I have a confession to make. I lie on a daily basis. No, I don’t tell you lies; I tell them to myself. One day I will pursue my dreams. The dreams I’ve kept guarded. After all, this is not the life I imagined.
(insert dream sequence music)
I work at a fast-paced, highfalutin advertising, public relations, or marketing firm in New York City. I wear business suits and heels that are worth more than the mortgage I pay now, and carry a name-brand attaché case. I have my own administrative assistant who fetches my Starbucks. I have a team of employees and we work until the wee hours of the morning getting the job done. They clearly have disdain for me but I’m fine with it because I’m not looking to be their friend. I meet clients for happy hour at high-end establishments and secure business transactions. I give presentations to rooms full of people. I travel the world. I am the company’s top executive.
It is an exhilarating feeling.
Sure, I know what you’re thinking; I’ve watched Working Girl or The Devil Wears Prada too many times. Where else would I get the crazy notation that I can be this person? But it WAS possible. I did work for a public relations agency. I did work for an advertising agency. I did work for a marketing firm. It was all very possible. But my dream was muddled.
I got engaged. I needed to pay for a wedding and that meant taking a job with minimal hours and decent pay. Something that wouldn’t distract me from the wedding planning. I went to work every day and my main focus was watching the numbers rise in my bank account. Of course this was only temporary. Liar.
Wedding day was over and I was able to move on from the job which funded it. I started working at a company that had all the appeal of fulfilling my dreams.
It was really nice for a few years until it took a backseat to someone else’s dream. Yup, I became that wife who turned her cheek on her career so she could support her husband. For years I worked hard not moving up the ranks. It wasn’t a job that would be conducive to maintaining a family because again my dreams were muddled. I got pregnant.
The babies came, as did a new job. One that was perfect for raising kids. Of course I say this with sarcasm because anyone who is a teacher knows we work more hours than any corporate employee. The babies are now school-aged children and here I am nowhere near the dream I had ever imagined nor the dream that was presented to me when I made a vow of “for better or for worse” (that’s for another blog).
I see my former self working hard to make it and most likely sacrificing the relationship I had with my then fiancé. I don’t know if we would have gotten married if I remained steadfast with that career. If I hadn’t then I would be sitting somewhere else NOT writing this. And I wouldn’t be cringing when I hear the floors creak because the kids are trying to tip toe out of their rooms for yet another glass of water. I’d most likely be alone, in an apartment overlooking Central Park, working on a sales pitch or crunching numbers, and choosing a power suit for tomorrow’s presentation. All of it sounds so appealing.
Dream on … fade to black.
I remember having to interview my mother for my college Women’s Lib class. She was beaming when she told me she had wanted to be a nurse. She’s not a nurse and never was. She is a mother who raised her children. But there wasn’t a glimmer in her eye when she mentioned that part. I felt sad for her. I didn’t understand why she couldn’t follow her dream AND have a family.
Now I get it and I don’t want to be her. It’s not too late, though. There are other options I suppose (ha, another lie I’m telling myself now). I need to find my niche; something that will fill this void. In the mean time I will continue to live this lie I’ve created.