There is something stuck in my craw. And I mean REALLY stuck. I can’t dig it out, I’ve tried, so I decided to write about it. Maybe somebody will find some morbid sense of inspiration in it. It’s about career-oriented individuals. With a twist.
There has been an irritatingly common attitude I’ve had to battle for about, oh, ten years now. I realize I should not let it get to me, but it has. Right now, given the horrific day I’ve had, it seems as though the only remedy to not letting things upset me, that I should be able to shrug off and can’t, is to write about it.
What is a career-oriented individual? Somebody who has put all their focus in life into their careers.
The antagonist (by that I simply mean opposite): A family-oriented individual. Somebody who puts all their focus in life into beginning and taking care of their families.
A true mother at heart, though without any living children, I will tell you exactly why I am the former of the two choices. And what kind of shit I get for it.
I’ll start with the shit.
I am a single twenty eight year old woman with no children and nil prospects. I spend my “off time” at my computer, sometimes in pajamas.I drink coffee, I stay up late, I sometimes get up late. I am often treated as irresponsible, unconventional, lazy, uncaring, messy.
Here’s the What’s What and the Why’s Why.
Sometimes perception only goes as far as the mind allows. To see someone at their computer for “hours” or someone who gets up later than you do or somebody who stays in their pajamas all day long sometimes, I may think “lazy” (actually, I wouldn’t) but some people may.
Those people may not take into consideration that I stayed late at work the night before, crawling on top of ten-foot coolers and freezers, moving around boxes of paperwork, climbing up and down ladders, cleaning the whole building, spending a substantial amount of time IN the freezer restocking breads and meats, hauling tons to trash bags and even a fake Christmas tree to the dump.
I’ve been in a multitude of jobs/career potentials. Massage therapist student, CNA, Business owner, a multitude of management positions, I’ve been responsible for the virtues of whole businesses as well as actual human lives. I’ve assisted in resuscitations, I’ve worked 16-20 hour shifts, I’ve been involved in emergency life-and-death situations, some of which my own decisions were the key factor to ending said situations pleasantly. I’ve changed and toileted 65 full grown adults 2-3 times a night, all inflicted with Alzheimers, in between juggling feeding and charting and bandaging and doing full bed changes and baths and running up and down halls 8-12 hours straight night after night, while short staffed and working well past the end of my shift.
I’ve been responsible for business decisions that would affect the whole store, the whole company. I’ve had franchise-wide reputation for being a damn good manager and the one to go to in case problems were to arise- and I wasn’t officially the store manager. But I was given the responsibility of such (not the pay of course). I worked an average of 14-16 hour shifts, 11-15 days in a row at this particular job.
I’ve held multiple jobs. I had two jobs while being a full time student. I worked two jobs while training to become a CNA. While training to become a medication assistant. I worked mega-long shifts in acute care pediatrics- and let me tell you, it’s not easy. I’ve been the sole person responsible for the lives of those I’ve taken care of, infant to a hundred and one, in a number of terrible situations, some of which I’ll never repeat, and not just for ethical reasons.
Not to mention 90% of the time I’m at my computer, I am writing, which, believe you me, is a whole other career, especially now that I am published.
It should be fairly understandable why I take offense in people assuming I am lazy or irresponsible to the point they insinuate I’m not responsible enough to care for their children, ask my why I’m single, tell me “you’ll understand when you’re a parent” when I become concerned that they are so tired and worn out. I’ll understand when I’m a parent?
Try being responsible for 65 people completely out of their mind with brain-degenerative diseases entirely on your own.
If I choose to relax on my “off time” in my pajamas at my computer, working on my stories, then for fuck’s sake that’s what I’m going to do. Because in most cases, I’m tired, I’m sore, I’m frustrated, I’ve only had two hours of sleep thus the reason I’ve “slept in”, and if I want to escape the holier-than-thou attitude of some people I know by staying indoors in my pajamas, I’m going to do it.
Just because I haven’t yet found somebody to treat me well enough to begin a family with, I’m approaching my thirties without a load full of little ones clinging to me, doesn’t make me irresponsible. It doesn’t make me lazy, or childish.
It’s somewhat cute when someone’s young child asks, “Why are you still single?” or “Why don’t you have any kids?” (Because believe me, I’ve gotten this question a lot from a lot of children I know in my life)
But when you consider the fact that they’re only asking because they’ve overheard someone talking about you behind your back and are the only ones with the guts to ask these questions to your face, that sort of changes that.
I’m a mother at heart. I’ve always wanted children. And I’ll get there. But I’m not going to throw myself at the mercy of the first man willing to lie to my face to get sex and pretend to be interested in having a family or interested in what I’m interested in or pretending to share the same dreams, just for the aforementioned sex, because if I was that type of girl I would have done so long ago. I nearly have. Luckily, I caught my mistakes on time and wisened up. Another reason I’m glad I didn’t start young.
I know it’s cliche to say so, but it holds merit. I’m waiting. Waiting for the right time, for the right guy, for the right moment. But I refuse, I absolutely refuse to waste my life while doing so. If I want to write, publish my novels, work a career or two while I’m at it, keep busy and active and healthy and open to possibility, I’ll do so. Without your judgment and assumptions to make any difference, thank you.
I’ve been asked, What if you wait too long?
I’m only twenty eight, and who the hell are you to judge what exactly “too long” is? I’ve known couples in their sixties and seventies fall in love and marry for the first time. Pay less attention to my life and more attention to yours. I’ll get there when I’m ready. And guess what?
Only I know when that will be.
So, now that I’ve vented, I am going to meditate, relax, maybe have a sip or two of something good and reflect back on the possibilities I do have. There is never nothing there, and never nothing going on. The key is to find all the good you can out of it, and let that positivity open your mind and fill your heart.
Only then can you see a clear path. Have a beautiful day.
By the way, this post goes pretty well with the one above: CNA’s- we’re awesome and we know it