The Only Person I Want to Make Coffee For is ME
Posted on December 1, 2012
You know I keep getting asked one particular question over and over again pretty much since the moment Jonah was born and I will say for the record that asking this question right after having a baby isn’t exactly cruel but for sure it hits me harder than maybe it does for others.
Drum roll, please.
“So, when are you planning to go back to work?”
Now, I can stomach this question when it’s coming from my mother or another family member even though it’s not my favourite discussion to have. But when the damn checkout lady at my local Safeway asks about Jonah’s age and then follows up with the all-too-bloody-popular-shot-to-the-groin question about going back to work, I think my facial expression says it all. Look at my face, lady. Back off.
The truth is I am in no hurry to get back to the career I had before baby. Why? Because the “career” I had was no career to speak of. I woke up at four am every morning to grind coffee and open my store to make sure my fellow North Vancouverites had their espresso in hand by 4:45 am. And if you’re wondering, yeah, being late is not an option because if your door isn’t unlocked by that time they are tapping on the glass wondering what the fuck is wrong with you, you the tiny insignificant barista. Ok, so maybe that’s more me and my beautiful melodrama, but that’s how it felt every single day. Even with running my own shifts, a lot of the time I felt pretty low.
I have nothing to return to, dear readers. My whole life now is baby and it is the most important thing I have ever done, because let’s face it my past isn’t littered with accomplishments or achievements, neither big nor small. I think it is safe to say I’ve lived a quiet little life. Lucky enough to have found the love of my life, and thankful I have always kept up on my writing but as far as growing up and becoming a successful adult? I’m not sure making the perfect cappuccino is anything to brag about. I have been working in restaurants for a decade, since I was sixteen and even though I don’t think I ever loved it, I was comfortable enough that I never strayed. You know I took myself through school and then moved my new family to the big city to see what dreams I could chase … but I guess I’m not one to strive too high because the higher you go the further you fall.
You made yourself. I just housed you. And, now I just hose you. Down.
They say that your thirties are the new twenties, meaning if you feel completely lost at 27 (hello misery) then you are probably pretty normal. Well, normal? Not in my neck of the woods. I have more friends with master degrees than I do without. Even Bestie is fighting the “fear” and making real strides toward the betterment of herself and career, finally making real money and not this 11 dollars an hour bullshit. And, I’m sorry, I am going to say the thing you are not supposed to say when you are a mother. A baby is not a better accomplishment than having a master’s degree or a high flying career. I’m sorry, I love you kid, but making you wasn’t all that difficult. You made yourself. I just housed you. And, now I just hose you. Down. Because you stink and cleaning a baby isn’t an accomplishment either. So don’t start.
Listen, I’m sorry I invited you to this unexpected pity party, but now you’re here so sit tight and shut your traps because I am just about to turn it around.
I’ve got a plan, I do. It is just difficult some times to wait to start. Especially when you see people in your life really begin to surpass you and leave you behind, but we all have our own path in life and maybe I am beginning to see where mine leads.
When I feel like kicking myself down emotionally, I start to think that I am abandoning all my hopes and dreams since recently I’ve decided to go back to school to educate myself in something other than writing, publishing and design. That “life” I was striving for was this great big white hope that I’ve come to realise isn’t what I want. I’m not a competitive spirit work wise, or a get-up-and-go kind of gal and I don’t want a high-powered career or have to struggle being a starving artist as a writer.
I began sorting out what experiences are important to me since meeting Jeff and even more so after having baby Jo and I keep coming back to one central theme. I believe in the healing power of touch. I look back on a life of me playing the protector and after having my son, I see clearly that the signs have been there all along. I want to learn about healing by natural means and by holistic treatments. I truly want my career to reflect my desire to take care of the world around me, and how I start doing that is by taking care of those around me. My mother has always said that I have strong hands, just like her. I come from a long line of women with strong hands and there is something in that, I think. I have always expressed myself through my hands, whether with my writing or through a supportive grasp of my husband’s hand or even how I make Jonah laugh when I softly stroke his cheek. I can see a career in massage therapy keeping me satisfied and allowing me to continue to express myself the best way I know how.
I’m not going to listen to that part of me that tells me I am coward for giving up on my prior dreams of becoming a writer, graphic designer or whatever else because it isn’t even right. I am a writer with or without being published. I can continue to learn the art of graphic design and keep it as a beloved hobby. If I had truly wanted more than that I would have made it so. I wanted a husband and family and I made it so because obviously that is what I wanted most. Now I desire to have a career that will afford me the ability to both raise my kids financially and spiritually and I will make it so.
But for now dear readers, I’ll answer the question like this. The reason I am in no hurry to get back to work (of any kind) right now is simple. I will never get this time back. The fact that my husband and family struggle to award me the time to raise Jonah by being home with him day in and day out is precious. And, even though I don’t get paid, I have the best job in the world and unlike every other job I have ever had there is no doubt that I am, finally, appreciated … Jonah tells me so every day and at this juncture, I’d like to say to my parents that I appreciate you and everything you have ever sacrificed in order to raise me. I’ll make good on it. On it all.