There is a saying that in order to live a creative life you have to give up certainty.
The first few weeks after saying good-bye to my tech career, I found myself uncomfortable. Gone was the frantic schedule that started at 7 a.m. and ended at 7 p.m. No longer was I driven by someone else’s agenda on a daily basis.
I began saying yes to every opportunity that came my way. I became more involved in my son’s school, I said yes to a consulting job for a start-up, I started writing for a friend’s blog, and I slowly returned to a novel I had started writing a while ago.
Suddenly I realized my life was as frantic as it had been while I was holding a demanding job. I had to ask myself, What am I doing? What am I so afraid of?
I was afraid of becoming the stay-at-home mom, trapped in her cage, who suddenly finds her way to the vodka bottle.
Deciding to opt out of your career can mean more than a few sleepless nights.
My decision to step away from my career to spend more time with my son — as well as finish the novel that had occupied the back of my mind for ten years — was a hard decision to make. I was an independent woman, I said to myself and to my husband over and over again. I fretted over the loss of my income and the level of freedom one’s own money provides. Did this mean I had to give up my last-minute shopping sprees every three months when I carved out an hour for myself?
Most important: what would this mean for my relationship? You hear the horror stories of marriages that fail as couples experience big life changes. Would my husband see me differently now that I was trading in my Tahari suits for lululemon pants? Clearly, I would look different. But would I be a different person?
It took three years of infertility and two miscarriages to realize I couldn’t have it all.
Growing up, I was told that I could do anything I set my mind to. I am from the generation of young girls who were encouraged to do well in school and play sports. One of the few pieces of advice my father ever gave me was, “Go to college and don’t get married until you are thirty.”
This coming from a man who was married and had his first child at nineteen and earned his college degree in nine years while working full time.
Like the women in my generation, I was raised to do more, want more, and achieve more. Raised to want, have, and take it all. We are a band of warrior women, “leaning in” and “breaking glass.”