As the 1980s rolled in, I was in my early 20s. A time when I probably should have had some direction in my life, but I did not. A time for ambition and drive, neither did I have. Women were being recognized as forces to be reckoned with, I was not that woman.
I just came off my turbulent teen years with no real education that could further me anywhere and no plan. I was as aimless as I was as a teenager. I did know, however, that it was the time to get my act together and start being responsible. A lesson learned, by the way, over the next few decades. You do not just wake up one day and are responsible.
I never really had any grand ideas of working as a lawyer or anything like that. I deep down knew it would be retail or food service in my future. I did get my GED, but I was still just a dumb kid with a very small world view.
I met a very nice young man who actually treated me well and we had fun together. We decided to get married. I actually enjoyed the experience of being married and felt a baby was the next step. Many of my friends were having children and I thought if I did I could stay home and nest full time.
There was no pregnancy and I thought it would happen soon so I quit my job at Kmart to stay home and have babies. All was well at first, but still no babies. The longer I stayed home the more pressure I put on myself. I thought if I was staying home without children I needed to do everything Martha Stewart perfect.
This pressure then took the fun out of everything and made me paranoid. I thought everyone was judging me for not working. Most people probably didn’t even care but I had all day to think and obsess about it. Eventually, the marriage just faded into oblivion. Then I had to work as I was late 20s and single.
I continued working but took one year off to get pregnant by my new husband. Again nothing. My dream of a June Cleaver life was dead and buried. I worked, sometimes two jobs, but never really felt it was me. But it was what society and my mountain of bills dictated.
Fast forward to my time before leaving Ohio. I was done with the grind and wanted out. I had been planning my exodus for decades. Finally in my 50s, the time came. We were financially ruined anyway, might as well go all the way. We packed the car with a few items and hit the road with no solid plan.
We built a new and much different life. Things were good. I had a nice job that I loved and it was fine. March 2020, when everything changed. Now I’m suddenly not working full time and really wondering what I was supposed to do. I have talked about the depression and insecurity. Then I found a cooking show that ignited something in me.
Now I’m working a cool part time job but more importantly, I doing what I thought I always wanted to do. I’m cooking, cleaning and taking care of my family (Mike and I). Those old feelings started to creep in, am I just lazy? What is wrong with you, why can’t you just go to work? But I threw those out of my mind.
Could I have been this happy when I was younger? Probably not, I had to live and experience some things. I had to walk through the fire before I could be grateful for this time. The pressure I felt, real or imagined, reflected who I was at that time. With the drama gone now, I can fully enjoy my calling. I’m not saying this is all it will be, but it is more in line with who I believe I am.
My wish for you today is that you are filling your life with your purpose and things you love. They say life is too short to not enjoy it and I think they are right. Find your happiness and enjoy the day. We all need more of that.