The last 24 hours have truly been a blessing, and a time that has made me feel really good about myself and so very grateful for all the amazing people in my life.
Growing up, my dream was to be Lois Lane. Not so Super Man would come sweep me off my feet and save me from the evil Lex Luther. I didn’t want Lois’s man. I wanted her job. I wanted to be Lois Lane so that I could work at a big newspaper with a spinning globe on the top of the building. I wanted bylines. I wanted interviews. I wanted editors that marveled at my talent for the written word and my ruthless ability to pry the truth from even the most secretive public official.
Well, when I graduated and married in 2006 – just shortly after moving to Greenville – I thought for awhile that I’d get to fulfill that dream. I’ll never forget walking into the newsroom for my first day as a real-life “newspaper lady.” Well…technically, I was a “news assistant,” but I quickly convinced my editor to allow me to write articles and take pictures when I could. And for a few months, that was fine. But real life and a fledgling economy took hold (and the rise of the juggernaut that is free internet news), and soon enough, things began happening at the newspaper that made me feel like maybe I needed to truly look at my life and decide if I could afford to keep this dream of mine.
Being a grown up sometimes means making tough choices that aren’t what our five year-old selves would’ve wanted us to. This was my first experience with that principle, and it wasn’t an easy one. But when my running buddy Lucia – a very successful and intelligent sales coordinator at a global engineering corporation – suggested an opening in her group that might work for me, I knew I couldn’t afford to pass up an opportunity like that. Jonathan and I didn’t know exactly when we’d have kids, but we knew they were pretty darn expensive – and my current salary just wasn’t cutting it. Speaking of cuts, there were many on the horizon for the newspaper I was employed with, and I knew being one of the newer kids on the block wouldn’t bode well for me when it came time to decide who would get a pink slip. So through the end of 2006 and into early 2007, I interviewed several times with Lucia’s department director and somehow – by the grace of God, because, Lord knows I wasn’t a “natural fit” for the position – I landed the job. With it came a game-changing pay increase over what I was making before, but also a huge lifestyle change and the fear that I was letting my younger self down in some way. I wasn’t really sure of myself. I lost my confidence in myself for awhile, and I know it probably wasn’t a secret to any of my new coworkers that I struggled to find out how I could adjust to my new position.
Lois Lane had a choice to make, and a scary one at that. Everything within me goes against traditional “Corporate America,” but I knew that this wasn’t about just me anymore. I had Jonathan to think of, my own future plans and dreams, and – most importantly – the future security and opportunities of our kids. And I knew that the corporation I was joining had an impeccable reputation and the group I was joining seemed like a place where I could find a niche.
I won’t lie. The first year or so was really, really tough. For a creative type, the corporate world can be a very difficult place in which to feel comfortable or capable. There are rules you won’t fine written, and you have to be willing to shut up and just go with the sometimes unpreditable flow of the workload. Especially in the middle of a tough economy, it has been the biggest learning experience and the most complex of my adult, post-collegiate life. But I’m so glad I did it. In roughly three and a half years with this company, I’ve met some of the sweetest and hardest working people, as well as some of the biggest and most lively characters I’ve ever known. Sure, there are moments that remind me of a Dilbert comic strip. But overall, this small town girl with an English degree and a journalism background couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to just fall in her lap.
Yesterday was the baby shower that a few of my coworkers – including one I’ve worked with since day one on the job – came together and threw me, Jon, and Russ. It was an absolutely wonderful and gracious thing that was so much more than we deserved. The amazing show of generosity and support was absolutely heartwarming and left me at a loss for the right words to say. That, combined with the massive hot flash that began right after sitting down in front of everyone to open gifts, anyway. I’m pretty sure Jonathan surprised a few very buttoned-up corporate types with his trademark bear hugs, but everyone there deserved a huge hug and it was just a wonderful day. And it made me feel like everything happens for a reason, and that my dream of Lois Lane didn’t “die,” it just evolved. These days, instead of writing newspaper articles and interviewing police deputies, I write informative articles for the company intranet site and interview executives and directors about the presentations and documents that I help create and/or edit for them. There’s still an element of creativity to the process, but in a different way.
So, we are definitely far more ready for the baby today than we were yesterday, and it’s all thanks to the generosity of my amazing coworkers – love you guys!
And another WONDERFUL part of the past day? This morning’s doctor appointment, at which time I had my second meeting with the famous “Dr. Fishman.” Anyone remember him from that particularly awkward early second trimester meeting? Yeah, well, he was pretty cool today and Jonathan got to meet him. And the best part? Baby Russ is back head-down again!! Woohoo!! Of course, to be realistic, he could turn again a few times before he settles into his final birthing position, but chances are good that he may begin to settle sooner rather than later. We’re just looking forward to continuing to enjoy these last weeks (only 6 to go!!) before the baby comes. And as if the fantastic shower at my office yesterday wasn’t more than enough (which, it was way more than enough – we are still amazed!), my family is throwing me another shower in August, as well as some fabulous ladies from our church here in Greenville. So, Russ is going to arrive one loved little man, that is for sure. I cannot wait to have him here and let him meet everyone. Thank goodness he’ll get here before flu season kicks into high gear!
Until next time, peace & love! And head-down babies – yes!