Monday, February 26, 2007

Blaming Dr. Seuss

So, it's my first day of maternity leave. Friday was an emotional roller coaster of a day, saying goodbye to my students and colleagues. I'm just so afraid that I'll never find another job that gives me such satisfaction and affirmation.

It also doesn't help that I haven't really had any nibbles with the job search. People are like, "Well, that's okay! You can stay home with the baby for a year!" Yeah, it's not that easy's not the 70's when that wasn't such a financial strain.

It stinks. We don't want a lot--just a house, a bambino, and jobs we love. (Is that a lot?)

So NR and I are a bit stressed about the move. Luckily, he has some nice prospects, but we just want everything SETTLED before baby comes. An idealistic scenario, perhaps, but we would feel a lot better.

I just finished a book (see above) called "It's a Wonderful Lie: Truths About Life In Your Twenties." Parts of it I totally related to (crappy first apartments, starting your marriage someplace unfamiliar, seeking solace in grad school, constant second-guessing); others I very happily could not (specifically the serial dating or lack of romantic prospects.) Hot damn, I am so lucky I met The One when I was 21! God only knows what rocks I would have dug up trying to find him.
Anyway, the recurring theme through all 26 essays in this book was the overwhelming buffet of choices we're treated to in this generation. On the one hand, it gives us amazing freedom; on the other, it's terrifying. So we rack up debt, financial and emotional, trying to find our one true path, only to long for simplicity and direction. Freshly out of my twenties, I'm ready to settle down and enjoy some quiet, and I can't help feeling a TINY bit guilty about that just because of the messages we receive to knock down doors and kick some ass.
I blame it on a simple gift that most of us probably received for college graduation: Dr. Seuss' "Oh! The Places You'll Go!" Harmless enough, right? A furry little Seussian creature bounces through fuzzy trees and stalactites, chirping about the fantastic adventures you're about to embark on. So we dive feet-first into the world, clinging to life boats along the way (friends, jobs, traveling, etc.), discarding some along the way when we find something better. Then we think we've reached the luxury liner--the dream job, the stable relationship--only to look back nostalgically at those crappy rafts that got us to where we are.
I wouldn't say NR and I have reached the luxury liner just yet. And maybe we won't. (Hard to afford on a teacher's salary.) But thank God I have a terrific first mate and lots of support along the way.