One of the benefits of being a Chicago Now blogger is participating in Blogapalooz-Hour, where various bloggers write on the same topic. However, tonight's topic hits a little too close to home. Earlier, we were asked to
“Write about a decision you made that changed the course of your life for better or worse.”
Of course, I'm living in the midst of one of my biggest decisions....back in February, my mother had to be hospitalized for a foot infection. So I bounced back and forth from my old apartment on the southwest side to my Mom's place in Beverly. Granted, it was hectic, and filled with conflict (I had another dry period as a freelancer), but otherwise, I somehow managed to stay relatively sane. However, when I learned that would need physical and occupational therapy, I realized that my lease would end in late March, and that I would need to make some serious changes. It wasn't an easy decision, but I made it nonetheless.
It wasn't easy....after all, I was dealing with my own work/finance issues (so much that I ended up running a small crowdfunding campaign) and some of my other plans...well, it felt like a step backward. After all, what person my age would want to move back with their parent? (My father passed away ten years ago, so he would not be a factor). What if Mom came home, and I couldn't deal with it? Would anyone feel differently about me once they learned that I was going to take care of Mom?
(It didn't help that many of my colleagues encouraged me to receive training to be a caretaker for my mother. Although I was open, research seemed to indicate that this would not be doable...and quite honestly, both Mom and I agree that she needs more qualified, experienced people).
As a freelance marketing consultant, that meant much of my work search had to be set aside. After all, packing and getting ready for a move (besides managing the several smaller freelance projects I already had) provided plenty of stress. As my best friend put it, I had the "Stress Trifecta" of parental health issues, work issues and moving issues. Thankfully, I had enough from crowdfunding to rent a truck and storage bin for my things...and friends who came out and helped me move.
And move I did....I left my apartment by the end of March, and got settled at Mom's. I was ready to live out of a suitcase, because I was now part of the sandwich generation. (My own lack of children and partner notwithstanding)
There were delays in the meantime: a switch in facility for Mom, some other health complications...so I ended up living alone with Mom's cat. Thankfully, it allowed me to have some serious down time to work through many of my stresses, get caught up on freelance projects, resume my search for work and continue to write. (And taking my friend's advice, I'm definitely writing about my experiences...a lot of people are hurting right now, and at the very least, relating my own experiences might bring comfort to someone else.
Right now, there's still a little fear. Fear that a potential employer will be turned off by this post because I'm sharing "too much information." (If you need evidence that I can write professional copy, I have an online portfolio). Fear that some casual friends (and even potential romantic pursuits) will judge me. Fear that when Mom comes home on Friday, all the lessons I've learned will go out the door and I'll have a harder time dealing with matters.
But in the end, the main impact of this decision is that I realize that fear and faith are not mutually exclusive - I can be afraid and have the faith to move forward. (Note the Doctor Who quote at the top of this post). With so much in process, I won't know until later what the total impact of this decision will be...but I'm proud of my decision. I've felt a calm and serenity that I haven't felt for a few months. It will be tough, it will be challenging....but it won't be boring.
If you have any thoughts or comments, please feel free to leave them below or join the conversation via our Facebook page.
And as always, thanks for reading!