Thursday, August 12, 2010

Career Choices

Growing up, my parents always told me to do what I love. "Do what you love because in the end, happiness is all that really matters." I decided to go to school for theater and literature. I love theater, I love writing, I love reading, so it made sense to go to school to learn creative writing. What my parents didn't tell me and I didn't think to ask, was, how was I supposed to thrive in this certain field. Writing is pretty competitive. Editors get thousands of articles sent to them everyday by writing hopefuls. California is even worse, everyone's a screenwriter. Directors, producers and agents have scripts coming out of their ears, and unfortunately if you're not there and visiting these people it's hard to establish a repore with them. Unless you write several books, and they're popular books, you're not gonna make a lot of money. It's true money isn't everything, but it does pay for food, a vehicle, a house, clothing. You can live as frugal as you can, but you're still gonna need to make a certain amount to sustain the life you want. I can't do that with writing, maybe someday...maybe not. I need to do what's realistic and practical for my family now. Hence why I choose accounting. Accounting is not my love, it's probably one of the most boring fields EVER; but it pays, I can do it anywhere and no matter what shape this world is in, you'll always need accountants and financial people. Was it my first choice...no. It's the practical and logical choice.

The job market is terrible right now, and really competitive. I read an article that said there's 60 people for every one job. That's 59 other people you have to compete with for that job application you just filled out. That's crappy, especially if you don't have a degree or a plethora of experience. I read the New York Times and BusinessWeek regularly. It's hard to get a realistic idea of our economy's future, one day economists are saying we're heading out of the recession, the next day they're saying we're headed towards a double-dip. The housing and job markets have had little to no improvement. What they thought was improvement is really just a shift in numbers, the ending result has not changed.

My sister is in school for graphic design. She's an amazing artist, but I worry that she won't get very far in that field. Not because she doesn't have the talent or the drive, but because the art field just doesn't pay very much, it's extremely competitive, and many places aren't even hiring right now. How is she supposed to pay for an apartment, a car, her student loans, her credit card, clothing, gas, her cell phone, and utilities off of $30,000 a year? That's not including extra things like going to the movies, or visiting her sister in Louisiana. The average earnings for graphic designers is about $45,000. Even without our debt, Ryan and I would have a rough time paying for housing, utilities, child costs and regular everyday living expenses with $45,000. We would have to forgo certain amenities, like cable, healthy food, road trips to visit family, and children, we're not really willing to let go of those items.

I find that most people I know don't work in the field that they love. My dad's love is acting, he's a cop. My love is writing, I'm an accountant. My sister-in-law went to school for graphic design, she's a nanny. Ryan's love is cooking, he's a service technician. Tiffany would love nothing more than to be a stay-at-home mom, she's an accountant. Why? Why do all these people forgo their career love for some other job? Simple, they can't afford it. Happiness may be important, but so is paying the bills, and usually artistic fields don't pay much. I know, I know, someone is probably reading this thinking, my Aunt Tilly makes X amount of dollars every month off Etsy and is able to live just fine. Well, there's always the people that do make it work, congratulations to them, they've arrived; however, the rest of us like to eat more than ramen and frozen pizza everyday.

Those people who truly love being a lawyer, or an accountant or an economist, they have the best of both worlds, they do what they love AND they make a decent amount of money, but I think those people are rare. My question is this-would you do what you love even if that means struggling financially? Or would you do what's realistic? For me, I do what's realistic and my love has become my hobby. Are you working in the field you love, or has your love become a hobby?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Oh My God I Have No Idea What I'm Doing

Sean, Ryan's brother, and his 7 mo. old son, Kael, came to visit us this weekend. It was kind of a last minute thing, and we were super stoked because we don't get to see them all that often, just a handful of times each year. Kael is such an easy baby, he smiles at everyone!

Today, Sean and Ryan went to the store, they were gone about 20 minutes, and Kael was down for his nap. Sean said, if he wakes up he'll need a diaper change and to be fed. I responded, "Sure, I totally got it." About 10 minutes after they left I heard the tiny squealing from the guest room. I go in and there he is looking up at me all smiles and coo's. "Hey bud!" I pick him up and start looking for the diapers. No diapers. "Hm, where'd your daddy put your diapers? Ok well there's wipes, we'll need those. Alright come on we need to find Aunt Stephie's cell phone." I called Ryan, asked where the diapers were. Ryan said they'd be home in 5 minutes and the diapers were on the floor. I found the diapers and laid Kael down on the floor. Oh my lord, he is a wiggly little squirt. After about 3 minutes of flipping him back over because he rolled over and started scooting away, I looked at him and said, "Ok seriously dude you're gonna have to work with me here." Sean came in and he must have seen the look on my face cuz he cracked a smile. "I'm going to be a terrible mom! I can't even change his diaper, his getaway plan is to good!"

Then we started feeding him, and I couldn't work the feeding chair. He started getting a little fussy and I wasn't sure if I was feeding him to slow or what. Ryan came over and was able to feed him fine. So I get him cleaned up and again couldn't work the feeding chair thing. Set him on the floor with his toys to play, I get up and he starts fussing. "I'll be right back bud!" Got my drink and came back. Sean said that he likes to see people, so if you're going to be up and doing stuff try putting him in his bouncy contraption. "Oh ok, makes sense." He bounced, I cleaned the kitchen. We moved back into the living room and played for a bit. After awhile he started getting fussy. Sean said he's tired, so I go to put him down and I'm asking Sean questions that I probably should already know. "Do I lay him down on his back or his tummy? Does he need anything else besides his baby sleeping bag?" I feel like I should already know all that stuff. I'm a girl, I want a baby, makes sense right? Let's get real here, how in the world would I know any of this stuff I don't have a baby! I never baby sat, and when I did work with kids it was never babies. I worked with 2-3 year olds and 12 year olds.

You hear people talk about the whole, "you just know what to do". Um, how? Maybe I just won't know other people's kids, but I will with my own? Does the mommy instinct section of your brain decide to turn on when you get pregnant? I know that a few of my friends have said that they had no clue what they were doing, they just winged it. Their babies are happy and healthy. Why do we not talk about the realistic part of having a kid? Is it because admitting we don't have any experience in the mommy department means we're lousy moms or going to be lousy mom's? You never hear women say that they don't want stretch marks, or that they're worried they won't lose the baby weight, or that they're scared they'll scar their kid for life because, let's face it, even if you have 20 kids, each kid is gonna be different; so even if you're already a mom each kid is like a whole new parenting experience.

Admitting these fears doesn't make us bad people, it makes us real. No woman wants their body all jacked up for forever, it's a price we pay to have kids, most women hope that their body goes back to semi-normal after the pregnancy. Most women want to be a good parent (the exception would be the women adopting their children out, they won't be a parent, so they won't have this concern), and I think it's normal to be concerned with the type of parent you'll be. Yet, you never hear anyone talk about their concerns or fears, it's all baby names this and nursery colors that. I love my friends, they are the most honest group of women I've ever known, and for that I'm so thankful. If they weren't open and honest, I probably would feel that I'm just not mom material. Knowing that it's normal to not know what the heck you're doing is relieving...and a little frightening. I was kinda hoping the whole mother nature thing would kick in and I would know why my kid was screaming, who knows if that will actually happen or not. If it doesn't, well, I'll just wing it, it seems to work for everyone else.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So I'm Insane...What Else Is Knew?

Alright enough with the I'm back, no I'm not, I'm back, no I'm not BS. In between kicking Monday into the taxi and sending that bitch where she came from, barely passing my Econ homework assignment and getting ANOTHER negative pregnancy test, I'm just gonna say screw the whole bloggy break thing. You guys are just gonna have to deal with my hormonal cranky ass. Yes, you read that right a negative pregnancy test. We're trying to have a baby. The Air Force isn't accepting anybody right now, they're too full. Who knew we could have too much military? So, it's baby time. We've only been trying a couple months, so I'm trying not to get too exasperated that I haven't seen the dual lines on the pee stick yet. Although if you asked Marina, Alison or Tiffany how I was handling it they might say I'm a tad impatient. It's a big thing, we're excited, what can I say.

So, due to the lack of birth control hormones that keep me functional and some what well-behaved, I've been a teeny irritable, a tad overly sensitive, and refuse to be held liable for whatever heinous crap can and will come out of my mouth at this point in time.

I would like to take this moment to thank my mother-in-law for not calling every week wanting to know if I was pregnant yet, like a few others I know. You have no idea how stressful something as fun as baby making can become until you have friends and family asking "are you pregnant yet, how's the baby making going, how long have you been trying," and on and on and ON it goes. I feel kinda bad, one of Ryan's best buds caught me online one night and made the fatal mistake of asking how the baby making was going. The conversation may or may not have ended with me threatening to stick an ovulation test in his ear the next time I saw him. If you know someone trying to conceive, don't badger them, good lord. I'm fairly certain they know how to make babies, where they come from, what position is best, and how ovulation works, so no advice is necessary. Really, I promise.

Technically we weren't going to even tell people we were trying, for this very reason, the comments, the unwanted or needed advice, we were hoping to bypass all of that, however; a certain husband decided to put it on Facebook for all of the Facebook world to see. Awesome. That conversation went a little like this...
"Um, babe, I thought we weren't telling people about the baby making?"
"Yeah, right, we aren't."
"Well, um, then how come you have it POSTED ON FACEBOOK?!?!"
"I...didn't...ish. I'm sorry babe, I wasn't thinking, I was excited!"

I couldn't be mad at him, he's wanted kids since the day he proposed, however; if he continues to be one of the people happily bouncing around me asking "are you pregnant, did you pee on the stick" I'll be forced to use the magical duct tape on him. Silence is golden, duct tape is silver.