Have you ever been heartbroken? Normally triggered by an intense loss, it overtakes your body, your mind, like a parasite. It lays like dead weight on your chest, challenging every breath. It plants grenades in your mind, threatening to erupt in a firestorm of tears. A song on the radio, a street sign, a passing car — all can trigger an explosion. Or sometimes it’s nothing at all. You’re clearly not fun to be around because as much as you try to mask what you’re feeling, you catch yourself numbly staring into the distance. It sucks. You know the feeling, right?
That’s how I feel when I drive away from day care, up to work. Heartbroken. It’s much worse on a Monday, gradually working itself to just sadness on Thursday and anticipation on Friday. It has a lot to do with saying goodbye to him — it just doesn’t feel right — but this is the main problem: I take him out of his crib at 6:30 a.m., put him in his car seat, drive 30 minutes south to day care, briefly say goodbye, drive two hours north to work at a job I don’t love, and then return home at 6:30 p.m. just to put him down to sleep at 6:45. He really should be asleep by 6:30, but I just can’t. I can’t.
Something has to change. There has to be another way.
I’m not unhappy because I have to work. Even if I had the luxury to not work (which is so far from my realm of reality) I would still be a work-at-home mom. I just, personally, need that outlet. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve worked really hard throughout school and my internships. I need some kind of professional validation.
The job I have now is a “good” job, meaning it has decent pay, phenomenal benefits, stability, and it’s in my chosen profession. I adore the people that I work with (without which I would have quit already) and there’s a lot of downtime to, you know, write a blog for instance. Moreover, if I stayed with this job I could retire in my — get this — late forties. For real.
However, it’s far. Really, really far. I could uproot my family and move closer to my job, but our whole lives are where we are. But really, that’s a load of bull because I know if I found a job I loved, that I was truly excited to go to every day, I would move. What it boils down to is I don’t enjoy this job. I don’t feel valued or challenged or productive. And I know there might be people reading this who are laid off, struggling to find a job, or under the constant threat of unemployment. I should be thankful to have a job. I know, I know. And I am. Truly. Like I said, the people I work with are great and they make it fun, but the nature of the work just isn’t for me.
So here’s the dilemma: Do I settle for this job for practical, logical reasons and be perpetually unhappy until retirement? Can I learn to live with a broken heart?