Do You Hear That?

Yeah, it’s the world’s smallest violin…

So, while dragging out the rest of my spring clothes, I noticed a box in the closet. I decided to look inside and holy cow — a folder full of papers, poems, stories, and misc. other writings from high school and college. Also the work I did during the grad course I took at Emerson and creative writing classes I took at the Adult Ed Center in Cambridge. It was wild going back, reading professors’ comments and encouragement, and thinking about the direction I thought my life was going to take. Also, I found the contact sheet from the summer I worked at the Dorset Theatre Festival (1997, in case you wonder). I was so excited and of course I immediately started Googling people I’ve lost touch with.

It’s bittersweet for me as I’ve read what they’re all up to. So many have gone on to have incredibly successful careers in theatre, film, and TV. One has her own production company. And, of course someone I am still very close friends with has done extremely well with his career in design (and I am so, so proud of him because I knew him waaaay back when and I know how hard he’s worked to get where he is). And here I am, never having gone back to get my MFA in creative writing like I’d wanted to do and planned to do. Doing virtually nothing that relates to my degree (sorry, but writing blog ads does NOT count as any kind of journalism). Most of it is because I’ve been lazy. I have no one but myself to blame for that, I am well aware. Some of it because I ditched Boston when I was considering applying to Emerson’s grad program. And naturally some of it because I’ve spent the last 5 years at home doing the mom thing.

I’ve spent the last few hours wallowing in a nasty bog of self pity. And we know how productive that is. So I am now absolutely determined to get back into writing and/or editing. I have found (thanks to Sherry) some sites with freelance opportunities. I need to start carving out time to work on my own goals and aspirations, and I don’t care if that comes across as selfish. For some reason, this year I’ve really been doing a lot of soul-searching and navel gazing and trying to figure out just what the hell I am doing with my life. I’m disappointed that I’ve let myself give up on some of my goals. There’s no reason for that. I deserve more than constantly wondering “What if…”

4 thoughts to “Do You Hear That?”

  1. I am right there with you in the pity party. But I think you need to try and refocus on what you *have* accomplished. I think especially when we’re doing the mommy thing, it’s so easy to notice how slowly progress towards our own goals moves because everything else moves so fast. But something is better than nothing, and forward progress is forward progress, no matter how slowly. This is all temporary, and there are LOTS of years left after the really intensive first years of our kids’ lives are done. I have been leafing through a magazine aimed at 40+ women at the gym, and it’s actually quite inspiring because so many successful women have reinvented themselves so “late” in their lives. So good luck, and if you need any online networking leads let me know.

  2. Carol, I’m *so* sorry that you’re feeling this way. Is there anything that I can do? Did you get my e-mail from last month, where I talked about a freelance writing opportunity at a paper in your county? I think that it took a lot of courage to post this blog entry, and I admire you for that. You are one talented woman ~ don’t forget that. And M. is right ~ look at all you’ve accomplished!

  3. Sorry to read this- Soul searching is tough sometimes you don’t always like what you find! I did a similar thing last year- and found out that my roomate at col. had been murdered like a year after we gratuaded.
    So only search as far as you can handle, so maybe you can focus on all the new accomplishments you have had!

  4. Ugh! Lisanne’s right, you are one talented woman. Lately I’ve wondered about my own work and working-mom status. If I didn’t have family nearby, I think I”d find a way not to work. Part of the reason I never seriously explored that option is because I was afraid of re-entering the workforce after a long break.
    You definitley need to look at what you’ve accomplished. More than you might think.

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