Why we should hold on to our inner child

Aside

Last night, I decided to create an Excel spreadsheet of the writing jobs I have acquired since living in Alabama. Within three weeks, I was awarded 7 writing jobs on a freelancing website I subscribe to and scour religiously each day. While most are just one-time jobs, I am ecstatic to be building my portfolio at a much more rapid rate than before, and I get work on a diverse set of projects with clients from all over the country.

When I lost my job last year at 8 months pregnant, I attempted to launch my writing career through Craigslist ads and freelancing websites, but only got about 3 jobs in 2 months, and none offered additional work. It was discouraging, but I kept at it. I took a break once my son was born just so I could completely bask in the glow of motherhood and watch and snuggle him 24/7, then other jobs came up that landed me back in another office doing the same old thing. Now, I’m in a different place, and I am fortunate enough to have the resources to be able to survive without an office job.

I was about 9 years old when I discovered poetry and started writing regularly soon after. My career goal was to be Editor-in-Chief of Rolling Stone. That might not be in the cards for me now, but what is in the cards, what is attainable and happening as I type this is the opportunity to be a professional writer. I now have the opportunity to connect with clients, keep my portfolio fresh and current, and I get to work on projects of all shapes and sizes. I am learning what works with job bids and what doesn’t; how to negotiate rates with clients; and how to market myself for long-term projects. If an office job pops up along the way, great — if it’s the right move, I’ll take it (afterall, I do have a son for whom to provide). But, until then, to know that I can earn a semi-sustainable income just on my writing alone is of incredible comfort to me and something I’m sure the 9 year-old me would be super excited about.

Single mom, unintentional

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Growing up, girls are raised believing that they will one day find their Prince Charming, get married and together have a beautiful family. Then, as the girl becomes a woman, and endures more than her fair share of slimy frogs. Where there should have been a white picket fence is a pile of bills, limited paycheck and a screaming, teething baby banging his head on the coffee table. 

Events precipitating this scene aside, being a single mom is twice, if not thrice, as difficult as being a mom with a live-in partner. As if parenting wasn’t demanding enough, a break is graciously possible with a partner there beside you to say, “You sit down and relax. I’ll change his diaper/feed him/bathe him/coddle him.” Being a mother becomes a 24/7 job with no breaks, not even to pee. And, as fulfilling as motherhood is, there is no shame in admitting that it gets overwhelming sometimes. 

When I first started this blog, motherhood was an idea of “one day, when I’m ready”. I never thought I would be a 30 year-old single mom living in Alabama, that’s for sure. I envy moms who have family living locally, but recognize that it is my choice to live 8.5 hours from mine. 

And, here I am, having survived his first week of daycare, the subsequent first upper respiratory/sinus infection and celebrating my baby boy being healthy again. I’ve traded late nights with Jim Beam for up-all-nighters with Infant Motrin and teething tablets, a lullaby playlist on Pandora, and dancing my little man to sleep as the moonlight washes over us through the bedroom window. Bad dreams are dissolved when I receive that big, toothless grin at 6 a.m. and it doesn’t seem so bad to wake up before the sun. 

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Being a single mom has propelled me forward. It has forced me to examine what I really want out of life, who I finally want to be and what I want to teach my son. It has afforded me the opportunity to carefully select who surrounds us and the influences that are acceptable. The best part is knowing that my dreams are not unattainable simply because I have a child, and that makes all of the hard work and long hours worth it. 

New venue, new perspective.

Aside

Again with the hiatus! Apologies, my fabulous, loyal readers. Since my last entry, circumstances changed — as they often do in life — and my son and I moved to Huntsville, Alabama.

Why Alabama? I say, why not? It is incredible how a change of scenery can change your entire perspective on life. No more hustle and bustle of ATL. No more ridiculous commute.

My biggest accomplishment thus far? Surviving my son’s first upper respiratory infection! It hit him fast and hard and took about a week to kick, but he is back to being my ornery, giggly boy. It definitely was not easy taking care of sick baby with my parents being 8.5 hours away, but I’m proud that I was able to handle it all on my own. He has an excellent pediatrician and compassionate ladies at daycare who called to check on him.

I see big things happening for me here.

As always, I am open to new writing projects, so feel free to contact me!