My work world went and got itself in a big ole hurry while I was sick and on bedrest and then maternity leave.
Sure, I returned to the same political squabbles that seem to define Congressional dealings these days.
There were scandals aplenty.
But the faces of those covering those stories seemed younger, the lingo of social media reporting trendier and not quite aligned with what I got in this to do.
Absent from the hip speak about “socializing content” was the concept of writing pieces aimed at comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.
And that’s what I got in this to do: tell the stories of people impacted by policy and politics.
I felt, at not yet 40, old and washed up and, as the mother of two young kids, at times quite tired.
Oh, I still excelled and reported stories that fared well online in terms of audience and impact.
But, increasingly, my heart wasn’t in it the way it used to be. And I desperately missed teaching writing and the freedom to write about topics with impact.
Still, despite this niggling feeling of displacement, I clung on.
Maybe things will change, I reasoned. Maybe I’ll change, I thought.
By the time I was laid off with a group of similarly aged veteran colleagues, I felt (beneath my overriding terror about making ends meet) a profound sense of relief.
Finally, my inner voice sang, you can return to your core as a writer.
So, I breathed deeply and just let go.
I trusted that, at almost 40, I’ve learned a lot about who I am and what I need to feel creatively fulfilled.
I trusted that the hard work of finding a new position would now be tempered by the guiding principle of maintaining balance creatively and for my family.
And, I am happy to report, that a week after I was laid off, I was offered a promotion and pay raise under contract as an editor with another publication. They are open to me continuing to teach and the position offers a sense of work-life balance and creative autonomy in my non working hours.
It is exactly the type of situation I’d prayed for.
And all of this underscores a truth that has guided many of my “grown woman” life choices: only when your hands are open can you receive your blessings.