I always thought when I was younger that by the time I was 28, I would most definitely be a mom and a housewife. Living the life of the country club, taking the kids to swim lessons, while the rich husband worked all day.
Fast Forward 23 years and here I am, the bread winner in my family of four, which includes only two humans, my husband and I and our two dogs. Where are these children I thought I would have, and this stay at home mom job I was sure I would land.
The truth about getting older is that you quickly realize the things you thought you were going to have at a certain age, are now things you still think you are going to have, but in another 23 years. I am pledging that by the time I turn 51 I will be a stay at home mom with kids (human kids).
I recently read an article on Facebook about the things kids want to be when they are older, fireman, princess, and batman were the most consistent themes among them. I clearly remember at the age of 5, when asked this question I had two answers. I wanted to be a model and a mom. I clearly felt very highly of myself.
When you are younger you have no real sense of fear, or reality to bring you down in life. Instead, you think you can be anything and you believe you are anything you want to be.
I was a chubby kid growing up, especially at the age of 5, but everyone told me how tall I was for my age. Instantly I put tall and model together, therefore sealing my professional fate.
The truth about getting older is that you know reality way too well and sometimes reality is your worst enemy and biggest downfall. Reality keeps you from doing the things you want to do and pursuing the dreams you want to have. I wish that at age 5 my parents would have taken me to a modeling audition and let me at least pursuit my short lived dream for a day, because today, every time I look in the mirror, I no longer see a model. I see someone who struggles with her weight, is always looking for something “better” to happen in life and is in a constant state of distress over what my profession truly should be.
The truth about getting older is that it sucks to get older…
Some things I can no longer do, now that I am older.
But the most glorious fact of all this is that it does suck to get older, but I am wiser. I think back to college and the crazy happenings that I took part in. Today, I am thankful for the experiences, but glad they are behind me.
I wouldn’t trade my life for the world. I never want to relive some of the things I did in my past, but they will always be in my past and I will always have the memories.
I may have trouble losing weight right now, but I am more confident today, and more self aware about my body, than when I was 15, 16 and 17 years old, because back then, you were under a microscope between your own eyes and everyone else. Instead of not eating, because I wanted to be skinnier, I know healthier, better ways to lose weight, plus if I am not the skinniest person in the room, I no longer care, because I have a great husband, a great job and I have a past that has made me who I am.
I may make a lot of jokes about my weight and being older, but they make me who I am today. I am able to make these jokes, in a healthy way, because deep down in side, I love who I have become.
(We obviously thought we were super hot, before a Friday night football game, sophomore year in high school)
(Plus, lets be honest here, I am way hotter today, than I used to be)
Things I can do now that I am older:
When you are handed a pink slip you go through a series of emotions, all within the first day.
The first thought that comes to your mind is panic, absolute panic. This was the best job you could ever have (said yourself never before until this moment). How are you losing this, why are they doing this…
WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS! You are the best employee they have ever had! (said never before this, while you were surfing the internet 7 and half hours of every work day). You are an asset to this company and they will be sorry they have let you go.
And there you are, huffing around your cubicle, gathering your belongings. (Or in my case, sitting on my couch in my home, because I had been given such a ridiculous opportunity to run my own branch of the company, staring at the company gifted lap top, phone, and printer)
At this exact moment you contemplate a Jerry Macguire type of exit. “WHO IS COMING WITH ME!?!?” And then realize, you will look like an even bigger ass if you did.
As you make your way to your car/bus/taxi (that is the last taxi you will take to a place of employment for a loooonnngg while)/train/plane (you really are screwed if you were flying to work on your private plane every day) you send out a mass text to all of your colleagues, saying “WTF, I just go fired. Obviously they have no idea the amount of business I brought in. They are probably going to go under now that I am gone, good luck finding a job when you get laid off, because they are bankrupt.”
All of a sudden, your adrenaline has worn off, and you are alone in your said means of transportation with your thoughts. A depression begins to take over. For me (and girls, I will generalize, girls) the tears will begin to flow. I personally love to make sobbing phone calls, in this order - to my husband (or boyfriend, if this was earlier in my career days) sobbing hysterically about what you are going to do now and how it is the end of your life. Then I will call my parents and sob hysterically, asking them how they could do this to me, because I am amazing and an incredible employee (HELLLLLOOOOO Generation Instant Gratification…your parents are going to say you are in fact amazing, because they are your parents and they are biggest supplier of participation trophies!)
This phone call to your parents will be your most exhilarating phone call of your new found unemployment. Because, it is within this moment that you will get the most sympathy you will ever get. After this point after, your tears will soon begin to wane on your family members and the sympathy will turn to annoyance and then turn to anger, then avoidance and maybe after that point hate. I have yet to reach hate, but I am pretty sure it is the next step to follow.
After the phone call to my parents, I begin texting like a crazy person to all of my still employed friends. First text, updating. Second text, they have not yet responded, because they are…employed, something will be said that is sad. Third text, asking about employment with their company. “Heyyyy, let me know if there is anything open at your company. I can do basically whatever” (I say to my friend at the hospital who is a doctor…yea, sure, I can be a doctor, whatever).
When you get back home, you toss your things on the floor, your work things will never move from that location, so make sure you at least throw them down somewhere out of the way. Otherwise for the next 3 months to 3 years you will step over your work bags every single day.
Usually at this point my tears have stopped and I feel close to nothing. You may then sit on the couch and watch tv, open a bottle of wine, or go online shopping. My routine is usually a combination of all three. I will drain that bank account and take no regard to the fact that the next pay check that comes in, might be my last, because I may be unemployed today, but I will have a LOT of job offers in the next week. I will be unemployed max, one week.
And in comes the over-self confident-fool.
Rather than contacting employment agencies, working on your resume, and applying for jobs, I apply my time to nothing. Sweat pants can be put on, or nothing…whatever makes you happy. And the parallel position will come into play. What you don’t know at this point is that parallel position on your couch/bed/floor/bean bag (if you are lying on a bean bag, you are really screwed, because obviously you made nothing to begin with) will be the position you are in a lot. (and not for a good reason, like…whatever else you may do while lying down). It is because you become lazy.
From this spot you will
As reality continues to set in and weeks turn into months and months turn into years, you realize you need to do something. You are overweight, living off of boxed wine and cool ranch doritos, with no job and you haven’t gotten your hair done for 4 months, because you are broke. And so, this is when you will decide that you will go back to school to get a masters degree, because how can you not get hired with a masters degree?
And while working on said masters degree, you finally pick up a job as a nanny, or a bartender, because at least while doing these jobs, you can say “Oh, well I am just SO busy with school right now, ya know, getting my masters degree, I can’t really hold a full time job.”
Hold that last thought, because after you get that masters degree and you are still working at the bar with no job prospects…so will come “I have my masters degree…what can I get you to drink.”
I like to make bold claims that are usually grossly exaggerated, and one is prominent in my description, “about me.” I claim I am a social media director.
Yes, the title part is true, but what I am directing, I am still not entirely sure. I suppose I am directing facebook/twitter/blogging addicts to my clients sites and making them read what I post. I also direct a lot of my friends to like/follow my sites and annoy them to the point that they no longer want anything to do with me.
But my job as a whole is entirely way too confusing for my little heart to handle.
I have no one in the office I actually direct and I spend a lot of my time talking online to people I have never met. There are days that go by that I don’t actually physically say anything out loud.
So, my life, as a result, is based completely on the little things that keep me going, otherwise frustration tends to take over.
As I have said before, I have lost my job, gone back to school, couldn’t get hired and then took another job that was less than entry level just to get back into the game. I am incredibly grateful to be where I am now, otherwise I may still be getting lunch for a grossly under educated over privileged woman. (ooohh…new story idea!)
I was given this opportunity as a social media director out of left field and it had a lot to do with my addiction of all things social media. Literally, during my first pitch with the company I am with to our client, my boss said “Jillian is a facebook addict. That is her official title” (note to yourself, if you are ever told you are on twitter/tumblr/facebook too much, just say it is research) I have been on facebook since the beginning of facebook time, I have a plethora of facebook followers, and know just about everything there is to know about it. The other social media tools I have picked up along the way.
Facebook Addict, we decided, wasn’t professional enough and hence came Director of Social Media.
There are a LOT of times where I fear for my job longevity. Especially because everyone thinks they are a social media guru these days. Finally having a job that I love to do, and the fear of not having it anymore is a really real fear. You have seen my past, it has been splattered with misfortune. (Alright, another gross overstatement, there has been a few poor things that have happened to me, I just tried to play the poor me card, but there are a LOT worse things one could deal with)
Pair the fear for my job with the anti-social aspect of it and my anxiety comes out full fledged. So I started to really look at my little victories.
I have to find things that make me happy and sometimes that is hard. Carrying the gold belt for Generation Instant Gratification I often want my happiness to happen in the instant. I start building this anxiety wall around me as things that don’t go my way continue to build up and I begin to sing the song of Gen IG (complaining).
Back in the glory days of post graduation from booze, and frat party university and too much money for a 21 year old, I would shop to make my days happy. I would collect coach and cole haan purses and find what types of ridiculously expensive shoes I could purchase to keep my days pink and fluffy with little rabbits.
These days, living pay check to pay check, shopping isn’t an option anymore. Actually, I used to try to still shop and I would hide my clothes from my husband…stuff them in my bag and act like it was already in there or wear them home, tags ripped off. But there is that small problem that we had the same bank account and when “Forever 21” shows up, it is really hard to convince him it was groceries.
So now, I find little things that make me smile. I am going to share this list with you, in the hopes that I can help a fellow Gen IG sister or brother out.
(taking my frustration out on my wedding day…)