I seem to have noticed recently that every blogger seems to harbor dreams of becoming a full-time writer. While I've often entertained that notion myself, I've pursued that dream in the past and it didn't work out so great for me. In fact, it probably would have been more accurate to describe myself as a waiter rather than a writer. Besides, I quickly realized that writing is not necessarily the world's most sought-after commodity. It may be a poor reflection of our society but what can you do?
Anyway, contrary to popular belief, I'm not a SAHD. I'm actually a full-time squirrel in the working world. That's right, my friends. MetroDad has a full-time job. Don't get me wrong. There's actually nothing I'd rather do than stay home and raise my daughter full-time. Unfortunately, I spent my entire trust fund on comic books and baseball cards so I'm forced to actually work for a living (although sometimes I feel like I'm just working for the nanny.)
In my non-blogging life, I design and produce clothing for most of the nation's top sporting goods stores. How I ended up in this line of work is a long story. After stints in the Foreign Service, at a political think tank in DC, and as a tennis pro, I find myself here in the land of fashion. Remind me to tell you all about it sometime (the short end of it is that there aren't many job opportuntities for Poli Sci/English Lit majors.)
Anyway, there are many things I like about my job. The primary thing is that, over the years, it's allowed me to travel to places around the world that most people would never even think about going to in their lifetime. While on the one hand, that's certainly shaped my perspective on the world, it's also obviously less important ever since the Peanut was born. I can't stand to be away from her for one night, much less a whole month. But aside from the travel, I also enjoy the mix of creativity and hard-nosed business acumen that my job requires. Also, I take great pleasure in the fact that I'm actually constructing something physical (as opposed to pushing paper, moving money or being a lawyer.)
Besides the fact that my job affords me a pretty good quality of life, the main reason I chose this profession is because I always envisioned myself as being a very involved parent. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that my parents weren't around much when I was a kid (Psych 101, thank you.) And although I bust my ass and work long hours, my job remains flexible enough so that when the time comes for Peanut's after-school soccer games, I'll always be able to make it. When she has a ballet recital in the early afternoon, I'll be there. If she's not feeling well at school and needs to be picked up in the middle of the day, it'll be no problem for me to leave and go get her. Because although I'm a new parent and I may not really have any idea of what's truly important, I'm pretty fairly convinced that a large part of being a good parent is simply being there. It may not work for everyone but, for me, it's a personal decision that I made a long time ago.
The flip side to all of this is that my job is not my passion. It's not something I envision myself doing for the rest of my life. The stress levels are extremely high and I think it's beginning to have a deleterious effect on my mental well-being. Ever since I started my company, I've thrived on the challenge of it all. But after 10 years of doing this successfully, I'm looking for new challenges. The question is whether I'll find them in my professional life or in my personal life.
In a way, the birth of the Peanut has complicated my career decisions. While my current profession allows me to pursue certain self-indulgent passions (like travelling, skiing, food and a steady IV drip of single-malt scotches), it also provides a cushion for the Peanut. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm no Rockefeller. When the time comes for her to go to college, I don't know what the hell we're going to do. But I do know that my two primary goals in life are to be there for her at all times and to provide her with everything she needs. Am I looking to buy her a pony? No. But do I want her to take music lessons, ballet classes, go to summer camp and travel with me around the world? Absolutely.
So I'm stuck somewhere between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, I've got a well-paying job. On the other hand, there's no way I can continue doing this for another 20-30 years. I need to find something that either provides a greater challenge or allows me to be more creative. And though it may sound crassly materialistic, I enjoy the lifestyle I have today and I'd like to be able to maintain it. In a way, blogging has been somewhat of a savior for me. It allows me a creative outlet that I can do in my spare time. And though I knew blogging would be therapeutic for me before I even started doing it a year ago, I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed it. So where does this all leave me?
As I see it, I've only got a few options:
(1) Suck it up and stop being such a whiny bitch.
(2) Cash out of my apartment and move to Arkansas.
(3) Start playing Powerball.
(4) Get a new job.
Anyone out there have any advice? Anyone else feeling the same way? Anyone got a job offer for me? Talk to me, people. I'm always open to sound advice or commisseration.