In my "old life" or my pre-Mommy days..I was a recruiter. I found candidates, interviewed them and matched them up with the appropriate jobs to interview for where they hopefully got hired. I was GOOD at my job..I started with no experience in this field, quickly moved up the ranks to a Senior level in only 1 year and basically proceeded to put in 40+ hours per week for them for the next 3 years. I gave up evenings with my husbands, some Saturday mornings and even part of my own sanity due to the high stress levels but I figured that the "rush" I got from filling a certain number of jobs each week which in turn increased my monthly commission check and the continued praise from my superiors made this alright and also guaranteed my future with the company.
Little did I know that on April 12th 2009, the sales and recruitment staff would be sat down and told "sorry, the company isn't doing well - we are letting you all go in 4 days" and therefore, I was about to become a statistic of this current failing economy. Initially, I was okay with this and spent my time looking for jobs but was also very much focused on having my baby and then raising her for the first few months of her life. I didn't think this really bothered me and felt that I was lucky to come out of through this sort of change in my life without any sort of emotional breakdown or level of frustration assuming that I would be able to find something relatively quickly and telling myself that I was happy to be away from the high levels of stress.
Now though, it is almost a year later and I am realizing that this was not the case at all. Perhaps it is that my daughter is now 9 months old and I am for the most part out of my initial "baby blur", the holiday season is well behind us, winter is about to become a distant memory and we as a family have some what of a routine but whatever it is, I am beginning to realize that I am mad about the situation.
From the time I told my boss that I was pregnant, I dealt with a series of remarks on a fairly regular basis to the affect of "if you have a desk to come back to after your maternity" or "could you come to work looking less pregnant due to X client meeting" or others that I choose not to mention that I now look back and wonder if I was actually let go due to the economy or if it was more so due to my pregnancy? I will probably never know one way or the other but what I do know is that I was damn good at my job and therefore, did not have a valid reason for having lost it. I don't just say that, I have this in writing (so to speak) from both my former employer and clients that I worked with however comments made obviously make me wonder and as I am not the only woman that I know of who has had this sort of thing happen to her 6-8 weeks prior to giving birth...it makes me wonder.
I am not sure what irritates me more, the thought that this might be the reason or the fact that I am now looking for work and trying to figure out what it is that I want to be doing with the rest of my life all the while making sure that me going back to work actually makes sense. Daycare costs a lot - to say the least - and does it really make sense for me to go back just to pay for daycare? Probably not.
In Illinois, the current unemployment rate is 11% while the national average is 9.somethingorother % and the governor of this state just announced today that he would raise income tax by 1% all while many citizens of this state are struggling to keep their homes, pay their bills AND are also about to lose their unemployment benefits. It is just so incredibly frustrating to know that so many who have skills and are talented are in the same position as me and my husband. We know that we are more fortunate than some but we still wonder "when will this all end" so that our lives will get better and what sort of future does our daughter have for her in this country. We have seriously considered leaving altogether as the end does not seem to be in sight but we know that the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side.
I guess what it comes down to is that I need to really figure out what it is that I want to do when I grow up. When I take a step back and look at this from a non-emotional angle, I am able to say "everything happens for a reason" and begin to believe again that I have had this happen at this point in my life because I am not meant to be doing what it was that I did before. I feel that I am meant to be doing something more creative as the hum-drum world of Corporate America did on some level always make me want to poke my eyes out and honestly the thought of going back into a cubicle one day and working for someone else ranks right up their with the enjoyment of putting myself in a cage and roaming back and forth across the same 3 feet of space each day all the while looking out from behind the bars longing for my freedom.
At the moment, I am enjoying my time with my daughter but it is time for me to set the wheels in motion for what it is that I am going to do next with my life. Perhaps, I should use this frustration, anger and general sense of irritability in regards to this subject to my advantage and channel it into a type of fuel that I can use to start on this new path in my life. While I might not have chosen to be in this particular position at this moment in my life, maybe someone else is trying to tell me something and whatever it is, is beginning to get louder. I can almost feel it brewing in me and need to seize this "gift" that I have been given as I also believe that if I don't, it might pass me by and perhaps never come again...