27 February 2010

(Learning) Curves Ahead

I spent the majority of 2009 unemployed. Laid off from my lovely marketing job in March, I thought I'd have a couple of months of fun, travel, then land a dream job. I learned life had other things in store for me.

I relaxed for about 2 weeks, took in a lot of matinees. Read a ton of books and found myself bored to tears. Not to worry- in April, my beautiful and amazing niece came to live with me. Life was busy if not utterly shambolic. The summer came and went, but job offers failed to materialize. I found myself in a very odd position. For the first time in my life I was 1.) unemployed and 2.) raising a young girl.

I'd be lying if I said its been a dream life and everything was easy as pie. I went through a serious bout of depression. I felt alienated by my friends. I had no idea how to identify with a 9 yr old who came with her own emotional baggage. I felt like a cruise ship director- responsible for food and entertainment 24/7. Unemployment benefits (at least in UT) are inadequate, at best. And let's just say, poverty does not suit me. If it were not for food storage and my cooking skills, we would have starved.

Fast forward to Nov 2009, and I am finally employed. My niece and I have an awesome relationship and I'm starting to learn what it is to be a mother. The feeling of alienation has eased into a general acceptance that life is simply different once you have a child. Good things are around the corner, right?

Yes. But no. Life is fluid, ever changing. My job position changed overnight. I went from a project manager to an art director. Instead of directing business flow and marketing, I'm suddenly designing banners and logos and...crazy photoshop, illustrator art. Its a complete shift. One that requires nightly tutorials, serious study, and daily practice. I feel like I just went from hero to zero. Which is actually great, because it gives me an opportunity to learn. That's what I love the most about this life- the opportunities to learn.

I'm learning about pre-adolescents right now, too. Although, I'll be the first to confess that complicated design is WAY easier to pick up. My gorgeous child is going through a lying phase. Its so perfectly ridiculous. Here are some daily examples:
  • Did you brush your teeth? Yes. Really? No. Go brush your teeth. OK.
  • Is your spelling homework complete? Yes. Really? Yeah- my teacher told me I can actually turn it in next week instead of tomorrow. Really, so if I call your teacher right now, she'll tell me the same thing? Uh, no. I didn't do my spelling.
  • Where's your progress report from your teacher? Oh, they didn't give them out this term. Really? Yeah. But don't look through my backpack, because I've got some private things in there. (after I search through her backpack...) So I found your progress report and you're missing 21 assignments. OH! I forgot about that.
I've spoken to some parents with kids the same age. They all say its a phase. I'm finally learning how to ask the right questions and pay more attention to daily situations. But how do I teach her not to constantly lie? Besides,  how dumb is it to lie about brushing your teeth? I've been trying to read up on child psychology, ask other parents, and just get a grip on this "phase" (its got to be a phase, right???). I'm learning. Baby steps.

Cheers to a life of changes. If things were static, imagine how 2-dimensional our lives would be! Without the little uphill battles and bumps in the road we would be the dullest lot of people conceivable. I think the greatest learning we have the opportunity to pursue comes not from university halls, but from the little moments-- the scarce but quiet times when we have to make a choice and live the resulting consequences. In regards to learning curves, my life has been full of sharp switchbacks. And I don't think I'd have it any other way.

1 comment:

  1. Bebe...You are doing an amazing job with Chloe!!! I totally agree about life and all that changes. One of my best friends says "If it's not a good time, then it's a good story". This my dear friend is a good story when it's not a good time of course :)!!!! Think of how much more amazing you are now than you were a year ago. Keep on, keepin' on beautiful lady!!! xoxo