait.