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my quarter life crisis.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

things have gotten all sorts of complicated and I'm not even sure where to begin? how about here:

I took an unplanned leave from work.

yup after years of hearing, "I don't know how you do it", the heat finally got to me and I had to get out the kitchen.

it was [and continues to be] both humbling and humiliating. to throw my hands in the air and admit to the world that I'm broken was/is exceptionally difficult especially since I pride myself on fixing things; made a career out of it even. 

my whole life I've been intensely empathic; I know no other way of being, but my greatest gift can also be my kryptonite. if anything I've learned that you can't save those who don't want rescuing. they'll just kick and flail and spew ugliness until you yourself get injured and hurt.

the other night Saige chose The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein [#lovehim] as her bedtime story and my eyes stung with tears as I read the line, "I'm sorry but I have nothing more to give". I get choked up just typing that because it's become my self-induced reality, I have nothing left to give.

my passion for helping others has become my own undoing and now I'm stuck. do I leave social work? do I quit a profession I've dedicated 5 years of schooling and another 6+ years of service to? do I abandon a career that offers safety and security (pension, benefits, salary) to pursue a new happiness and other passions, something more creative perhaps?

I'm not certain I can bring myself to publish this post. like so many before it, this entry may be doomed to draft for the rest of eternity. acknowledging my failures amongst a sea of seemingly flawless Superwomen is a painful truth. to be honest I've stopped commenting and even reading a lot of blogs that appear too perfect. I just can't relate. 

I can't relate to the moms who whip up labour intensive recipes from their backyard gardens and take beautiful photos of homemade gluten-free organic parsnip muffins and/or their impeccably dressed kids munching on homegrown carrot sticks like they were Twix candy bars or something. I can't relate to the same blog moms who craft pinworthy DIY's, host magazine worthy book club parties and run bi-weekly half-marathons all the while looking amazing in the selfies they post on instagram posing in front of fingerprint-free mirrors with pristine white walls and well decorated rooms in the background. I know these women do exist and I applaud them for doing the perfect thing so perfectly, but I just can't relate. wish I could, but I can't.

what I can relate to is the wise words of Teddy Roosevelt:

phew. how's that for a confessions post? bet you didn't see that one coming [or maybe you did]. just another example of me keeping it real really awkward. maybe I'll try to lighten things up a bit with the obsessions post that's sure to follow. xo

37 comments:

del09 said...

Sara... all I can say is thank you... thank you for being unbelieveably honest, thank you for having the courage to click on the publish button, thank you for realizing you need a time out to regroup/rethink life/recharge. You give so much of yourself when you committ and I cannot imagine the heartache, the frustration or sadness you may feel with everything you do every day.
I know that I looked and read and envied what I saw on your blogs... but I also know that you cannot judge a book by its cover.
You are such a wonderful person Sara and have touched so many lives through your writing/pictures/obsessions/confessions that I hope you can find solace in knowing that people care about you and are always routing for you.
I know I am.

xo

Casey said...

So many teachers/social workers etc get burned out. I think its great to take a leave and decide what is best for you and your family. Take some time and enjoy yoru kiddos.

E said...

I'm so proud of you for posting this and for being so vulnerable. I'm also proud of you for knowing when to step out of the kitchen. You are a good mom, and a good social worker, and you will be good at wherever you go next. You are good, and you are doing the right thing! Know that.

I can't relate to those moms either; and, honestly, I've decided I don't even like them all that much. (Sorry) Let's stick together and have dirty windows, pre-packaged meals, and unwashed hair for life... k?

Amy Walters said...

Sara,
I am so sorry you are struggling right now. Comparison really is such a thief...one I am unfortunately quite familiar with. Being a perfectionist, I often catch myself comparing, well EVERYTHING. I'm not sure why, but it's so hard to offer the same grace to ourselves, that we would offer to our friends, families and even our enemies. This mentality has led me down some very dark paths.

I've been picking up the pieces ever since. And, while I'm doing much better, I know I still have a lot of learning to do...probably always will. It's just the way I'm wired, I suppose.

Anyways, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can empathize with you. I understand what it's like to be the fixer and realize you've come undone. Know that I'll be thinking of you as you work through some of this and make decisions about the future.

And, remember, you don't have to have it all figured out. You only need to decide what you're going to do next! Everything else can be dealt with another day.

From one imperfect gal to another, Amy
xo

Sarah said...

Sara- I just can't feel you how much I feel the words in this post. Feel them to my core. I am so sorry that you are going through this but, as someone coming out on the other side, I am also here to tell you that you can do what you want to do in life and that leaving the 'safe' job is sometimes not just good but right and amazing. I'll DM you more but know that I am (virtually) here all the time for you.

Erika said...

Love your honesty and vulnerability. I hope you are able to find some peace and a sense of direction about where to go next, career-wise. And I roll my eyes at all of those Perfectly Polished bloggers, too.

christine, just bella said...

oh Sara, I'm sending a great big virtual hug to you right now! I admire your honesty and courage to share this. You have a great big heart and you should be proud of all you've done and whatever decisions you make that are best for you and your family. You are doing the right thing! Follow that gut of yours and do what is best for you!

It's so hard not to compare yourself sometimes, I know, I've been there. It sucks that another blog can make you feel that way - that makes me sad. Just know that all those "perfect" bloggers out there are not perfect. There's lots of stuff going on that will never find it's way onto some blogs. I know for me my house is always a mess, laundry piled and I feel like I'm always struggling to keep up... with everything.

Thanks for being so open, I can totally relate to a lot of this. I love coming here to read your words, once a day/week/or month... please keep being you and taking it one day at a time.

xoxo,
Christine

emily said...

Thank you for sharing!

I'm definitely feeling pretty much everything you are! It's hard to know what the right path/move is. It is also reallly easy to compare/envy what others have. I try to remember that the grass isn't greener, but it's hard not to envy sometimes!

Keep you head up!!!

Marisa B said...

Thank you.... I applaud you I heard a speech on Ted talk by Brene Browne she said our courage comes from our vunerabilty......she also said that we need to be creative because we are programmed to do so....not be creative is not benign.....I have taken that all in and yet I have come to the realization that I am broken and have said that to myself several times in the past week. Hey it is what it is ...too many things get to me but I hang on not because I'm brave because in truth I'm scared.....take care!

Courtney Schutz said...

Just know you are not alone. Even the women who look like they have it all together, really don't. It's how we react in the most gritty moments of our life that truly say who we are. Your are perfectly imperfect and I'm sending you lots of love!

Barbara Matson said...

Beautifully said.

Sarah said...

i wrote and rewrote a comment...

but in the end, all that matters is that you're awesome for what you did. i always appreciate your wit and rawness of your blog. go with your gut.

i am guilty of many of your points outlined... and all i can do is give you my confession. my kitchen looks like a dump yard, i have dirty diapers strewn about my deck, i haven't washed my hair since earlier on the weekend, and my husband has hardly been home all month. i didn't instagram it because it wouldn't look good on the collage of photos ;)

xo

grillfusion.me said...

All I can say is thank you SO much for keeping it real. We mom's/women can be our own worse enemies sometimes, I more often than not, feel I have nothing left to give too, struggling to just keep everything above water. So thank you for being "brave" enough put it out there. You are not alone, and you will find your happy path :) !! ~ heather

Shelley Jacobsen said...

Oh Sara, you have no idea how many women you have probably just freed from feeling the weight that you yourself are feeling, just by being out there and honest. It's such a breath of fresh air to know I don't feel alone in this what seems like such a perfect world of bloggers. I too have stopped, because it can be hard to deal with all the 'perfectness'. As Dr. Seuss would say: "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose." It may just take some of us a bit longer, me included:)

Elaine said...

Good for you to being true to yourself. Time for a well-deserved rest. No one can do it all and you're right, it's not worth comparing. Your body has a way of telling you to slow down. I myself haven't posted since June 1st as I "can't do it all". And you know what, that's okay. Doesn't make any of us any lesser of the great women we are. xo

Offer KINDNESS. Choose GENEROSITY. Give LOVE! said...

Good on ya.
THank you for sharing such honesty. You are indeed not alone, soooo many moms and dads can relate to your post and may even feel FREE from reading it. SIGH.
I applaud you for doing what you need to do. Work will always be there.
Proud blogging follower!

KUDDOS GIRL!

Lindsaygee said...

You know me? I'm a messsss!!! The only reason I don't SHOW my mess is that I'm not entirely proud of my laundry stacks.... but that don't mean they don't exist. ha! And all those perfect people have them too... It's attention that everyone craves. And how do you get attention nowadays? By showing off pretty things...and then counting the ''likes''... it's just silly!! It used to make me crazzzzy and I'd get anxious and feel less than. But I made the 'decision' this year after our Mexico trip, actually... to just LET THAT GO! And somehow..over time.... it worked.... I really am no longer caring about all the pretty people, blogs and instagram perfectness. I am consciously making the decision to be present in every moment I'm in. So as sooooon as it gets negative in that perfectionist brain of mine...I just say "be in the moment', 'be in the moment'... and nothing else really matters. It is a pretty intense transition time we are all in. This time of blogs, instagram, mobile devices... we are seeeemingly more connected to people than ever, but it's really all a facade.... we are not truly learning about what goes on eachother's houses. We are all directing how we WANT others to see us. And navigating through this time while maintaining high self-esteem is proving to be very difficult. The more you follow your gut, do what you feel is right... block out the noise... the happier you will be. We will be! :) Your honesty is what is sooo lovely about you and your blog. Honesty trumps gluten free, vita-mix smoothies in a white walled kitchen ANY day! I think you are soooo awesome...and if you just talked about all the laundry you needed to do and the dishes you needed to wash...i'd still be captivated.

Sian said...

I love this post its so honest and true. I gave up my secure teaching job and became a stay at home mum. I feel quite judged for this decision and it means we don't have a lot of money. Every time people ask me what I do I say i'm a stay at home mum there is a pause and they suggest jobs for me ha! I think they think i'm lazy. But slowly I feel like i've been finding the real more creative me. I think I shouldn't let the fact that I studied for so long mean I should stay in a job that was stressing me out and making me unhappy. I don't know what i'm going to do in the future Im slowly figuring it out and maybe thats okay. I always swore I would never be a stay at home mum now I cant believe how much it has changed me for the better. As for perfect blogs. They just hide the mess for the post but I bet its there. It certainly is in my house I just don't always show it.

So glad you pressed publish x

Ashley Holtzhower said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. That quote was a breath of fresh air for me! So often, women, especially those who are wives and mothers as well, get caught up in the picture perfect ideas of life...I am one of them! Thank you for a good reminder that I can just be me and that is plenty. :)

Sandra Kohlmann said...

1. For my own, completely selfish reasons, I'm grateful for your leave of absence, if it means more blog posts. I missed you! <---I can make anything about me.

2. Even though it was my dream to be a stay at home mom, and I didn't like my job, it was still hard for me to leave. It must of taken tons of thought and some serious guts to leave your job. Congrats on making a difficult decision for your own well-being.

3. I've left lots of "perfect" blogs. I couldn't justify spending time reading things that just make me feel inadequate.

4. I hope you are happier than ever, and that things will just keep improving for you and your family.

Plum Home + Design said...

All I can say is AMEN! You are not alone, I feel the same way every day and I am only just starting to dip my toes back into the blogging pond.

Most of us are full of disasters, my basement flooded yesterday, I stepped in dog barf and discovered the mice in my basement are back. That's real life and more of us need to be honest about it.

Plum Home + Design said...

Funny, your honest response made me follow your blog!

Bluegingham said...

Brave post. Real life. It’s always refreshing to share in what’s real. Sometimes life is hard and that’s ok. I wish you the best on trying to sort things out. I think sometimes you need a curve ball to make you really think. I am a wife and a mom. I am not perfect. This is my second marriage which produced my one and only son and I feel like I got into the mom game when I was old. All anyone can do is try your best with your whole heart at whatever task is at hand. You seem amazing to me which is why I started following your blog. Not perfect. Perfectly imperfect. Funny and interesting. Keep on keepin’ it real. I think you’re in good company.

Brianne G said...

you rock! that's all I have to say :)

Mama said...

I've been waiting for this post. You've been hinting at things changing and I can't tell you how thankful I am that you published it. Your post was like a spoken word poem, especially the part about the "perfect" bloggers. I can't tell you how many times I compare my family to other bloggers out there and it just eats me up. Thank you for reminding me that NO ONE IS PERFECT. My real life friend told me this and it took me a while to finally accept it on a virtual level. I left a career in journalism 9 years ago to pursue a masters in teaching. I love what I do now, but I hate what the profession has become. It's becoming
More and more stressful, so I understand the need to take a break and reevaluate. I have no doubt you have the strength to figure out what is right for you.

Cocorover said...

Wow
- my boy is asking what is wrong - why are you crying mom?... 'cause Sar wrote beautiful words and she's hurting...You should make her feel better...I can't. She has to do this for herself.

I love you and you will find the path that works for you because you are so incredible, insightful, honest (yes - TMI) and oh so gifted.

As usual you are a decade ahead of me. I didn't realize until my 40's that things were not always as they are presented. And yes, comparison is so stupid because really who gives a flying f*@& what other people have/are/whatevs because they are not you...

Love the quote: "our courage comes from our vulnerability" (Marisa B - Browne)

Ashley said...

hang in there mama! Here's what's racing through my mind after reading:

1) You're pretty amazing. AND we've never even met in person. Your character and voice shines through your words and those are the things I love about you the most. And they're the reason I call you friend.

2) My heart aches for the situation you're in because I know it's HARD. I devoted every summer job for six years, lots of late nights for five years in college and every tear for nearly six years was spent on teaching. Teaching is in my blood and it's what I feel like I was designed for. Truthfully? It's the one thing I think I'm actually "good" at. And leaving all that to stay home & do a job I know I'm not good at (ahem, parenting) was like base jumping with no parachute. Was I excited to do it? absolutely. Was it terrifying? even more so.

3) Listen to your heart. I think that's what you've already done, now with this leave, but let the heart trump the mind. Your mind will tell you there are so many reasons to stay in something you know isn't right, but your heart? God gave it to you for a reason. Follow it. I love your heart & can't wait to read about your journey.

HUGS! :)

Our Little Bubble said...

Oh sweet dear... we all go thru these trials and tribulations in life. Feeling pulled in directions, so many decisions to make, weight on your shoulders that you'd like to be rid of. Your brave and confident, I respect that. I just wanted to let you know your not alone! And a lot of bloggers (myself included) usually post just the good stuff because (I am at least) making it into a book someday and prefer to remember the good stuff. Oh but trust me we all have bad stuff, feelings and issues going on. I struggle when I have to say "No" to things, like I'm letting people down. No one is perfect and that's ok! Good luck and and try not to stress too much :) easier said, I know. xoxoxo

Mel the Crafty Scientist said...
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stateandoccupation.com said...

I admire this post. I went digging around to find it (because of the reference to it in your latest post) and also because I am a creep who gets emotionally invested in strangers lives:)
You are an inspiring person and I'm happy I stumbled upon your Instagram page (and promise to wander over to BC from Alberta to utilize your services should I ever wind up with a ring on my finger.)
xo!
Dakota (@dakotarbarber)
http://stateandoccupation.com/

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