Thursday, October 13, 2011

Strong Enough To Break


Have you ever had a moment when EVERYTHING starts to make sense, and scare the tar out of you at the same time?  That moment when the planets align and you feel peace, but the peace you feel ends up being pure nostalgia?

I went to a concert alone a few weeks ago.  I didn't know anyone there, but I think it was better that way.  I'd been to the venue before, but it had been 8 years.   I really enjoyed the almost 2 hour drive there, I really needed some alone time to think things through.

I got a great spot, 6 feet from the stage.  I hate those people who just push and shove their way up to the front - really, we're adults - act like it.  Besides, it's better to be a few feet back so you can see everyone and everything. 

And then the music takes over.  I really needed an outlet, and honestly I haven't had one for a while.  I don't do clubs or bars - it's not me and it never will be.  But a concert, when there is true passion behind the music, and the music is good, that is my refuge.  

I worked at a radio station for a few years in and just out of college.  We had a concert almost every month.  That's probably why my daughter is so musically charged, she was surrounded by it in the womb.

But this night, hearing songs that I listen to frequently live and in my face, something clicked.  And then I hear it - 'Strong Enough To Break'.  And everything made sense.  

I've ALWAYS been beat up, knocked down, abused, humiliated, taken advantage of.  I've let it happen since childhood - heck I let it happen that night by letting people push in in front of me.  I recognize that I do this, but I don't know how to not.  It's something that I'd just accepted.  But hearing that song that night... it hit me.  Over 20 years of mental abuse, some of it my own.  I'm broken and have been knocked down, and I let it happen.  But I always got back up; that's got to count for something, right?

I'm human, I'll make mistakes.  I'm trying to grow, but walking down unfamiliar paths.  I feel like I'm doing it all alone, even though there are so many people around me... I'm letting go of those who maybe haven't given me the support that I need.  

Have you taken a look at yourself lately?  Because I am right now, and I don't know who I see right now.  

So thank you to Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson for giving me a great night; helping me let go of all the stress in my life, if only for a few hours.  You're music has always brought me great joys, and I'm thankful you do what you do.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why I work from home...

I'm sitting here, catching up on some articles, replying to some emails, and getting prepped for a meeting.  I'm in a comfy sweatshirt, curled up in a warm fuzzy blanket (my house is at 62, but I refuse to turn the furnace on).  My 3 1/2 year old son is going back and forth from sitting with me and playing on the floor. Every few minutes one of us will say "hey guess what? I love you".

I'm having a really hard time developing my business - invoicing, scheduling my time (I'm getting much better with that), networking, customer service, prospecting... It's a constant struggle every day.

But ever day I get 4 hours at home alone with my son.  He keeps himself pretty well entertained, isn't a picky eater, and when I have a moment of frustration, he always makes me smile.

He woke with a fever yesterday - no school for him.  I had to reschedule a meeting, but she is a mom too and understood.  Unfortunately, not too many other business professionals are as understanding.  Some people chose to build a career before starting a family, for some it's just how it happens.  For those like me, who had to go from being a Stay-At-Home-Mom to a working mom, it's like we are on the low level of respect?  Maybe it's me... but when I tell someone that I have 3 kids, ages 6 and under, there are some who actually have turned their nose at me, like I'm an inferior being or something.

It's hard enough to get people to take me serious  - I'm a 20-something business owner, and often feel that I'm treated as a child.  I'm trying to reinvent myself (on a limited budget), but perhaps it's in my head.

I have been looking, casually, for full-time positions at agencies.  And in the field that I'm in, I'm aware that there are employers who are looking at my social media profiles to learn about me.  Legally, I cannot be asked if I have a family, but it doesn't mean that they can't find out about it on their own.  I've read articles that there are employers will not hire parents because the demands of the job are too great. But isn't that my decision?  (When I was pregnant with my first, I was not given a job because I was pregnant - but their reasons were that by the time I had to go on maternity leave, I would not have been out of the probationary time and my time off would have put me in line for termination.  What?!?!)

So I work for myself, and I work from home.  When my family is sick, I reschedule meetings, but I can still get my work done.  I'm able to cuddle on the couch with my sniffling son as he plays 'Angry Birds' on the iTouch.